Turkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday joined hundreds of Muslim worshippers in Istanbul as they gathered at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque to perform the Eid-el-Fitr prayers.
Erdogan, who is facing elections next month, handed out chocolate and pastries to journalists outside the mosque, renamed Holy Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque after 85 years as a museum.
Earlier in his Eid-el-Fitr message, President Erdogan sent warm wishes to the people of Turkiye and the Muslim community, as he also expressed his condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the recent earthquakes and floods.
Erdogan, who won the Muslim News’ Global Muslim Personality of the Year for three consecutive years, highlighted the importance of Ramadan as a month of mercy, abundance, and solidarity while praising the efforts of the state, NGOs, and volunteers in providing relief and support for the victims.
“We have not left our earthquake victims on these holy days. We, as the state and the people, are trying to heal the wounds of the disaster of the century with the solidarity of the century,” Erdoğan said in his message on the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr.
“Due to the lives we lost during the Feb. 6 earthquakes, we marked Ramadan in a sour way,” Erdoğan said, recalling that more than 50,000 people were killed in the disaster that hit 11 provinces.
Stressing that the government and the people have never abandoned the earthquake survivors despite the ongoing election campaign and other state affairs, Erdoğan said he shared the grief of the survivors during his multiple visits to these 11 cities.
“We have started the construction process of more than 100,000 earthquake-proof houses and village houses. We have laid the foundation for more than 50,000 of them. Our hopes are strengthening as the constructions start after the removal of debris,” Erdoğan suggested.
He urged the nation to support the reconstruction and revival of the affected areas and emphasized the need to prioritize action over rhetoric.
Erdogan concluded by wishing everyone a happy Eid-el-Fitr and a bright future.
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