Home Page >> TURKEY 9 September 2015, Wednesday 09:59
Symbols and music 'specific to religions' at yoga centres being banned
According to a report in Hurriyet Daily News today, having religious symbols and playing music specific to various religions at yoga centers has been banned according to a directive released by the Sports for Everyone Federation of Turkey (HİS), with officials arguing they aimed to take measures against missionary activities with the directive.

Consequently, having Buddha sculptures and mantra symbols as well as the playing of religious music and burning of incense can be considered violations which lead to the closure of these centers. 

Yoga trainers have reacted against the instruction, which included the phrase “different religions,” underlining yoga cannot be considered a religion and the use of symbols was natural.

According to HİS Technical Board head Süleyman Gönülateş, however, the instruction is a routine arrangement and religion should not be a part of sports. The instruction bans all kinds of religious symbols, including Islamic symbols, Gönülateş said. 

This is the first time in Turkey that a specification and criteria has been drafted for yoga centers, Gönülateş said, suggesting they have taken measures against missionary work. 

There should be no religious symbols at yoga centers, likewise at all sports centers, he said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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