Görmez warns over iftar tents in Ramadan
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsWastefulness and showing off, particularly at iftar (Ramadan fast-breaking dinner) tents, goes against the spirit of the holy month of Ramadan, the head of the Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Mehmet Görmez, warned yesterday at a press conference.
Expressing concern about the rapid commercialization of the holy month, Görmez called for a re-evaluation of the Islamic values behind this month of fasting. “It has become a pressing issue that Ramadan has become some kind of festival or carnival in which the desire to sho off the prestige of different social classes translates into wasteful ‘iftar’ tables that contradict the main tradition of giving that is behind this month. The joy of Ramadan should not be converted to pretension and gimmickry,” said Görmez. In recent years, the iftar experience in hotels and institutions in large cities has become a source of unnecessary splendor and waste, Görmez said. The initially well-intentioned iftar tents, aimed at providing people in need or traveling with a simple soup to break their fast, should not become a propaganda tool for public service organizations, he said. For more than a decade, it has become a widespread practice for municipalities in Turkey to run large iftar tents set up in popular public squares to provide fast-breaking meals. Friday marks the beginning of the holy month, during which observant Muslims fast between dawn and sunset for 30 days.