Gül to decide on hajj trip to Saudi Arabia

Gül to decide on hajj trip to Saudi Arabia

Gül to decide on hajj trip to Saudi Arabia

Turkish President Abdullah Gül was pictured for the first time wearing his hearing aid device. Gül may be heading for an hajj trip in the upcoming days. Hürriyet Daily News photo by Selahattin Sönmez

President Abdullah Gül will be visiting Saudi Arabia during the upcoming Feast of Sacrifice for hajj, news reports said, while officials from Gül’s office said the president’s decision will become clear as of tomorrow.

“Mr. President hasn’t yet made his final decision. It will probably become clear tomorrow [Oct. 10],” a senior official from the president’s office briefly told Hürriyet Daily News , when asked about the reports.

Gül’s term of office, who was elected as president in August 2007, will end in August 2014. Thus, if he eventually travels to Saudi Arabia this year and makes the pilgrimage to Mecca for hajj, which takes place from Oct. 13-18, Gül will become the first president of the Republic of Turkey ever who performed the hajj while still in office.

According to reports, Gül is expected to leave Turkey for Saudi Arabia on Oct. 13, and return on Oct. 16. Gül will, as part of his hajj, will visit the Kaabah and Medina. 

Gül, who will wear a djellaba (ritualistic robes), will also perform the ritual of sacrificing an animal during the trip.

Because Gül worked as an economist at the headquarters of the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah from 1983 until being elected as a member of the Parliament in 1991, it was assumed that he had performed Hajj in the past.