Erdoğan slams smartphone use in sacred places including Mecca, Medina

Erdoğan slams smartphone use in sacred places including Mecca, Medina

Erdoğan slams smartphone use in sacred places including Mecca, Medina

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 27 criticized the growing use of smartphones in sacred places such as Mecca and Medina, arguing that technology is “gradually detaching people from life.”

“Social media chats have taken over sincere conversations. People are wasting their time with their phones even in Mecca, Beytullah and at the al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, instead of concerning themselves with prayer and contemplation. Unfortunately, technology, which is necessary to ease our lives, is gradually detaching us from life,” Erdoğan said at the 4th International Technology Addiction Congress in Istanbul, hosted by Turkey’s Green Crescent association.

“Our world also belongs to individuals who are trying to live a life without technology, as much as it belongs to those who wait in queues for hours to pick up the new model of a phone brand ... The main issue here is how we understand technology and where we will place it in our lives,” he added.

Erdoğan also urged decision-makers, families and educators “not to remain silent” to the danger of smartphone addiction.

“Every day that we do not act, the problem will only grow. Not only our present, our future is also under threat. Turkey is currently in a better condition regarding this issue compared with other countries, but the threat is approaching us like an avalanche,” he said.

The president also stressed that Turkey “is not technophobic” and does “not have any problems with innovation, science or sources of information.”

“We do not look at where technological and scientific developments come from. We look at what purpose they are used for and how they affect people’s lives,” Erdoğan said.

He added that technology should “not be against the nature of the country.” As a result, he said, Muslims cannot pioneer weapons of mass destruction such as atomic bombs or nuclear missiles because such technology is “against Muslims’ mentality and Islamic thought is centered on “justice, mercy and sharing.”

“What we principally should object to is the mentality that legitimizes the use of such weapons against innocent people,” Erdoğan said.

The president also took aim at countries that “defend prohibiting nuclear warheads and weapons but actually own tens of thousands of them,” describing it as a “mental addiction.”