Turkish union chief urges call to prayer from moon

As Turkey plots 2023 moon landing, union leader urges Muslim call to prayer from space
2 min read
11 February, 2021
The 'gift of divine peace' must be recited on the moon and in space, the head of a Turkish religious workers' union has said.
President Erdogan has pledged to send a Turkish citizen into space [Getty]
The chief of a Turkish civil servants' union has called for the Islamic call to prayer to be broadcast from space as part of newly announced plans to land on the moon by 2023.

"Let us ensure that the "adhan" [call to prayer] is recited both on the moon and in space, apart from our world," Nuri Unal was quoted as saying by the ANKA news agency. 

Unal heads the Vakif-Sen union of workers in Turkey's Religious Affairs ministry, which issues religious edicts and oversees the country's more than 80,000 mosques.

"The adhan is a gift of divine peace to the hearts of all people," Unal said shortly after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled the country's extra-terrestrial ambitions on Wednesday.

"Let's make this a historic moment. Let's crown the scientific success like this [with the adhan]," he added.

Turkey's leader unveiled plans for a hard moon landing by 2023 and a soft moon landing by 2026 on Wednesday. A hard landing refers to a spacecraft intentionally crashing on the moon.

President Erdogan underlined several other main goals, including sending the first Turkish citizen into space on a scientific mission and landing an astronaut on the moon.

Turkey has conducted other space launches, putting reconnaissance and communication satellites into orbit. 

Last month it sent the Turksat 5A satellite into orbit from a launch site in the US, in cooperation with Elon Musk's SpaceX.

"Our feet will be on earth but our eyes will be in space. Our roots will be on earth, our branches will be up in the sky," Erdogan said.

His announcement came shortly after the UAE announced that its Hope probe had successfully entered Mars' orbit, making it the Arab world's first interplanetary mission.

Abu Dhabi and Ankara are major regional rivals.

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