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Mehmet Görmez (R) presents a Quran to his counterpart from Gaza, Salih Alreqed. AA photo

Mehmet Görmez (R) presents a Quran to his counterpart from Gaza, Salih Alreqed. AA photo

Turkey will help Palestinians in the Gaza Strip repair mosques damaged in Israeli strikes and rebuild those torn down, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate Mehmet Görmez said yesterday.

“As the Directorate of Religious Affairs, we will help them in every way possible to repair and rebuild the destroyed mosques,” Görmez said after a meeting with his counterpart from Gaza, Salih Alreqed.

The Gazan official already surveyed the structures damaged in the attacks prior to his visit to Turkey, Görmez said. Alreqed thanked Turkey for its support of Gaza against Israel’s blockade.

In further remarks, Görmez defended his agency’s plan to organize Umrah visits to Mecca for students, which has come under fire as a breach of secular education.

“There is nothing more natural for the Religious Affairs Directorate in assisting Muslim students in a Muslim country who wish to visit the place where our Prophet was born,” he said. “I advise those who criticize us to research how many students go to the Vatican from Spain, Italy and Germany during semester breaks.”

January/12/2012

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