Top religious body to send kids on Umrah

Top religious body to send kids on Umrah

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Top religious body to send kids on Umrah

People send relatives off to the Umrah, organized by an Ankara municipality. AA photo

Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs has organized an Umrah visit to Mecca for elementary and high school students during the semester break.

The Directorate will take a total of 10,461 people on the Umrah trip, 2,533 of whom will be students. The rest will be made up of family members and teachers. 

Ergün Yücel, the head of the Hajj and Umrah Services branch of the directorate, said interest in the trip was growing and had led to an increase in the quota. 

“We were planning to send 5,000 people, including teachers, students and their families. But after we announced the trip, the quota was filled in a very short time. As a result, we increased the quota by a further 5,000. And this quota is full now, too,” Yücel said. 

The visit is planned as a 10-day trip with five days in Mecca and five days in Medina. Groups will start departing between Jan. 24 and 28, and the returns will be completed on Feb. 4. Each person will pay 760 euros for the trip. 

The students, aged between 13 and 27, will stay in three-person rooms, Yücel said. “This is a big operation. We want to help students visit sacred lands with their families, as there is a great demand for this,” he added. 

The project is in its third year and numbers are doubling every year, according to Yücel, who said it started with 2,600 people in 2012, rising to 5,500 in 2013, and over 10,000 this year.