Bosnian Muslim Senad Hadzic, who left home in December to walk to Mecca for the hajj, on Monday told AFP he had reached the Bosphorus in Turkey.
“Until now, I have been on the road for about sixty days, doing between 20 and 60 kilometers per day,” Hadzic told AFP by phone.
Hadzic, 47, left the Bosnian northeastern town Banovici on December 10. He reached Istanbul after crossing Serbia and Bulgaria on his 6,000 kilometer (3,600 mile) intended walk.
He plans to arrive to Mecca, the holy Muslim town in southwestern Saudi Arabia in mid-October, in time of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, one of the biggest pilgrimages in the world.
In his backpack, Hadzic carried only a Quran, a prayer rug and maps and flags of the countries on his road to Mecca.
“After Turkey, I want to cross into Syria, despite the conflict but also because of the conflict. I will wave a Syrian flag with the word 'liberty' written on it and I will pray for the victims” of the conflict, he said.
The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be performed at least once in a lifetime by all those who are able to.
Muslims make around 40 percent of 3.8 million population of Bosnia, with remaining inhabitants mostly Orthodox or Catholic Christians.