President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the Ismailaga Congregation in Fatih on Sunday in Istanbul. Ismailaga Congregation was not the official channels of the Presidency.
Mahmoud Ustaosmanoglu, the grandson of Mahmut Ustaosmanoglu who shared photos of President Erdogan’s visit to the Ismailaga Community, said in his Twitter message “Hasan Efendi and Mahmud Effendi Hazrat Ahmed Ustaosmanoglu were present. Prayers for the unity of the Ummah”
Binali Yıldırım, a candidate of the Justice and Development Party, visited the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor’s elections, which was repeated on June 23, 2019, and was a subject of discussion.
The Ismailaga Community is one of the religious entities representing the Naqshbandi sect today.
The community was founded in the early 1980s by Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu, now 90 years old.
Until the end of the 1970s, Ustaosmanoğlu, who was a member of the İskenderpaşa Congregation, Mehmed Zahit Kotku, again from the Naqshbandi school in Fatih, turned to an independent formation after Kotku’s death.
The congregation is named after the mosque built by 56. Şeyhülislam İsmail Efendi in Çarşamba district of Fatih district of Istanbul.
This mosque, where Ustaosmanoğlu served as imam-orator for many years, is also the center of the community. Next to the mosque is the Ismailaga Science and Service Foundation building.
Claim that ‘the community has a special mission’
İrfan Summary, the author of the book “Fatih-Başakşehir: Power in the Conservative Neighborhood and Transforming Habitus”, also made researches about this community during his study. İsmailağa a few other communities in Turkey from the one loaded him “a special mission,” he argues.
The summary states that this is related to the location of the congregation:
“One of the aspects that differentiate İsmailağa from the world community in Turkey, mainly residents of the Sunni-Muslim sensitivities with broadly back the incurred theo-political mission.
Misyon This mission is formed around the concerns that have been developed especially during the history of the Patriarchate and the Republic.
“As a matter of fact, this suspicion leads many conservatives in Fatih to see Ismailaga’s presence in the region as a” safety valve. “In this respect, the Wednesday neighborhood is the borderline of the non-Muslim and secular fabric that dominates Fener-Balat.
They have their own style of clothing
In the ‘about us’ section of the congregation, “Our aim as Ismailaga Mosque: to present the light of Islam to humanity in the brightest and most vivid state under the guidance of our Mahmud Efendi,” in the search of human beings in continuous peace.
It is understood that devotion to the sheikh is important in the community that emphasizes Sufi discourse.
Congregation, unlike many religious formations in Turkey has adopted a unique clothing style finery case. Men in the congregation show a long beard, robe, turban and shawl, while women wear black sheets.
They focus on religious education
The community not only in Istanbul, Turkey’s networks in general. The ‘activities’ section of the community website contains the following statements:
“The activities of the İsmailağa Community are generally concentrated in the field of scientific and religious and social services. library services and summer Qur’an courses are our main activities and services.
Today, there are various institutions such as private schools, madrasahs, Koran courses and media organs.
Education in the community “Arabic and Hafizlik Students”, “Tekamül Madrasas” and “Specialized Madrasas” are carried out in three stages.
There are various religious trainings open to the public in different centers of the community.
With a fatwa hotline call center they also answer questions over the phone.
Cübbeli Ahmet Hoca has gained a place in popular culture
Congregation, a period, came to the agenda with the assassination of members.
Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu’s son-in-law, one of the community’s leading Hizir Ali Muratoglu was killed in 1998 as a result of an armed attack at the Cukurcesme Mosque.
In 2006, a prominent figure in the congregation, retired imam Bayram Ali Ozturk, died in a knife attack in Ismailaga Mosque. The attacker was lynched by the mosque community.
There have been many different opinions about these events, from the attacks of the intelligence services to the internal strife about community leadership.
Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü, a prominent figure of the congregation, has become a public figure through the TV programs he has participated in and the debates created by his words.
Known as “Cübbeli Ahmet Hoca” in the public, Ünlü has spent 13 months in prison for his speech about the August 17 earthquake in 1999. Famous, “Mevlam hit adultery nests,” he said; later he said he regretted his words.
Ünlü was arrested in October 2011 as part of the Karagümrük gang operation and released in December 2012.
Ünlü continues to create discussions on religious and political issues with his comments on his social media videos.
Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu, the leader of the congregation, is not actively involved in congregation affairs due to his age and discomfort.
Mahmut Ünlü is one of the leaders of the congregation in the future, but other names are mentioned for this position.
An important congregation for the right parties
Ismailaga is a congregation that has been involved with various right-wing parties for years.
İrfan Abstract describes this relationship with the concept of alan field of legitimacy::
“In Turkey, especially the right-conservative politics denominator invention actors and İsmailağa for parties, to present a substantial legitimacy of the past. Indeed, the congregation read about political areas grows generations in the habitus and trends, right-conservative politics have considerable installed means to satisfy.
“For example, in the elections during my field research, I saw that community adherents constantly put ‘traumatic’ scenes in front of the stage where they were prevented from receiving education by covering the Qur’an courses and public institutions in February 28 period. politics.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and 11th President Abdullah Gül are known to have visited the congregation in the past.
Erdoğan’s visit to the community leader Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu in 2014 and Gül in 2015 were reflected to the public.
It seems that the community has made statements in support of the ruling party in recent years.
There have been various tensions in the community recently.
Today, some different groups have emerged in their work using the name Ismailaga.
The Ismailaga Science and Service Foundation, which represents the main group, uses legal means against those who use this name.
İrfan Abstract says that there is a serious competition in the community about successor:
“Mahmut Ustaosmanoglu, the leader of the congregation and known as ‘His Holiness’ by his associates, has a strong competition around becoming an ‘successor’.
Kadar As far as I can see, the main circle of the congregation is concentrating around the Science and Service Foundation. “