Al Sharq Gazetesi Muhabiri Yara Abu Shaar'ın Büyükelçi Ahmet Demirok'un Eşi Arzu Demirok'la Gerçekleştirdiği Mülakatın İngilizce Metni
Many years passed and the position of the Sultan of the months remains in the hearts of the Turkish Muslims firm without changing," these words were expressed by the wife of the Turkish Ambassador in Doha, Mrs. Arzu Demirok about the advent of the holy month of Ramadan in Turkey. She said that the atmosphere of joy in this holy month makes it almost like a festival every year, the streets and regions of the Turkish cities become decorated with colorful lights welcoming "Welcome Ramadan".
Demirok stressed in an interview with "Al Sharq" on the importance of Ramadan and its virtues, saying: "This month has great meanings perceived by Muslims in Turkey and thanks to God because Islam has kept in its strong presence among the Turkish people. Ramadan is the best months in Islam, a time where the Muslims increase their link with God. Fasting in Ramadan trains us on patience and self-control and charity to others, so we care to bless our souls away from the noise of life and everyday activities."
Demirok pointed out that the Turkish cities are characterized in Ramadan by a religious sense reflected in aspects of daily life, where mosques chant the Quran and sing the religious songs; also the food tables spread for the poor and the passers-by, noting that the atmosphere of Ramadan promotes social networking and deepen the feelings of love, compassion and solidarity between Muslims.
She added: "The Turkish Muslims please by the advent of this holy month preparing for it even before weeks, and the housewives equip and arrange their homes and prepare the most delicious dishes. We also open our doors to welcome everyone, so the exchange of visits is not limited to relatives, but also friends and neighbors, especially the poor. Charity also increases in these blessed days," adding: "In Ramadan tents, all sit together at the same table as all are equal and there is no difference between rich or poor."
Demirok noted that mixing of the Ramadan spirituality atmosphere with the originality and diversity of the Turkish culture draw a unique paint expressed by the habits of the Turkish society and its traditions in this month, such as "Al Mesahharati" who roams the streets and neighborhoods of Istanbul in the early morning beating his drum and singing the Ramadanian phrases, in addition to the "Arajuz performances" which is one of the oldest theater folk arts for kids in the history of the Turkish culture, which tells traditional tales by humor and attractive way. Demirok clarified that the "Arajuz" was called before as "shadow art", because it depends on dolls moved by a stick behind a white cloth curtain highlighting on them in a way the viewers can see its imagination.
She pointed out that talking about the celebration manifestations in this holy month and Ramadan rituals in the Turkish family, is not complete without the Turkish cuisine, which is filled with the past sense and the originality of the history, pointing out Ramadan customs of the Turkish Muslims and their rituals related to suhoor and Iftar, saying: "The Turkish Table is full of the best dishes and flavors, and is characterized by its diversity and its dependence on meat mainly; as the grilled dishes is from the basic ingredients of the Turkish table in Ramadan, in addition to the fruit platter and the hot soup."
Demirok showed that Muslims in Turkey usually eat “Börek" bread in suhoor meal in addition to vegetables spaghetti dish, raisins dessert and dried apricots. As for Iftar meal, they often start with cold refreshments, dates, olives, jam and cheese, then lentils soup, or yogurt with mint, then they start eating the diverse food which are famous in the Turkish table such as kebab, "Börek", one of the pastry types that is stuffed with meat or cheese, Pide bread, Pastrami and sucuk and others... then ending their Iftar by Kadayif and "Ğüllaç" or baklava for dessert.
Demirok said that some Muslims in Turkey take just a drink of water and few dates before going to the mosque for Maghreb prayer before continuing their Iftar, while others prefer to complete their Iftar before heading to the mosque.
She pointed out to what they considered one of the most prominent features of Ramadan month, a large turnout of Muslims for Taraweeh prayers, noting that the Turkish cities host a number of ancient historic mosques dating back to the Ottoman era, which are unique by their elaborate art and architectural art indicating to the richness of Islamic civilization; including "Sultan" mosque which is filled every day of Ramadan by fasting persons waiting Iftar time, “Baize” Mosque in the center of Istanbul's old city which is decorated by Ramadan tents and charity banquets, and “Süleymaniye" mosque which is one of the most beautiful mosques that have been built during the Ottoman era, and other mosques in Turkey which are rooted deep in history.
The Turkish ambassador's wife in Doha, Mrs. Arzu Demirok expressed her best congratulations and blessings on the occasion of the advent of this holy month, hoping from God to bring back blessings and well to the Islamic nation."
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