Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya posted a video message of celebration for the Festival of Sacrifice.
Governor Yerlikaya said necessary measures had been taken for the people to have a healthy and safe festival and requested citizens to observe hygiene, distancing and mask use measures while exchanging festival greetings.
In his message, Governor Yerlikaya stated as follows:
"Dear Istanbulites, my dear fellow citizens,
We're happy to reach the Holy Festival of Sacrifice. I congratulate your festival and greet you sincerely with love and respect.
We had a sad Ramadan Festival. With our elders, children, all people we love...
We had to exchange festival greetings at home. We were not used to it, it was hard but nevertheless we had the festival as a festival.
We have fought a pandemic and managed to reach a controlled life, having many difficulties. Hopefully, this Festival of Sacrifice will be the first and the last festival of our controlled life.
In this festival, our hearts will embrace each other, our eyes will embrace each other, our hearts will be one too...we will exchange festival greetings.
There're paths from heart to heart, eye to eye. We'll not physically embrace each other, our hearts will embrace each other.
Hygiene, mask use, distancing...We will not compromise on these.
In this festival, thank God, we have come together with our mosques.
Hagia Sophia Mosque was opened before the festival. Its calls to prayer echoed throughout the world like news of a festival. It has been away from prayers and festivals for 86 years. It has come together with prayers and festivals. Opening of Hagia Sophia Mosque is the work of great patience. Hopefully, better festivals will no doubt be the work of patience we'll show together.
We've taken necessary measures to enjoy the festival in accordance with its soul, our traditions and civilization.
Our institutions of the governorate will continue their audits and be on duty throughout the festival...
We request you to perform your sacrifice worship by observing the rules of hygiene, mask use and distancing pursuant to the measures against the pandemic.
I wish that the Festival of Sacrifice brings health, peace and serenity to our city, country, world of Islam and the entire world.
I congratulate the festival of all our fellow citizens, particularly our honorable families of martyrs and our gallant veterans.
I hope we'll have many more festivals with health, happiness and peace...
Take care of yourselves".