Turkish ‘tattoo fatwa’ urges inked Muslims to repent

Erdoğan reportedly rebuked a young footballer over his tattoos last year

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In its most recent religious edict, or fatwa, the top Turkish religious authority called on Muslims with tattoos to repent if they are unable to remove their ink, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported Thursday.

“A person who has tattoo on his/her body should erase it, if possible. He/she should repent to God if the tattoo cannot be erased,” the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) shas aid the Diyanet in a response to the question, according to the Turkish news outlet.


However, the authority noted that while taboo, tattoos would “not prevent making ablutions,” a self-cleaning process Muslims go through before prayer.

This follows a government decree issued on Sept. 27, 2014 in which tattoos were also banned from dress code in public schools, the Hurriyet reported.

Students “are to be present in schools with their faces visible; cannot use scarves, berets, hats, bags or similar materials that feature political symbols, pictures or writings; cannot dye their hair, cannot have tattoos or make-up; cannot have piercings and cannot have moustaches or beards,” the regulations read, as published in the country’s Official Gazette.

The regulation came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly rebuked a young footballer over his tattoos in July 2014.

“What are these tattoos? Why do you harm your body like that?” said the controversial president, who has being accused of leading a conservative agenda in secular country.

““Don’t be fooled by foreigners. God forbid, it could even give you skin cancer in the future,” Erdogan reportedly told the 18-year-old player.

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