Summer Quran courses have started across Türkiye, marking the beginning of religious education coupled with enriching activities for children during the school holidays. This year, the courses started on July 1, 2024, aiming not only to teach the Quran but also to impart essential religious knowledge and offer other engaging activities.

During the opening ceremony of the summer Quran courses at Atakum Art Center in Samsun northern Türkiye, Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) head Ali Erbaş announced that the courses will commence across 81 provinces, 922 districts, 90,000 mosques and approximately 30,000 Quran courses.

Sedide Akbulut, from Türkiye’s Diyanet, highlighted that besides Quranic studies, the courses include diverse activities such as sports training, kitchen workshops, art sessions and even swimming lessons. These initiatives are designed to provide a holistic learning experience for over 2.4 million students, surpassing last year’s participation numbers.

“It should not be considered only as teaching the Quran. We will give basic religious information. The aims are to teach children how to perform ablution, instill the love of Allah and the prophet, to gain essential information about the life of our prophet and to familiarize children with religious concepts,” Akbulut stated.

In Istanbul, there was significant interest in the courses. At Pendik Hazreti Ömer Mosque, special activity areas were set up for children, and philanthropists provided food during breaks. Muezzin trustee Ibrahim Aslan expressed that children will learn the holy Quran while having fun.

In preparation for the courses, mosques like the Halid Bin Velid Mosque in Siirt, southeastern Türkiye underwent preparations. Imam Musa Doğrusever and muezzin Hüseyin Şen led efforts to refurbish the mosque, ensuring a welcoming environment with new paint and improved facilities. Their efforts also extended to creating a “Children’s Market” within the mosque grounds, offering treats to promote a positive association with the place of worship.

In Manisa western Türkiye, the opening program was organized by the Provincial Mufti’s Office at the 501-year-old Sultan Mosque. Deputy Mufti Mehmet Ceyhan and District Mufti İsmail Temür attended the ceremony. The courses will run from July 1 to Aug. 16, with a theme of “Come, the Mosques are Beautiful with You” (“Haydi Koş Gel Camiler Seninle Güzel”), offering 20 hours of weekly education. Over 40,000 students are registered in Manisa, where courses will be held in 378 Quran courses and 1,761 mosques.

In Rize northeast Türkiye, the Provincial Mufti’s Office organized the opening ceremony at Rize Gülbahar District Central Mosque. Provincial Mufti Naci Çakmakçı announced that the courses would continue until Aug. 16, combining Quranic education with social activities and sports, thanks to the support of the Provincial Directorate of Youth and Sports.

In Ordu northern Türkiye, the opening was held at Ulu Mosque in Bahçelievler Neighbourhood, Altınordu district. Provincial Mufti İsmail Çiçek highlighted the wide reach of the courses, aiming to surpass last year’s participation of 34,571 students. The courses will run for seven weeks, with boarding options available in two four-week periods.

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