Turkey is determined to continue to ensure stability in the region, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his message marking Qurban Bayram, also known as Eid al-Adha, on Thursday.
"We praise Allah, who lets us observe another Qurban Bayram. I pray to Allah that these sacred days will lead to auspicious results for our nation, the Islamic world and all of humanity," he said.
"Unfortunately, this year we observe Qurban Bayram with grief as hajj will be fulfilled in a limited manner due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully, next year, millions of Muslims will once again take to the Holy Kaaba and sacred lands with love, enthusiasm and joy," the president said.
Turkey is set to observe the religious festival from Friday to Monday.
Praising Turkey's fight against the coronavirus, Erdoğan said that Turkey successfully managed the pandemic and the country is "admired by the entire world."
"With the normalization process (which began on June 1), life in almost all sectors outside of tourism has gotten into a rhythm approaching the pre-pandemic period level," the president said.
"As part of the Social Protection Shield, we have put an unrequited fund of nearly TL 26 billion ($3.7 billion) at the disposal of our nation," he said, adding that Turkey has implemented a large number of support programs to maintain employment.
"Besides the short-time working allowance, we extended the time of cash support payments provided to our workers who have lost their jobs or been sent to unpaid leave," Erdoğan said.
Turkey has so far confirmed 228,924 cases of the coronavirus, 212,557 of which have recovered.
“We are determined to make sure that our struggle in the vast area from Iraq to Syria and Libya ends up in victory for our country and our friends and brothers and sisters in these countries,” Erdoğan further said in his televised Qurban Bayram message. He continued by saying that Turkey will also continue to defend its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean.
The president said Turkey will also continue to stand beside the oppressed people, regardless of their religion, ethnicity or culture.
Also touching on the recent reversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Erdoğan said Turkey will not hesitate to exercise its sovereign rights.
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