Rajan Zed criticizes Turkey’s ban on sacred symbols at Yoga centers


By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Istanbul: Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today criticized the banning of sacred symbols at Yoga centers by the Turkey government.

Last month, Turkey officials had banned all religious symbols and music from Yoga centers operating in the country. As a result, playing religious music or sacred chants, exhibiting sacred symbols, keeping sacred statues, or burning incenses were prohibited.

The directive to ban religious symbols was prepared by the Sports for Everyone Federation of Turkey (HİS) and was then passed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Hürriyet daily had quoted Süleyman Gönülateş, the Technical Board head of HIS as saying: “At the drafting stage, the opinions of yoga trainers were sought. We mean all religions, including Islam with the phrase ‘different religions.’ When symbols belonging to religions enter sports centers, then missionary work and politics begins. If yoga is a sport, then it should have nothing in it which is related to religion. We don’t want to see explicit symbols such as crosses at sports centers.”

Criticizing this ban, Zed described it as “unnecessary obstruction and burdensome on Yoga in Turkey.”

He noted that Yoga was a mental and physical discipline by means of which the human-soul (jivatman) is united with the universal-soul (parmatman).

Urging Turkey to reconsider its decision, Zed added that Yoga was the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche and attempts at regulating it were kind of an infringement.