AKP member chided over ‘allegiance’

AKP member chided over ‘allegiance’

BURSA - Anatolia News Agency
AKP member chided over ‘allegiance’

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç speaks at a party meeting in Bursa. DHA photo

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has reprimanded a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for using a religious term of submission to describe his loyalty to the prime minister.

Remarks with Islamic connotations have served as justifications for prosecutors in closure cases against political parties in the past, Arınç said after Refik Özen, the outgoing chairman of the AKP branch in the Orhangazi district in Bursa, spoke of his allegiance to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a local convention.

“One can use this term in a religious context, but never for the leader of a political party, even if he believes it to be so. Parties have been closed over the word ‘biat,’” Arınç said, according to Anatolia news agency. “I believe our brother Refik meant to say that he loves his party chairman very much, takes him as an example in every sense, obeys his words and follows his path,” he added.

“There is no culture of submission in our party and therefore I am not today a person who has submitted himself to Tayyip Erdoğan,” Arınç said.

The deputy prime minister reminded the audience of an earlier incident in which İsmail Hakkı Eser, the AKP’s provincial chairman in the Aegean province of Aydın, was forced to resign after he likened Erdoğan to a “second Prophet.”