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Turkish Officials: ‘Politicizing Hajj is Unacceptable…We Do Not Share Iran’s Vision’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Mina- A senior Turkish official said that his country appreciates Saudi Arabia’s perfect organization for Hajj rituals and its professional ability to manage huge crowds on holy sites, confirming that Saudi equipment are enough for four million Pilgrims, not only two millions.

The Turkish official criticized Iranian comments that Saudi Arabia is not able to organize Hajj season, saying that Turkey does not share this vision and asking not to mix politics with religion.

Turkish Deputy Minister of Environment and Urbanization Mehmet Ceylan, who was among the Turkish Hajj delegation, confirmed that “organizing this huge number of crowds is not an easy task,and Saudi Arabia, due to its long experience, is making improvements annually.”

“I performed Hajj five years ago,” he said, “and after this period I can notice massive changes in the infrastructure of the holy sites, such as roads, bridges and trains. Billions of riyals were spent to do these changes. Therefore, we cannot but thank the Kingdom for exerting these efforts and providing all these services for pilgrims.”

Regarding the failed coup, Ceylan said that this attempt showed the unity of the Turkish people. He also thanked Saudi Arabia, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who directly called President Erdogan offering the Kingdom’s support.

Moreover, Mayor of Urfa Celalettin Güvenç described Saudi Arabia’s organization for this Year’s Hajj as “amazing”, noting that security measures taken to protect this mass of pilgrims were excellent.

Güvenç, who performed Hajj for the first time, thanked Saudi Arabia for all what it has provided for pilgrims who were overwhelmed by the services. He expressed his appreciation for what the kingdom bears every year to manage this massive crowd, adding that it succeeded amazingly in its management.

Urfa’s Mayor considered that rivals do not wish to see this success, as Muslims gather peacefully every year.

For his part, Turkish Consul General in Jeddah Fikret Özer said that everybody is content and the procedures in the airport and holy sites were easy and performed in a record time.