Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate banned the killing of sacrifices in the streets and mandated that professional altars work on an appointment-only basis during the upcoming Eid al-Adha holiday. The directorate also issued a series of guidelines requiring safe distancing, wearing masks and health checks for professional altars.
Turkey’s top religious authority mandates masks and social distancing for worshippers as mosques reopen
Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) mandated facemasks and social distancing inside mosques, which will reopen after months of closure on May 29. The Diyanet also urged congregations to conduct mass prayers outside and visitors to perform ablutions at home, rather than at public sinks in mosques.
A religious official in the Kargı district of the northern province of Çorum was suspended from his post after sexually assaulting a minor with the driver of the district's mufti. The official, as well as the driver, were suspended following a criminal complaint filed by the child.
A group of unions and associations released a statement that condemned Turkey's top religious official Ali Erbaş for making comments that overstep the legal limitations on his position. The statement came shortly after a conflict between the Ankara Bar Association and Erbaş for his comments about adultery and homosexuality.
The head of Turkey’s top religious authority has once again targeted LGBT individuals during a sermon. “Islam curses homosexuality. What is the reason of that? The reason is that it brings with it illnesses and decay to lineage,” Ali Erbaş said on April 24, while addressing the novel coronavirus outbreak. Last year, Erbaş had claimed that the pride march “goes against creation,” calling same-sex relations “heresy."
Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has suspended all congregational prayers in mosques, including traditional Friday prayers, amid coronavirus fears. “Including the Friday prayers, congregational prayers will be suspended in mosques. During this period, instead of Friday prayers, [Muslims] can perform noon prayers [at home],” Diyanet head Ali Erbaş said.
The head of Turkey's top religious authority has advised worshipers during a Friday prayers sermon to pay attention to hygiene amid coronavirus fears, by recalling a saying of the Prophet Muhammad. “Our esteemed Prophet makes a connection between physical cleanliness and faith in the heart and says, 'Cleanliness is half of the faith,'” said Ali Erbaş on March 6.
Three educational seminars conducted by Turkey's Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) were held in three five-star luxurious resorts in the vacation destination of Antalya in January and February. Diyanet has become notorious in recent years for both using its resources for the purpose of promoting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's project of creating a pious generation in Turkey, as well as funding major mosque projects for other countries abroad, a source of controversy as its budget easily outpaces the budget of other key ministries.
The administration of the İsmail Tarman Imam Hatip Middle School pressures students into religious conformity, parents of the central Istanbul school claim. One parent, whose daughter is Christian, is forced to attend an Islam-focused religion class. Another parent says that teachers tell female students to avoid laughing, dressing "chic" and social media.