Eid Prayer will not be performed in mosques in Turkey due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the country’s top religious body announced Thursday.
“The feast prayer will not be performed in our mosques due to the COVID-19 epidemic that we have been struggling greatly by the nation this year,” Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) said in a written statement.
But the minarets of the mosques in all provinces across the country will be loudly reciting special feast prayer and takbir — declaration of Allah’s greatness — during the Eid al-Fitr prayer time so that everyone at their place can feel the joy and atmosphere of the holiday, said Diyanet.
Eid prayer lockdown announced by Erdogan
Muslims all around the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which they avoid eating, drinking and numerous other things from dawn until sunset.
Turkey’s president has announced a new four-day curfew during the Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr to be applied across the country to stem the spread of Covid-19.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped the restrictions would no longer be needed after the next round of lockdowns between May 23 and 26.
Previous weekend and national curfews were applied to a maximum of 31 provinces but this round will restrict people to their homes in all 81 provinces.
The country has opted to impose short weekend and holiday curfews, instead of full lockdowns, fearing possible negative effects on the economy.
Ramadan and Eid Prayer in Turkey disrupted by virus
Unlike other years, Turkish nation this Ramadan was not also allowed for collective iftar (fast-breaking dinner) gatherings and Tarawih — special congregational night prayers — in mosques to stem the spread of the virus.
Eid al-Fitr celebration in Turkey will start on May 24 and end on May 26.
On March 16, country’s top faith body announced a nationwide suspension of congregational prayer gatherings, including Friday prayers, in the wake of outbreak.
As the Turkish public largely followed preventive measures against the pandemic, daily cases in Turkey fell under 1,000 on Wednesday for the first time since March 25.
#MissionAccomplished say Turks in the fight against Coronavirus
Turkey declared “mission accomplished” against its coronavirus outbreak, saying investments in the country’s health system, a science-led approach to managing the disease and free treatment meant “the pandemic has been contained,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director said on Wednesday.
“Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan invested billions in healthcare infrastructure, let top scientists devise a strategy and treated all COVID-19 patients for free,” Fahrettin Altun, the president’s communications director, said in a Twitter post. “The result? Our recovery rate is almost 75 percent. The pandemic has been contained. #MissionAccomplished.”
Erdogan, who has been governing Turkey for almost two decades, has long prioritized investments in the country’s once-dilapidated health system, dramatically easing access to free health services. Turkey imposed only partial lockdowns, but has a high capacity of intensive care units, especially in big cities. Treatment protocols have included starting anti-viral drugs as soon as patients are diagnosed with Covid-19 and removing, oxygenating and then reintroducing a patient’s blood.
Coronavirus in Turkey: what it looks like
The Health Ministry announced a total of 113,987 people have recovered from the disease so far, while the death toll reached 4,222 with 23 more fatalities, and the tally of cases climbed to 152,587.
After originating in China last December, COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has spread to at least 188 countries and regions, with Europe and the US currently the worst hit.
The pandemic has killed more than 328,400 people worldwide, with some 5 million confirmed cases and over 1.9 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.