Influential Turkish Cypriot Islamic scholar Shaykh Nazim al-Haqqani died May 7 after being hospitalized for lung and kidney failure last month Hurriyet Daily News reported
The 92-year-old scholar had been receiving treatment at the Yakin Dogu Hospital in Turkish Cyprus since April 17, but his condition was worsened in the last three days.
The scholar, who was known as al-Qubrusi (Cypriot) in Arabic, was head of one of the most important branches of the Naqshbandi Sufi order, the Haqqanis.
Shaykh Nazim has many followers in Turkey, but also in Europe and particularly in Britain and Germany. Born in Larnaca, on the southern coast of Cyprus, Shaykh Nazim speaks Greek fluently. He was the disciple of Damascus-based Sheikh Abdullah Deghestani, who himself had many followers in the Middle East.
Shaykh Nazim became an influential figure throughout the 1950s and 1960s in Turkey, known for his active opposition to the ban on the ezan (call to prayer) being recited in Arabic.
He was also known to maintain a close relationship with former President Turgut Özal.
Many top government officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu, have called Shaykh Nazim during his convalescence in order to convey their wishes for his speedy recovery.