The president of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, Ali Erbaş attended the opening of a Quran course and gave a speech there on Sunday in Kocaeli province.
"God rest our soldiers who have become the martyr. I wish our veterans a quick recovery. They are fighting there and we open Quran courses here. They continue jihad there and we do here. May Allah accept the jihad of all of us," said Erbaş, speaking on Afrin offensive.
Ali Erbaş had sent a message to all religious officials across the country to hold the special prayers for the victory of the Turkish AKP government's incursion in Afrin.
"The Surah Conquest [Surah al-Fath] will be cited during the special sessions to pray for the victory of our heroic security forces, who have launched an operation against terrorist groups that threaten our nation and our peace," Erbaş had said in a written order.
Diyanet operates under the Office of the Prime Minister.
Erbaş is not the only official who calls Afrin operation as 'jihad.' Turkish Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman said on Jan. 26 that they are in jihad as Turkish armed forces conduct an operation towards Afrin dubbed "Operation Olive Branch."
"Now we are in Afrin. We are a great country. There is no progress without jihad. You cannot stand upright without it", Kahraman had said.