The Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) will return registration fees paid by pilgrims who have applied and were chosen to go on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, according to a recent statement.
More than two million people from Turkey applied to partake in the Hajj, which is considered a compulsory religious duty by Muslims that they must make at least once in their lifetime, if possible.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Saudi Arabia has not been admitting foreign nationals who wish to perform the Hajj in the holy city of Mecca, and the Turkish citizens that have already paid registration fees for the pilgrimage will have their fees refunded.
Those in Turkey who want to perform the Hajj enter a drawing, and a limited number are selected each year. According to the Diyanet’s statement, those who were chosen in the 2020 drawing will be able to register in 2021 without reentering the drawing.
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey had to quarantine large numbers of citizens returning from Saudi Arabia after performing the Umrah, another religious pilgrimage, which unlike the Hajj can occur during any time of the year rather than during fixed dates.