Erdoğan offers prayer of gratitude in İstanbul mosque reminiscent of Ottoman sultans

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) during a visit of Eyup Sultan's tomb in Istanbul a day after his victory in a national referendum. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was on April 17, celebrating a narrow win in a referendum giving him sweeping new powers that exposed bitter divisions in Turkey and left incensed rivals demanding a major recount. / AFP PHOTO / YASIN BULBUL

Following a narrow victory in Sunday’s referendum on a switch to an executive presidency, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited İstanbul’s popular Eyüp Sultan Mosque and offered a prayer of gratitude similar to practice followed by Ottoman sultans after their coronation.

While Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Monday demanded that a referendum granting President Tayyip Erdoğan sweeping new powers be nullified, Erdoğan supporters took to the streets to cheer and chanted slogans calling Erdoğan “the chief.”

Erdoğan, who immediately put forward a plan for reinstatement of capital punishment during a speech after the referendum results were announced on Sunday night, came to Eyüp Sultan Mosque at noon on Monday after visiting the mausoleum of Ottoman Sultan Yavuz Sultan Selim I accompanied by Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman.

In a photo believed to have been shared by people who were present during the visit, Erdoğan is seen praying in the mosque.

According to Ottoman tradition, praying in Eyüp Sultan Mosque was part of rituals for the coronation of a sultan and the declaration of his sultanate. The sultan girded himself with a sword in the garden of the mosque and offered a prayer of gratitude there.

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