Turkmen pilgrims to leave on free flight for Mecca
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Nov. 2 / Trend H. Hasanov /
Roughly 188 pilgrims will leave Turkmenistan on a special flight for the Muslim holy places of Mecca and Medina, the Turkmen Presidential Council for Religion told Trend today.
The free roundtrip flight will be organized by Turkmen Airlines based on a presidential decree. The return flight is scheduled for Nov. 22.
The Turkmen people profess Sunni Islam.
The government has sponsored the transportation of pilgrims to Mecca since 2001. After taking office in 2007, the president himself left for Saudi Arabia to undertake the pilgrimage.