RIGHTS >Çiçek defends cemevi move

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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A request that a cemevi be established at Parliament was refused based on information from the Directorate of Religious Affairs’ website, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek has said. “We didn’t ask any questions of the Directorate of Religious Affairs. It is written on the official website of the directorate, so I answered the request within the scope of the information given on the website,” Çiçek said.

“If you look at the official website of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, you can find information on the subject. Consequently, I can’t create a new view on issues related to the history of religions or sects. My duty is to refer to the official opinions of the state. As parliamentary speaker, I can’t rule according to my personal opinion on such issues,” he said, according to CNNTürk. Some have been basing their debate over the issue on incorrect information, saying things such as “‘the Directorate of Religious Affairs has issued a fatwa [an Islamic religious ruling] on the topic,’ and I don’t find this right,” Çiçek said.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Hüseyin Aygün applied to the Parliament Speaker’s Office on May 7 asking that a cemevi be established at Parliament. “According to the Directorate of Religious Affairs, Alevism is not a separate religion but a formation within Islam, a richness of Islam that arose in the course of history. And the house of worship for Islam is the mosque,” Çiçek had said of Aygün’s appeal.


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