Turkish PM moves to adjust noon break for Friday prayer

Ahmet Davutoglu says new rules will allow public-sector workers to observe Friday prayers without disrupting work schedules

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Prime Minister and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Ahmet Davutoglu delivers a speech during an AK Party group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara, Turkey on January 5, 2016.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced that the government will regulate staff breaks at public institutions to allow for Friday Islamic prayer times.

"We have prepared a draft circular letter to arrange working hours on Friday so as not to hamper freedom of worship," Davutoglu told a ruling Justice and Development Party group meeting at the Turkish parliament on Tuesday.

Davutoglu said that the arrangement will enable public officials to easily perform their Friday prayers without any disruption to full-time work.

Friday prayers are a requirement for Muslim men and must be performed every week in a mosque; prayers usually last for around 30 minutes. The vast majority of Turkey’s population is Muslim.

According to current regulations the noontime break generally starts at 12.00 and ends at 13.00 at public institutions. Some provide a noon break between 12.30 and 13.30.

Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs has set the call for Friday prayer at 12.00 Turkish time during winter while it is recited at 13.00 Turkish time during summer.