Mosques to offer English sermons for foreigners
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
The Religious Affairs Director Mehmet Görmez is seen giving a sermon. AA photoWork has begun to prepare the way for sermons to be preached in English in some historic mosques.
The Religious Affairs Director Professor Mehmet Görmez, who recently visited Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, said they were also looking to employ specialist guides in mosques most popular among tourists and would soon open an exam for applicants interested in one of the 250 positions. Discussing the problems facing tour guides in some historical places like Sultanahmet Mosque, Görmez said, “Over 20,000 tourists visit Istanbul’s mosques a day. They are not necessarily so curious about the historical features of buildings as the religious dimension. They want to learn what ‘mihrab’ means, what ‘minbar’ means and why Muslims perform prayer five times a day.”
He said tour guides did a very good job in relation to explaining the structural features of historical buildings, but tourists also asked for religious guides. “This is why we need 250 specialist mosque guides who we plan to locate through an exam. They should know at least two foreign languages.”
Görmez said thousands of foreign Muslims performed prayer every Friday at Sultanahmet Mosque. “We want to work to give a short summary of sermons in English in some mosques. We do the same thing in Germany and Australia’s mosques; we give a short summary of sermons in German and English languages. A similar thing is also planned for Turkey.”