Turkish officials marked the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, on Saturday.
“My august nation, my dear brothers and sisters, I greet you with the most sincere feelings and affection. I wholeheartedly congratulate our nation and the Islamic world on Eid al-Adha,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a message.
Referring to the holiday’s tradition of sharing sacrificial meat with the less fortunate, Erdogan hailed those who make Eid an occasion for charity that brings smiles to the oppressed and needy.
“I express my gratitude to all those who respect our custom of observing Eid as days of joy for all our people, from children to the elderly, which we have inherited from our civilization and our culture,” he said. he added.
Noting that Turkey and the world face serious challenges in everything from health to security, he said these critical days make unity, solidarity and brotherhood even more important.
We had the opportunity to take steps to raise Turkey above the level of contemporary civilizations thanks to the solid infrastructure we have built over the past two decades, he said.
The holiday commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim, or Abraham, to sacrifice his son at God’s command, before the last-minute divine substitute of a ram. During the holidays, the sacrificed meat is distributed to the needy.
First Lady Emine Erdogan wished for a holiday where everyone reaches the most beautiful feelings with their loved ones. She said she was praying for God to accept the sacrifices, wishing the best for the Islamic world and the Turkish people.
Vice President Fuat Oktay also wished a happy Eid to the people of Turkey and the entire Islamic world.
“I wish a very happy and peaceful Eid al-Adha to our nation and the entire Ummah [Muslim community]. #Eid Mubarak!” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.
In a holiday message, Speaker of Parliament Mustafa Sentop said Eid is tolerance, reunion, days of joy.
Sentop celebrated Eid with the public and members of the press after performing Eid prayers at Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul.
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