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Turkish Clerics Defy 1,400 Years of Edicts With Home Loan U-Turn

  • Ruling challenges hundreds of years of religious thinking
  • Most pious Muslims think high-interest loans are forbidden
Residential apartment blocks surround a mosque in this aerial view in Istanbul.
Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg
Updated on

Turkey’s top Islamic authority is challenging 1,400 years of religious thinking, with a new ruling on the fraught topic of usury.

According to the High Board of Religious Affairs, interest on home loans doesn’t violate Islam’s proscriptions against usury as long as the loan comes from a Turkish state bank and goes to buy a home in a government housing project.