People Detained for Shooting at Moon

I S T A N B U L, Turkey, Jan. 11, 2001 -- Police detained eight people in Turkey'ssoutheast for shooting at the moon during an eclipse, dailyHurriyet reported today.

The men, who fired their rifles in the streets of the town ofKahramanmaras on Tuesday night, told police that it is traditionalto shoot at the moon during a lunar eclipse, Hurriyet said.

But Mehmet Baris, the chief mufti or religious official inKahramanmaras, said there was no such tradition and said the menshot out of fear. "But they can't scare the moon by shooting atit," he said.

The newspaper said that police were also on alert in thesoutheastern city of Batman where others shot in the air during thelunar eclipse.

The predominantly Kurdish southeast is one of the mosttraditional areas of Turkey.