Turkey’s religious body says New Year celebrations are “cultural corruption”
Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has declared New Year celebrations as a “cultural corruption” in its Friday prayer’s sermon text.
“We live in a time when moral values and traditions have begun to deteriorate and a cultural alienation is rapidly increasing. One of these cultural corruptions is New Year celebrations,” the official state institution regulating the role of Islam in the country said.
“The entertainments held under the name of New Year's Eve, the symbolic figures used in these entertainments and cutting pine trees have nothing to do with our history and culture,” it said in the text send to all mosques around Turkey to be read simultaneously.
Islamist circles in Turkey have long been angered by the popularity of New Year celebrations, putting an upmost effort to discourage them by relating with Christianity.
In previous years, the country has witnessed several protests targeting the festive and its symbols.
In several occasions, protesters have stabbed inflated Santa Clauses or even performed so-called circumcisions on them.
According to the directorate’s sermon text, alcohol which is banned in Islam is the mother of all evils, and gambling, destroys families and causes murders.
“Lottery, which is a type of gambling is also forbidden [Haram] and sinful in our religion”, it said.