"We would hide the Holy Qur'an and go to the course"
Elderly women who stated that they could not learn the Qur'an because it was forbidden to teach and learn during their young age and were not provided opportunities, are happy now to learn the great words of Allah.
During the single-party period, the Qur'an was officially banned to teach and learn for 24 years in Turkiye.
Those who read Arabic text and adhan readers were sent to prisons while hundreds of mosques were sold and thousands of madrasahs were closed with a law enacted in 1936.
For years, people have been deprived of learning their own religion and the holy book, the Qur'an.
Elderly women, who could not learn the Holy Qur'an because it was banned to learn and teach during their young age, and who were not given opportunities, are happy now to learn the great words of Allah, which remained as an unfulfilled desire for them.
Because of the pressure exposed during the single-party period, old women who could not find the opportunity to learn the Holy Quran and dream of the day where they can study the Quran for years, attend the course opened in Gaziantep for women and learn the Holy Quran.
The love for the Holy Qur'an of elderly women forms a picture that is worth seeing, whom some are over 70 years old.
Elderly women, who show efforts to learn the Holy Qur'an, are happy to take lessons with children at the age of their grandchildren.
Elderly women who expressed to ILKHA's correspondent that learning the Qur'an makes them very happy, noting that learning is not based on age, said when people of all ages perseveres, the Qur'an can be learned.
"When we were children, we were hiding Al-Qur'an under our armpits while we were going to the Qur'an course," said 73-years-old Döndü Yılmaz.
The houses that were given Qur'an lessons were raided and the Qur'an in the houses were burned on the fire, she added.
"They wouldn't give us a chance to learn the Qur'an. Qur'an was banned that time," she said.
Expressing that she is very happy to learn the Qur'an, Yılmaz wished that everyone learn the words of Allah. "Reading Qur'an is a great feeling and I will continue reading it until I die. May Allah do not separate us from the Qur'an."
Despite her old age, Yılmaz underlined that she never gets tired. "If you connect your heart to the Holy Qur'an, Allah will increase your strength and power."
Fatma Hakkoymaz, another elderly woman learning Qur'an at the age of 70, noted that not learning Qur'an has remained as an unfulfilled desire for her.
"I feel peace as I read the Quran"
"May Allah be pleased with those who teach us the Qur'an and those who paved the way to learn the Qur'an," said Hakkoymaz while added that she feels peace when she reads the Holy Qur'an.
"I did not know any of the letters of the Qur'an. But praise be to Allah, I came to this course and learned the Qur'an. Those who do not read the Qur'an will regret it in this world. Our Prophet [PBUH] says: 'Learn from the cradle to the grave'," she said.
"As a child, we could not learn the Quran due to the ban"
Nuriye Azgın, another course attendee who is 55-years old, said it was forbidden to learn Al-Qur'an. "I started to learn Qur'an after my 50 age. Learning Qur'an was forbidden before."
Underlining that reading the Qur'an was kind of a cure to her illness, Nuriye Azgın said: "I had an illness, which I couldn't find any cure despite I applied many hospitals. My friends directed me here and now I am freed from that illness."
Nuriye underscored that she found peace in the Qur'an Course. "I'm bored at home during the summer vacation when the course is closed. But when I come to the course, I feel joy. I feel so much comfortable."
"People would learn the Quran secretly"
60-year-old Gülce Ayaz said that people would learn the Quran secretly in that period. "I have been longing to learn the Qur'an since I was a child, but I did not have a chance. Thanks to Allah thousands of times, we learned the Qur'an after I have attended this course."
Gülce Ayaz expressed that she feels so peaceful when she reads a verse from the Qur'an. "There were no opportunities in our childhood to learn Qur'an. People would learn the Qur'an secretly. But thanks to Allah, we are reading the Qur'an openly." (İbrahim Koçyiğit - ILKHA)