The head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, who is on an official visit to Saudi Arabia, has urged all Muslims to pray for the people of Syria, who have been on the receiving end of a brutal crackdown by the country’s Baath regime for almost a year.
Professor Mehmet Görmez went to Saudi Arabia earlier this week for official talks, where he met with Sami Angawi, the director of the Mecca Research Center. Following their meeting, the two agreed to have close to 5,000 photos on Mecca and Medina that belong to Angawi’s personal collection exhibited in İstanbul in the next few months. In official meetings on cooperation between Turkish and Saudi institutions on the exchange of cultural and religious events, Görmez touched upon hot topics in international affairs. In this regard, he issued a call on all Muslims around the world to stand by the Syrian people in a message on Twitter he posted from Medina, the second holiest city of the Islamic world.
“I salute all Muslims from the home of our beloved Prophet, the best of creation. ‘Do not oppress people because oppression brings about darkness on the Day of Judgment’,” Görmez said, calling on Muslims to pray for the children, the innocent and the oppressed who have been massacred by the Syrian regime in Homs over the past three weeks.
With the situation worsening in Syria, the US, the UN, the Arab League and many other countries, including Syria’s neighbor Turkey, held a “Friends of Syria” group meeting in Tunisia to ratchet up pressure on Syria, aiming to secure the opening up of a humanitarian corridor inside the country for civilians and the injured, all of whom have suffered severely from the lack of enough medical staff in predominantly Sunni cities.