Hajj quotas for Turks have been increased according to a protocol signed between the Office of the President of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and the Hajj and Umrah Ministry of Saudi Arabia. This year the quota has been increased from 58 thousand 200 Hajis to 80 thousand according to the protocol.
2017 Hajj protocol signed
President of Diyanet Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez who is visiting Jeddah signed the 2017 Hajj Protocol with Saudi Arabian Hajj and Umrah Minister Dr. Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Benten. Every year the leading religious officials of Turkey and Saudi Arabia get together in Jeddah to sign the Hajj protocol. Prior to the signing President of Diyanet Mehmet Görmez and an accompanying high powered delegation met with the Saudi team led by Minister Dr. Benten. The sides reviewed the past 2016 Hajj season and details of the prospective 2017 season and President of Diyanet Görmez made some formal requests from the host minister. Minister Dr. Benten accepted the requests saying the Hajj campaign organized by Diyanet of Turkey was a successful organization that should set an example to others.
Hajj quotes to increase
President of Diyanet Görmez pointed out that the population of Turkey has now reached 80 million and thus the quotas determined according to one thousandth of the population should be revised. The request was accepted by the Saudi authorities. According to the new calculation the number of Hajis that was 59 thousand 200 will be increased by 20 thousand 800 to reach 80 thousand.
Lots for prospective Hajis to be drawn on Feb.23
The preliminary Hajj registration applications were held between December 28, 2016 and January 6, 2017. Citizens who had already registered will be expected to reregister between January 9 and 31, 2017. On February 23 the Hajj and Umrah Directorate of Diyanet will hold a lot drawing to determine the lucky 80 thousand Hajis to go on the Hajj voyage.
Problems of female Hajis discussed
Besides the increase in the quotas President of Diyanet Görmez also discussed the problems that female Hajis suffer in Mecca and Medina. President of Diyanet Görmez drew attention to the plight of female Hajis who have to wait for a long time at the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina and asked the Saudi authorities to end this application.
Hospital of Diyanet will also serve Hajis from Central Asia and the Balkan countries
President of Diyanet Görmez drew attention that Diyanet had set up two hospitals to serve Hajis from Turkey and Europe and informed the Saudi officials that the hospitals will also serve Hajis from Central Asia and the Balkan countries in the 2017 Hajj season.
Report for 2017 Hajj season prepared
The Office of the President of Diyanet which has been going to pains to allow Turkish Hajis to travel to Mecca and Medina with ease has also prepared a report for the Saudi authorities to make the 2017 Hajj season successful. The report was handed over to the Saudi officials.
Meanwhile Saudi Hajj officials said the expansion work around the Kaaba is about to be completed in certain areas and has been concluded in some areas thus this gave them the opportunity to increase the quotas for Turkey.