A union representing employees of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has suggested that the first citizen that Turkey plans to send into space should recite the adhan (Islamic call to prayer) in space.
“Muslims know that they share a common understanding with the adhan and enjoy the unity. Because of this, let us ensure that the adhan is recited both on the moon and in space, apart from our world. It is the first time that such a work is being conducted in Turkey; and let us have the adhan be heard from the space to world,” Diyanet Vakıf-Sen head Nuri Ünal was quoted as saying by ANKA news agency on Feb. 10.
Ünal's statement came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unveiled Turkey's space program with 10 strategic goals including sending a Turkish citizen to a scientific mission in space. The president's announcement however prompted outrage as he put a sexist twist on the promise.
"I'm sure many people grew up dreaming of going to space. Maybe some of you still have that dream. And maybe, just maybe, there could even be ladies who present as a candidate," Erdoğan said at an event in the capital Ankara on Feb. 9.
Erdoğan said that Turkey aims to achieve the first contact with the moon as early as 2023 as part of this program. "The first rough landing will be made on the moon with our national and authentic hybrid rocket that shall be launched into orbit at the end of 2023 through international cooperation," he said.