ANKARA: A man in northern Turkey has started to work at a mosque construction site as a punishment for his traffic offense of drunk driving.
Mehmet Akkol, living in the Yaylakent district of the country's northeastern Trabzon province, was on his way to a wedding ceremony when local police stopped him and made him go through an alcohol test.
As alcohol was detected in the test, Akkol was sentenced to two and a half months in prison.
However, after serving one week in prison, he was given a chance to help build a mosque for around three weeks according to the law of probation.
"I regret that I drank alcohol, but Allah gave me this punishment and sent me to a mosque so that I can behave better. I have always believed in God, and I hope that with the help of Allah I will not be mistaken again," Akkol explains.
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"Here, I both do something good and pay the penalty [for drunk driving]. I also conduct religious prayers, such as the Friday prayer. I am so happy, not restless at all."
Getting intoxicants [all kinds of alcoholic drinks] is one of the major sins in Islam, and believers must avoid any type of it. As such drinks may lead to malfunction, loose motions, and bad behaviors, Islam forbids their consumption in either small or large quantities.
Akkol believes that by working on the construction of a religious building, he can pay for his sin of taking alcohol.
"I quit drinking alcohol. I perform the prayers and chat about religious issues with the mosque's Imam. I will try to continue this," he says.
Under the law of probation, Akkol must behave well and not commit any more crimes in order to avoid being returned sent to prison.
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