OPINION contributor

Four women, one prime minister's adviser

HDN | 8/5/2010 12:00:00 AM | TÜRKER ALKAN

It seems the new adviser of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has three wives and considers himself a 'sheikh al-Islam.'

Let’s say you are a prime minister and will appoint an adviser. Do you prefer one with a different worldview? Does a communist appoint a capitalist, a religious man a laic or an atheist a pious one? No, he does not!

Then how should we read the appointment of Ali Yüksel as an adviser by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan?

Yüksel is the chairman of the European National View Organization and a “sheikh al-Islam.”

You may say, “So, what’s wrong with that? Did Erdoğan enter politics as pro-‘National View’?” But did Erdoğan, together with President Abdullah Gül, say, “We don’t take the Quran as a reference” when they formed the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP?

I don’t know how a man can be a sheikh al-Islam, but I honestly find very odd the appointment of a person who claims to be one as the Prime Ministry adviser.

That’s not all. It seems the newly appointed adviser has three wives. Determined to use all his rights under Islam, Mr. Yüksel says he will have a fourth. And in order to show how he is right, the new adviser says, “I am trying to treat them equally,” as his wives confirm.

“Did you have permission from your wife to get married with another one?”

“No,” he says. “They would not let me. And I don’t have to ask their permission.”

Apparently, the only thing needed to legitimize having more than one wife is to treat them “equally.”

Since I don’t want to be involved in anyone’s private life, I will not talk further about this particular subject.

But I should touch upon a few things I’m curious about. The first is: what will Mr. Prime Minister consult with Yüksel about? Second, is there a possibility Erdoğan might also tend to support polygamy since he is being advised by a man with three wives?

Third, polygamy is a crime according to Turkish law. Is it right for Erdoğan to appoint a man who is already committing a crime?

Fourth, what if Mr. Yüksel believes he really is a sheikh al-Islam?

Fifth, where will we find so many women to marry?

And last, does Erdoğan still side with the “National View”?

I mean, what if he is just pulling our legs?

* Türker Alkan is a columnist for daily Radikal, in which this piece appeared Thursday. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.



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