A charity run by Turkey’s top religious authority will reach out to nearly 20 million people across the world during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ihsan Acik, the second chairman of the board of trustees of the Turkiye Diyanet Foundation (TDV), said they will slaughter sacrificial animals and deliver meat across Turkey, as well as to 287 regions in 75 countries.

“Our nation trusts our foundation and donates their sacrificial animals to us. We will slaughter the animals entrusted to us at home [Turkey] and abroad in accordance with Islamic principals and deliver them to those in need,” he said.

The charity saw a rise of 25% to 30% in donations this year compared to the previous years, Acik said, adding this was mostly due to the coronavirus pandemic with people choosing to donate to charities rather than performing the ritual in their personal capacity.

On Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the globe who can afford to sacrifice an animal do so and distribute most of the meat to relatives, neighbors and the needy.

Unity and solidarity

“As part of the festivities of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, this year, we aim to reach the oppressed, needy, and asylum seeker brothers at home and abroad,” he added.

Referring to the coronavirus restrictions, Acik said the Turkish nation has always been able to overcome the difficult days with unity and solidarity.

“Hopefully, we will overcome the difficulties caused by the pandemic in this way.”

Acik said that the non-governmental organizations have established a “bridge between the giving hands and needy” during the novel coronavirus outbreak by determining the needs of people.

While distributing meat, the people above 65 years old, jobless or people with limited income will be the priority of TDV, he said.

The foundation determined 975 Turkish liras (around $140) for animas to be slaughtered in Turkey, and 825 Turkish liras (around $120) for animals to be slaughtered abroad.

Those who want to donate can apply to over 1,000 branches of TDV in Turkey, as well as contact the counselors, attache’s offices, and religious officials abroad.

Established in 1975, TDV is a voluntary organization that works in a wide range of fields spanning from education, culture, social, religious services to international aid activities with its 1,003 branches in 149 different countries around the world.

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