President Berdimuhamedov instructed to double the number of pilgrims, sent for state funds to perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia and back, and gave the task to organize flights for other believers who want to perform this rite.
That is, the group of Turkmen followers of Islam, annually with the assistance of the state making a pilgrimage to Muslim shrines in Mecca and Medina, will be increased from 160 people to 380. According to the presidential order, Turkmen airlines provide free transportation in both directions.
In addition, proceeding from the statement of the head of state, more multifold possibilities will be provided at the expense of the national air carrier in terms of flights of pilgrims for their own fee.
Berdimuhamedov announced his decision on this at a government meeting, held on Friday, after the report of the country’s Prosecutor General on the revealed facts of corruption among officials in the mufti’s office of Turkmenistan and state structures supervising interaction with religious public organizations.
“Enterprising” records managers in the religious sphere set up a “business” on Hajj, but illegal actions were soon suppressed by law-enforcement agencies.
According to the Constitution of Turkmenistan, the state guarantees freedom of religion and belief and their equality before the law.