Following a visit to Qatar on Wednesday, Erdogan returned briefly to Saudi Arabia, where he first paid a visit to Masjid an-Nabawi (Prophet Muhammad's Mosque) in Medina before performing the umrah in Mecca.

He was accompanied on the pilgrimage by his wife Emine Erdogan, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan.

He donned the "ihram," a plain white cloth prescribed to be worn during the pilgrimage. Erdogan had previously performed an umrah when he visited Saudi Arabia in 2015. Due to security reasons, state leaders often shun Hajj, the pilgrimage obligatory for every Muslim who can afford it, as the annual practice brings together millions of Muslims from across the world, complicating security efforts.

Source: Daily Sabah