The daily reported that an identified man was filmed from inside the mosque on Monday night at around 23.30 local time entering the mosque "Sultan Ahmet Cami" and pouring the contents of a gasoline can in the prayer room. After he reportedly set the gasoline on fire, he fled the scene using the entrance gate of the mosque. The man was reported to have entered the building from the back, via its window.
There were four families with children living in the building, but fortunately, the fire extinguished by itself. One of those living in the mosque, Veysel Arslan discovered that the smoke had filled the praying room as he woke up to morning prayer.
Arslan reportedly said, that he smelt something burning when he arrived at the praying room at 5.30am. He said, "At first we thought the tea burnt. But then we noticed the smoke in the prayer room."
The police seized the crime scene and experts are examining the burn marks. Xenophobic attack has not been excluded from the investigation.