Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam, representing almost 90% of the global Muslim population, but also in Turkey (75-80% of the population).

To them, Muhammad’s first Caliph was his father-in-law Abu Bakr. Sunnis have no formal clergy. Anyone with the knowledge and intelligence can become an Islamic scholar.

— Karatas mosque, Sille, Turkey


According to Islam, Allah revealed its words to Moses and Jesus. Humanity corrupted and misinterpreted its words. As a reaction, Allah is sending directly its words to Muhammad. The message of Islam is its final word to mankind.

According to Muhammad’s hadith, Islam is based on five pillars:

chahada: the declaration of faith

salat: the five daily mandatory prayers

zakat: charity

sawm: fasting

– hadjdj: pilgrimage to Mecca

To be Muslim, you have to respect these rules.

— Ritual ablution before the praying in Kılıç Ali Paşa mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

The mosque is where you Solve your problems

In the Qu’ran, we can identify five major forms of belief: Allah and the prophets, heaven, angels, sacred books and destiny.

By consulting or applying sharia (islamic laws), Muslims are greatly influenced in their personal and professional decisions on subjects. In absence of direct answers in Qu’ran, Islamic scholars are most of the time deciding either by consensus or by analogous reasoning.


The salat or prayer consists of 2 to 4 rakats which are repetition of acts of devotion. Each rakat encompasses the following positions: – standing with the recitation of Al-Fatiha surah


– second standing

– prostration

– sitting

– second prostration

– second sitting

With a rosary, they are repeating 99 times the name of Allah: 33 times Subhaanak-Allaahumma, wa bihamdik, wa tabaarakasmuk, wa ta’aalaa jadduk, wa laa ilaaha ghayruk, 33 times acūdhu bi-llāhi min ash-shayṭāni r-rajīm, and 33 times allāhu ‘akbar, meaning God is Great.

— Performing the taslim in Tuzbaba mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

DIYANET, an official state department regulating the religionsin TURKEY

The Diyanet is an official state institution created in 1924 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. By law, Diyanet has to execute the works concerning the beliefs, worship, and ethics of Islam, enlighten the public about their religion, and administer the sacred worshiping places.

In a so-called lay Turkish state, the Diyanet employs all of Turkey’s imams as civil servants, build mosques, provides mandatory Quranic education in schools and limits the freedom of other beliefs in Turkey.

« Diyanet provides a weekly sermon to the entire country, to calm the nation when there are political tensions, to evoke martyrs, to speak about Syrian situation, to condamn violence against women, education, tabacco, alcohol… »

— Imam Celal YILDIRIM, Istanbul

THE BABA, heroes and saints of islam

Like Christians, Muslims have their own saints, called baba in Turkey. Most of them are related to miracles and are prayed everyday.

— Woman praying in front of Tuzbaba grave after offering salt, Tuzbaba mosque, Istanbul, Turkey.

During the siege of Constantinople, Sultan Mehmed experienced some various troubles. The biggest problem was the shortage of salt. Siege was taking longer time than expected and salt stocks were declining. Tuzbaba – Halid Efendi – was a soldier in Sultan Mehmed’s army. One day he heard a voice saying that soon the army will have all the salt they need. He obtained the authorisation to dig the soil where he had heard the voice. The soil changed into salt and Constantinople was captured by Sultan Mehmed’s army.


Islam does not allow iconography. Religious imagery is replaced by calligraphy and abstract patterns. The geometric designs reflect the divine order and harmony. The Kaaba in Mecca is empty, a perfect symbol of this absence of idolatry.

Some stream of Islam have however a tradition of venerating the relics attributed to the prophet Muhammad.

— Sahip Ata Vakif museum, Konya, Turkey

In this museum, a hair of the beard of Muhammad is exhibited. This relic is called sakal-i serif.


Sunni authorities have recognized the massacre of Kerbala in 680 AD which marks the start of disputes, persecutions and wars between Sunni and Shia.

— Fountain, Kasımiye Medresesi, Mardin, Turkey


Contrary to the common use of this expression in mass media deformation, in Islam, there are two kinds of jihad. The major jihad, the most common is referring to the constant struggle a Muslim is facing with his/her sins.

The minor jihad encompasses four gradual steps:

– a peaceful and passive approach of the opponent

– defend Islam by discussing without violence

– the right to fight injustice with violence if necessary

– under certain conditions set out in the Qu’ran and Islamic laws, a Muslim can go to war if someone threatens his/her faith.

— Cemetary next to Cihangirbey Zevyesi mosque in Mardin, Turkey