Did the Chinese government demolish this mosque? No!

The video shows a mosque destruction happened in Adana, Turkey following an earthquake attack from February 2023.

Claim

The Chinese government destroyed another mosque. The Chinese Communist Party has been focusing on mosques as part of its crackdown against the Muslim Uyghurs. And yet, not a word of criticism from Arab leaders. No Jews, no news?

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Explanation

Since China’s leader, Xi Jinping, called for the sinicization of China’s religions in 2016, the pace and extent of mosque renovations have increased. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long maintained a firm hold over the country’s religious and ethnic minorities.

Meanwhile, in the 3-second viral video, we see a JCB pulling down a mosque. Due to the destruction, the minarets on the mosque fell to the ground is also captured in the video. The post is shared with a claim stating, “The Chinese government destroyed another mosque. The Chinese Communist Party has been focusing on mosques as part of its crackdown against the Muslim Uyghurs. And yet, not a word of criticism from Arab leaders.” The social media users added that if there are Jews, it will be reported in the news; if not, then none will exist. You can view related posts with similar claims here, here, here, here, and here.

What’s the truth?

When we started our analysis with the keyframe of the viral video, it led us to some reports from February 2023.

According to the article on Gazete DuvaR.com “In the 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes centered in Pazarcık and Elbistan districts of Maraş, the minarets of 16 mosques as well as many buildings in Adana city center have collapsed. During the checks they carried out in mosques across the province, the teams determined that 146 minarets, apart from the collapsed ones, were damaged and had to be demolished.

District municipalities have started work on damaged minarets that are in danger of collapsing on surrounding buildings in the event of aftershocks or new earthquakes. The teams took the necessary precautions and demolished 78 of the damaged minarets.”

The article was published on 23 February 2023, which also carried the same viral video in it and was titled “‘Controlled’ minaret demolition in Adana got out of control.”

The video was on YouTube in a short format and uploaded on the same date along with an infographic caption on it. The Turkish title when translated read as “There were people injured during the demolition of the minaret of Gökoğlu Mosque, which was damaged in the earthquake in Denizli District of Adana.” The description box of the video says “The ‘controlled demolition’ of the minaret of Gökoğlu Mosque, which was damaged in the earthquakes in Seyhan, Adana, went out of control. There were people injured due to the pieces of the collapsed minaret.”

As we continued our search, we found another YouTube video discussing the same mosque demolition in Turkey. The video was dated 27 February 2023, with a description, “Another controlled destruction got out of control… while the minarets of the heavily damaged mosque in Adana were demolished, the flashed pieces were scattered, and 3 officers were injured.”

All of the information cited above implies the widely shared video is not from China, despite what some people have claimed.

Conclusion:

Therefore, we deduce that the widely circulated video, which purports to show that the Chinese government demolished yet another mosque, is untrue. The video was taken in Adana, Turkey following the earthquake.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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