Consummate services contributed to successful Haj season: Turkish CG


Saudi Gazette

— Consummate and exemplary services provided by the Turkish government in serving and educating its pilgrims before their travel to Saudi Arabia and their stay in the country greatly contributed to the successful Haj season, Turkish Consul General in Jeddah Dr. Akif Menevse has said.

“The Turkish General Presidency for Religious Affairs, which is considered the most important official body in this field, organizes Haj and Umrah services in Turkey, which operates its services in coordination with the Ministry of Haj in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The General Presidency for Religious Affairs uses 60% of the share of Haj granted by Saudi Arabia to Turkey, while private companies use 40% of it. In addition, the General Presidency for Religious Affairs is responsible for all activities of guidance of the Turkish pilgrims before they arrive in the Kingdom. It works to reach all the Turkish pilgrims in the country, and also teach pilgrims the teachings of Haj and Umrah through mufti, preachers, experts and imams,” Menevse said.

“A total of 83,182 pilgrims — 52,790 through the presidency and 30,392 through the Haj and Umrah companies — were in the Kingdom. In addition, there were 6,650 Turkish pilgrims coming from European countries. The average age of a Turkish pilgrim this year was 56 years. Out of the total, 56% of the pilgrims were women and 44% men. All our wounded veterans and the families of the martyrs who have requested for pilgrimage have come and performed Haj.”

On the coordination between the Turkish government and Saudi Arabia to serve the pilgrims, the consul general said the coordination went within the framework of the Haj Protocol and the Saudi Ministry of Haj. In addition, units such as the syndicate and the office of the agents held specific meetings in the locations for more coordination.

Menevse said that approximately 4,026 employees, excluding medical care personnel, were employed to provide all kinds of services needed by Turkish pilgrims. The Turkish pilgrims were accommodated in Makkah in 5 regions distributed over 67 hotels, while in Madinah they were accommodated in 22 hotels.

The average number of each group is 200 pilgrims. Each group had a leader who worked in coordination with the allocated staff.

In addition, health services were provided in hotels and areas where pilgrims stayed, through physicians from all health specialties in both temporary Turkish hospitals in Madina and Makkah.

“We thank Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the Saudi government for all the efforts and keenness to develop and improve the level of services in order to facilitate the performance of their rites and for the completion of the expansion project at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque and their keenness on the safety and security of pilgrims,” Menevse concluded.