Top Turkish officials released messages Monday on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid-al Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice. 

In his message marking the holiday, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the “Turkish Armed Forces continue their struggle with determination against all kinds of risks, threats and dangers for the security of our homeland, our blue homeland, our skies and our 84 million citizens in a period in which we are fighting the most comprehensive and intense struggle in the history of our Republic.”

Akar also congratulated members of the Turkish army on the occasion of the holiday, who carry out their duties with great heroism and self-sacrifice in difficult conditions both at home and across borders.

“I congratulate the Eid al-Adha of all our citizens, from artists to operators, from managers to employees, with the hope of moving forward together from the difficulties we are leaving behind towards new goals, new records and new meetings full of art,” Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said in a message.

“We are happy to reach another holiday in health, peace and well-being. Holidays, in which our bonds of friendship and brotherhood are strengthened, are exceptional days when the feeling of being ‘us’ comes to the fore, and love and respect are reinforced,” Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu said in a message.

The head of Turkey’s top religious body Diyanet, Ali Erbas, said Eid al-Adha should be known as an opportunity to reinforce unity and solidarity and to revive the beauty of faith, culture and civilization.

“Worship of sacrifice is an exceptional ritual that is the symbol of submission to Allah, the most concrete manifestation of obedience and loyalty to Him, which will bring us closer to our Lord and lead us to goodness,” Erbas said.

On Eid al-Adha, one of the two main Muslim holidays, people who can afford to slaughter an animal do so and distribute most of the meat to the needy, neighbors and relatives.

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