CHP deputy demands cemevi in Parliament

CHP deputy demands cemevi in Parliament

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
CHP deputy demands cemevi in Parliament

Main opposition CHP’s Tunceli deputy Kamer Genç speaks at a press conference held in Parliament yesterday.AA photo

A main opposition party lawmaker has applied to the Parliament Speaker’s office asking for a cemevi, or an Alevi house of worship, to be established within Parliament’s premises.

“In order to ensure equality in freedom of conscience and religious rights, a cemevi is needed for people of the Alevi faith to worship,” Hüseyin Aygün, Tunceli deputy of the Republican Poeple’s Party (CHP) wrote in his application he made yesterday. He noted that Parliament everyday hosts 550 lawmakers, thousands of assistants, advisors and guests. Parliament has had a mosque since 1989, but no other religious buildings are located on its premises.

Also yesterday, a CHP deputy held Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responsible for the increasing incidents of marked Alevi homes, and threatened the use of force to defend the community.

Kamer Genç, the second CHP deputy from the predominantly Alevi province of Tunceli, charged that Erdoğan had emboldened threats against Alevis with his much-criticized remarks after the last case into the 1993 Sivas Massacre. “If anything happens to those citizens [whose homes have been marked] Tayyip Erdoğan will be responsible. There is already no justice and no judiciary. The use of force is all that’s left,” Genç told reporters in Parliament.

He was reacting to the marking of two Alevi flats in the Aegean resort of Didim over the weekend, which followed similar recent incidents in Adıyaman, Erzincan and Istanbul. “Death to the Alevis,” read a message over a cross inscribed on front doors in Didim.

Asked to elaborate on his warning to Erdoğan, Genç said: “If he acts within the boundaries of law, so will we. He has created an army of 5,000 policemen for himself. But the day will come when even they will be unable to protect him.”