Turkey's top religious body issues fatwas against New Year's Eve cake, alcohol and national lottery

In the days preceding New Year’s Eve celebrations, Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs has issued fatwas forbidding New Year's Eve cakes, alcohol and taking part in the national lottery.

Duvar English  

As New Year’s Eve celebrations near, the Directorate of Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, issued a series of statements on a program broadcasted by its own television channel, Diyanet TV, the daily Cumhuriyet reported on Dec. 30.

The statements had to do with New Year's Eve cake, buying and selling of alcohol and taking part in the national lottery.

An individual speaking on the TV program said he had received orders to bake Christmas tree and Santa Claus-ornamented cakes for New Year’s Eve celebrations and asked whether he should cancel those orders.

Diyanet expert Fatih Mehmet Aydın responded saying Christmas cakes were “un-Islamic” and that “it was not permissible for a Muslim to sell or serve an un-Islamic product that is contrary to Islamic values.”

Aydın added that it was “absolutely forbidden to buy or sell alcoholic beverages.”

İdris Bozkurt, a member of the Directorate’s High Council of Religious Affairs also said that buying lottery tickets from the National Lottery qualified as “gambling” and was therefore not a “halal” way of earning money. In Dec. 2020, the Directorate of Religious Affairs had issued a ruling qualifying gambling as “haram.”