Turkish EU Minister to Muslim televangelist: I play and recommend chess
AFP photoTurkish EU Minister Ömer Çelik has criticized the statement by televangelist Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü, popularly known as “Cübbeli Ahmet Hoca” (Robbed Ahmet Hoca), condemning chess as “sinful,” saying he himself plays chess and advises everyone to do so.
“Chess means the joy of wisdom. Chess is the challenge of wisdom. Chess has been attributed value by eastern culture,” Çelik said in a broadcast interview with CNN Türk’s Hakan Çelik on Jan. 4.
His words came in response to Ünlü’s recent claim that chess players are “cursed” and that “most people who played chess are liars.”
“Playing chess is worse than gambling and eating pork ... People who play chess are more prone to lying than others. People who play chess may not say the shahada [declaration of Islamic belief] while they are dying,” Ünlü said.
The Turkish Chess Federation (TSF) also stated on Jan. 3 that it has launched legal proceedings against Ünlü for defamation.