Sunday, October 11, 2020
The President of Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with the religious officials who has been working in the central and provincial organizations of the Presidency of Religious Affairs on the occasion of Mosques and Religious Officials Week
The President of Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with the religious officials who has been working in the central and provincial organizations of the Presidency of Religious Affairs on the occasion of Mosques and Religious Officials Week.
In his speech that he gave at the meeting which was held in the Congress and Culture Center of the Presidential Complex, stating that he was pleased to host the religious officials, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan gave remarks as “Here I sincerely congratulate Mosques and Religious Officials Week of all our imams, muezzins, Qur’an course lecturers, preachers, women preachers, muftis, religious services counsellors, especially our brothers and sisters who are present here at the moment. I would also like to express my gratitude to the President of Religious Affairs and his personnel who brought us together on the occasion of this meaningful week.”
Expressing the fact that the Presidency of Religious Affairs, with its 129 thousand members, is an outstanding institution which provides knowledge and guidance in not only 81 provinces of Turkey but also in different parts of the World from Asia to Africa, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan talked as “May the Almighty Allah (swt) bless all of our hodjas who do not leave mihrabs without imams, minbars without preachers, and minarets without the adhan.”
Pointing out the fact that the Mosques and Religious Officials Week is an opportunity for the work of the religious officials to be known and reach different parts of the society, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan said as “Unfortunately, a certain part of the society thinks that the duty of the Presidency of Religious affairs is limited only to the mosque. However, our community of Religious Affairs plays a huge role in humanitarian aid activities, educational and guidance activities, solving disagreements between people, and fighting against deviances which are alien to our society. The contribution of the Presidency of Religious Affairs cannot be denied in the preservation of unity and solidarity of our nation in spite of all the provocations.”
Underlining that the community of Religious Affairs plays a huge role in challenging against the DEASH trouble which is nesting at the borders of Turkey with a minimum damage, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan talked as “Our Presidency of Religious Affairs has always been in the front lines in the challenge against the July 15th attempt of coup and in healing the wounds which are inflicted by the FETO gang of treason in our society.”
“Our imams and muezzins came to the help of our citizens in need at their times of hardship regardless of expecting anything in return.”
Stating the fact that personnel of the Presidency of Religious Affairs worked unselfishly in the challenge against the new coronavirus, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan continued his words as follows:
“62 thousand 700 Religious Officials have taken responsibility in VEFA Social Support Groups. Our imams and muezzins came to the help of our citizens in need at their times of hardship regardless of expecting anything in return. Thanks to the Almighty Allah (swt), we have coped up with that troubled period in which we performed one of the best examples of state-nation solidarity more easily than the other countries.
We did not give a chance to our nation experience any of the images that people give their last breath alone and desperately with the support of the religious officials. On this occasion, here I remember all of our hodjas whom we lost to new Covid-19 with mercy, especially my esteemed brother Ömer Döngeloğlu whose sincerity we witnessed in person. I would like to express my gratitude to all my brothers and sisters who supported the challenge against such pandemic together with the healthcare specialists.”
Stating the fact that they will continue to challenge against this pandemic by complying with the rules of “hygiene, mask and social distance that they sloganized as TAMAM (That is enough)” and pointing out that not complying with these rules is a violation of rightful due, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan talked as “I believe that no one among my citizens will knowingly and willfully commit such a bad action. I expect that our community of Religious Affairs continue to play a pioneer role in raising awareness of our society with the same determination. Here I pray to the Almighty Allah (swt) to save us, our nation and all humanity from such pandemic disaster as soon as possible.”
"We have experienced the bliss of returning the Hagia Sophia to its original identity”
Stating that they have experienced the bliss of returning Hagia Sophia to its original identity after 86 years of longing, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan talked as “We have opened the Hagia Sophia-Kabîr-i-Shérif Mosque to worship again on Friday, 24th July with prayers, invocations and tears. It was one of the biggest dreams of our nation to return Hagia Sophia to its identity of being a mosque once again in accordance with the will of Mehmed the Conqueror. For this matter, many of our poets, writers, politicians paid a heavy price and even some of them were sentenced to death. We had lived our early youth with the hope of listening to the Adhan al-Muhammad who would rise from the minarets of Hagia Sophia.”
Stating that the opening of the Hagia Sophia-Kabîr-i-Shérif Mosque to worship is the sweetest fruit of the 86 years of struggle that was carried out within the law and democracy and knitted with the patience day by day, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan talked as “This step that Turkey took by using its sovereign right is a herald of a new era in the world politics. With the decision on Hagia Sophia, Turkey has lifted a shadow on itself and removed yet another shackle on its will. Conversion of the Chora into a mosque right after was another good news for us.”
The President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan said that the Sumela Monastery which was opened following the completion of its restoration right after the Hagia Sophia-Kabîr-i-Shérif Mosque showed everyone that Turkey has no complexes regarding religious freedom.”
The President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan stated that Turkey has an exemplary attitude regarding the religious rights and liberties while the exact opposite atmosphere dominates the Western World.
Stating that the racism, discrimination and Islamophobia spread like a poison ivy in western countries, which served as the cradle of civilization for so long years, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan continued his words as follows:
“Muslim workplaces are becoming the target of the fascist groups almost every day. Muslim women are subjected to verbal and actual harassment in the streets, in the marketplaces and at schools because of their headscarves. Almost every day, we receive the news of our people of being attacked, usurped and fired just because they are Turkish and Muslim. Muslims and other groups with different ethnic identities, appearances and religious affiliations are also affected by these actions. Neo-Nazi terrorism targets African and Asian immigrants, and Jews, as much as they target Muslims. We are witnessing that an ideological fanaticism which is similar to DAESH has been poisoning the European societies more strongly with each passing day.”
The President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan emphasized that acts that particularly target mosques and houses of worship of other religions have reached to enormous levels.
Reminding that burning the Holy Qur’an in Sweden, tearing the Holy Qur’an in Norway, and encouraging the caricatures that insult the Prophet Muhammad (saw) under the pretext of freedom of press in France are just a few of the attacks against what is sacred to us, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan said as “The terror attack that martyrized 52 brothers and sisters of ours last year in New Zealand laid bare the threat that the humanity is faced.”
"Europe acts according to the perpetrators of terrorist acts "
Pointing out that the Western world does not have the courage to face this threat that grows like a cancer cell, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan said:
“Even worse, that attacks to the sacred values of Muslims are being ignored under the cover of freedom of thought. The criminals who attack mosques and Muslim businesses are not even prosecuted. An attempt is made to trivialize the crimes of revealed organizations as NSU (National Socialist Underground) by labelling as “döner murders”. Here I am saying loud and clear. Today, in many Western countries, racism and Islamophobia are protected by the state. Neo-Nazi structures are easily organized in army and the police agencies. The media practically carries out the public relations activities of these organizations. European countries act according to the perpetrators of terrorist acts. It is understood that Europe took no lessons from the Breivik massacre in 2012 just like those genocides during the Second World War. There are not only foreigners among the innocents that Breivik violently murdered, but also children and young people from his own country.”
"They think the issue would be resolved if Turkey was silenced”
The President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan stated that other attacks that he had witnessed in recent history revealed that the violence was unrelated to a particular region, ethnic identity or religious group.
Saying that the European countries persistently prefer to shut their eyes to these facts, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan made the following evaluations:
"Politicians like us who say the truth were tried to be made an enemy by character assassination. This is one of the reasons behind antagonism and Islamophobia to Turkey, which is fueled by some European leaders and media organizations. They think the issue would be resolved if Turkey was silenced. They believe that when they make us an enemy, their mistakes cannot be seen. Just as the ostrich does not disappear when its head buried in the sand, the problems do not disappear when they are ignored. Those who deflect the target instead of confronting the racist and Islamophobes give the greatest harm to their own society. The problems they ignore today will appear as bigger disasters tomorrow.”
“Targeting Muslims has recently become one of the principal tools that European politicians employ to veil their failures,” the President of Republic of Turkey said, and continued: “Various prime ministers and presidents, too, are now resorting to these cheap policies, which the fascist groups formerly had recourse to so as to garner votes.”
As reply to the President of France Macron: “It is impudent and rude to talk about reforming Islam”
Emphasizing that European leaders that are in trouble in internal politics are trying to conceal their inadequacy by scapegoating Islam, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan talked as follows:
"The last name to have jumped on this bandwagon has been President of France Macron. The remarks which Macron made in a Muslim-majority city suggesting that ‘Islam is in crisis’ amounts to a blatant provocation beyond being disrespectful. As the President of France, just a week or ten days ago, he said we should improve our relations, improve our negotiations but he quickly forgets. The fact that he makes such statement immediately afterwards shows how much respect he deserved. It is impudent and rude to talk about reforming Islam as the President of France. Have you heard anything from us such as reforming Christianity or Judaism? Who are you to use an expression as reforming the religion of Islam?”
Expressing that the duty of the state is not to interfere with a religion with billions of believers but to guarantee the rights and liberties of all faiths, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan said so-called attempts to reform the religion by the hand of state is one of the signs of totalitarian societies.
Pointing out that while talking about a crisis of the Islamic world, Macron is in fact working to conceal the crisis that the French society is in the grip of, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan continued his words as follows:
"It is seen that the aim of the law on extremism is actually to settle accounts with Islam and Muslims rather than fight fanaticism. A faith without religion is being imposed on Muslims by means of such concepts as ‘European Islam,’ French Islam,’ or ‘Consular Islam.’ This mentality, which represents a new version of orientalism, actually clears the path for such abusers as DAESH and FETO while alienating sincere Muslims. Stigmatizing the Muslim living in the French society as separatist will lead to such great conflicts. No one has a right to risk the safety of life and property and freedom of faith and worship of the Muslims.”
Underlining that the lives, property and honor of the citizens living in the Europe are entrusted to the those countries, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan talked as “As a country that has sacrificed dozens of people to racist terror, we cannot remain silent to such provocations”
"We cannot put up with disrespect to our faith”
Saying that “We cannot put up with disrespect to our religion and faith. Especially, we do not give up the sake of the Almighty Allah (swt) in this mortal world, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan emphasized that the head of state should split the hairs talking about what is sacred of the people.
The President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan continued his words as follows:
“Macron needs to pay much more attention, especially when talking about issues he is ignorant of. I repeatedly told this to him: ‘You don’t know these issues...’ Unfortunately, he did not make any progress. In such a situation, we expect him to act like a responsible statesman rather than pretending to be a colonial governor. I find it beneficial to express this truth here. As Turkey, we defend integration as much as we oppose to the assimilation. We suggest our brothers and sisters abroad never being closed, always being visible in politics, art, culture and business life.”
The President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan emphasized that they are always ready to support all well-intentioned efforts aimed at the healthy integration of citizens who live in Europe by protecting their identities.
Saying “Turkey is the biggest opportunity for western countries in the challenge against xenophobia, Islamophobia, cultural racism and extremism,” the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan talked as “such cities of ours as Istanbul, Hatay and Mardin are the symbols of the culture of coexistence. Western politicians have many lessons to draw from these cities.”
"We hope that they will not take the wrong paths”
Pointing out that the European politicians have many lessons to learn from these cities, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan said that imams and religious service counsellors who are living abroad play significant roles in both meeting the religious needs of citizens and integration to the society where they live.
Expressing that guidance activities which are carried out by the religious officials played a significant role in the failure of deviant movements such as DEASH to spread to Turkish society, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan continued his words as follows:
"The task of the European states is to contribute to the spread of these gains instead of undermining them. We hope that Western leaders will not take the wrong paths which will have serious costs for populism. No matter how much intolerance increases in our region and in the world, we will continue to stand in different places and to stand behind the tolerance. In this sense, we will continue to challenge for the peace, tranquility and welfare of all humankind in the future as it has been for a thousand years. May the Almighty Allah (swt) help us!”
Giving his gratitude to all members of the Presidency of Religious Affairs for their services, the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan congratulated Mosques and Religious Officials Week.
The President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş
Stating in his speech that they determined the subject of “Mosque and Knowledge” as the theme of “Mosque and Religious Officials Week,” the President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş talked as “On the occasion of this week, we are organizing many programs in the axis of mosque of knowledge. In the example of our ancient civilization, we are making an effort to bring the identity of our mosques to the most ideal level.”
Pointing out that the temple and the school, mosque and university have always been interbedded throughout the history of Islam, the President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş talked as “Our Presidency of Religious Affairs, with its 150 thousand officials, has been guiding our nation and our brothers and sisters in many parts of the World with the responsibility of the heritage of Nabawi and the awareness of servanthood. Especially, the Presidency works to convey the authentic knowledge of our religion to our nation and to prevent the abuse of religion, to develop its activities for children, youth, women and families in a way that encompasses the whole society.”
“We have continued our services such as guidance and preaching through digital channels without interruption”
Stating that during the pandemic period, religious officials were in the service of the nation regardless of day or night, the President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“We always come to the help of our citizens in all their needs, especially with our services in VEFA support groups. We tried to set an example and guide the society with our mosques on the measures to be taken in challenge against the epidemic. In this process, we continued our services such as education, guidance, preaching, conversation and spiritual guidance through our Religious Affairs Television and other digital channels without interruption. Most recently, we held the Hagia Sophia-Kabîr-i-Shérif Symposium as online in Hagia Sophia which we opened on October 2nd. And we have seen that approximately 10 thousand people followed the symposium through the digital platforms for three days.”
Pointing out that Departments of Digital Publications and Education of Qur’an Recitation was established and started to work within the Presidency of Religious Affairs, the President Erbaş said that new chairman and members of the High Board of Religious Affairs have been elected and have started their duties.
“We will hold an online meeting with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on October 20th”
Stating that they will hold an online meeting with Organization of Islamic Cooperation on October 20th, the President of the Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş used expressions as “With our invitation and organization, we will, Insha Allah, discuss the problems faced by the Islamic World, especially islamophobia, by holding an online meeting with the religious leaders of 68 countries, and members and observers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.”
Giving information about works which Turkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDV) carried out in 2020, the President Erbaş talked as “With the help of Turkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDV), we distributed aids of Ramadan in our 81 provinces and 35 countries all over the world in the very year of 2020; we have passed all times in our sacrifice by proxy activity and this year, we slaughtered 554 thousand sacrifice shares in 81 provinces and 232 districts of 75 countries abroad and delivered more than 25 million shares to our brothers and sisters who are oppressed and in need. On this occasion, I think we have contributed to not only the meat of sacrifice, but also to the promotion of generosity, fondness of our nation and greatness of our state.”
“We are in an endeavor to meet with all parts of our society on every occasion”
Talking as “We are in an endeavor to meet with all parts of our society on every occasion,” the President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“In this context, we held provincial meetings in 27 provinces from Şırnak to Edirne, from Muğla to Tunceli up to the present. Provincial meetings continue for two days. We visit the Governor’s Office, Municipality, Rectorship, Qur’an courses, and Djemevi, if there is any, during these period. We visit relatives of martyrs and veterans. We hold meetings in large conference halls with all the religious officials from central counties to towns. We describe activities of our Presidency of Religious Affairs and Turkiye Diyanet Foundation by holding meetings with representatives of non-governmental organizations and businesspersons. We meet university students in the conference halls within the university and give a conference to them under the title “From Knowledge to Awareness, Head to Head with Youth”. Al-Hamd al-Allah, we held such conferences in our 27 universities up to the present. Of course, the greatest opportunity in all these services is the support of our state and the kindness of our nation.”
Stating that the opportunities that are available for the religious services necessitate great gratitude, the President Erbaş talked as “Our Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.' In this sense, the greatest gratitude for us to work harder and try harder by taking lessons from the past and being aware of today.”
“Our Lord made our job description”
Expressing his thanks to the all members of the organization who serve Islam and the nation by turning mosques into schools of knowledge, wisdom and morality, the President Erbaş continued his words as follows:
“In every province that I visit, I say to our hodjas: Our Lord made our job description. He proclaimed ‘Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.’ Here are the representatives of that people, Al-Hamd al-Allah. The Messenger of Allah (swt) made us the heir of the prophets. They made their service by announcing, inviting and guiding and attained their Lord. Now, we will do this duty as their heirs. I hope we will do these duties as the Prophet Muhammad (saw) witnessed, guided, gave the message and became forerunner, that is, he warned people. And just as our Prophet Muhammad (saw) made his companions witness of his duties in the Farewell Sermon, I say to all of our officials that we can leave our duties by making our community and interlocutor witness while leaving our duties where we work and saying to our Lord, “may our Lord be witness”. I continuously repeat this advice.”
Expressing his gratitude to the President of Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the support that he gives to their work, the President Erbaş completed his words with this supplication:
“I wish the Almighty Allah (swt) mercy on the lovers of benevolence who passed away; May the Almighty Allah (swt) let those who are alive service in health and well-being.”
At the end of the program, the President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş presented the model replica of Hagia Sophia-Kabîr-i-Shérif Mosque to the President of Republic of Turkey Erdoğan.