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European Journal

Turkey: The rocking imam

An imam from the mountains around Kaş has an unusual role model: Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Now the cleric is founding his own band with two old rockers and singing about his love of Allah and Muslim mysticism.

In his 'normal' life as an imam, he takes care of a small village congregation not far from the city of Antalya. He likes to break with convention. So he's married to a Christian woman, and has occasionally had to give up his job for her. The religious authorities have shown more tolerance for his rock music. Imam Tüzer wants to use it to transform the image of his profession.