Bayram campaigns aim to aid Van victims
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Religious Affairs Directorate says they will provide opportunities for those who want to help the quake victims while at the same time conduct their religious service. Hürriyet photo
This year the Kurban Bayram holiday will coincide with aid campaigns focused on the quake-hit eastern province of Van. The timing of the holiday in relation to the earthquake leaves people debating whether they should help quake victims instead of purchasing and killing an animal for a sacrifice.
Many social media campaigns, many of which were organized by animal rights activists, and Islamist writer Professor Hüseyin Hatemi have advocated not sacrificing animals solely for bayram.
According to Hatemi, bayram is not a celebration of a meat roast. “Instead of killing an animal, 10 days of supplies for an average family should be given to a poor family,” the professor said.
However, the Religious Affairs Directorate announced Nov. 1 that the sacrifice requirements were stated in both the Quran and the Sunnah.
“People are not authorized to comment on the issue and to find an alternative to the service,” the press release read.
Mehmet Görmez, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, told the Anatolia news agency they were providing opportunities for those who want to help the quake victims while at the same time conduct their religious service.
“Provincial religious officials will work in coordination with the Religious Affairs Directorate in 40 countries including African countries, and there will be some slaughterhouses deployed in these places where citizens may donate money for the slaughter of a sacrificial animal,” Görmez said.
Some institutions such as the Turkish Aviation Board, Turkish Red Crescent, Turkish Religious Association and Mehmetçik Association, a social support organization for members of the Turkish military, will conduct the religious services on behalf of those who donated money and distribute the meat to the affected provinces.
Meanwhile, pointing out that Turkey is suffering from a shortage of cattle, Professor Belgin Sarımehmetoğlu from Ankara Veterinarian University warned that female cattle and sheep should not be sacrificed for the bayram.