Villagers erect, lay down mosque’s minaret seasonally

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A portable minaret of a mosque in the Black Sea province of Rize laid down during the winter to avoid damage from avalanches has been reerected with the arrival of spring.

The method applied to protect a 7-meter minaret made by combining steel barrels from an avalanche in the winter months has been in use in Karzavan Plateau in İkizdere district for years.

The minaret, which was tied with steel wire to a reel system that could be turned by hand and laid on the ground during the winter months, was reerected again by villagers as the weather got warmer.

The move came after the minaret, made for a single-story mosque built on the plateau at an altitude of 2,100 meters, collapsed several times in the last 10 years due to avalanches in the region where winter conditions are harsh.

“When we built a mosque here about 10 years ago, we also built its minaret. Our minaret was destroyed twice as here is an avalanche zone. So, we developed this practical method,” said Ahmet Tığcı, the muhtar (head) of the Meşeköy village.

“When it starts to snow, we lay the minaret we made from barrels with the cable car system. At the beginning of May, we put it back up,” Tığcı added.

Noting that the seasonal migration to the village started a little earlier this year due to the pandemic, the headman stated that many residents would come back to the village in 20 days, and the plateau would turn into a joyful place again.

Mehmet Ali Kurt, a resident of the village, stated that not much manpower was required to reerect the minaret thanks to this system.

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