Turkey's top religious body issues lottery fatwa ahead of New Year jackpot

Turkey’s top religious body has ruled that buying a national lottery ticket is forbidden by religion in the run-up to the country’s New Year lottery jackpot, opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet reported on Tuesday.

The ruling by the Religious Affairs Directorate arrives days before Turkey’s grand New Year lottery prize of 100 million liras ($12.7 million).

The fatwa by the body follows a question posed to the directorate by member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who asked whether it as forbidden to buy a national lottery ticket.

Former LDP chairman Cem Toker shared the response from the religious body on Twitter on Tuesday.

"Lottery, lotto, toto, bet, joint bet and games based on factor of luck factor are gambling and forbidden by the religion (of Islam)," he cited the top religious body as saying.