CHP leader meets religious representatives
Rifat Başaran - ISTANBULThe leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) met 300 religious representatives in Istanbul on Nov. 27.
“We need to get to know each other. Don’t hear about us from others, listen to us instead,” CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that there were “certain people making false accusations against the CHP.”
“Some communities try to portray us as the ‘Godless party.’ Don’t believe those false accusations,” he said.
“Institutions should not have religions. Does the Central Bank have a religion? Does the Finance Ministry have a religion? That’s why we are saying that politics cannot be based on beliefs, identities and lifestyles,” he added, while encouraging religious representatives to “criticize” to his party.
“You don’t know me. Sometimes you see me when I’m angry and shouting and sometimes when I’m speaking calmly on TV. We need to get to know each other. This is why we are holding this meeting. We may have made mistakes. I may have made mistakes too. So don’t refrain from criticizing us,” he added.
“It is not right to make religion a tool of politics,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
In his speech, Kılıçdaroğlu said that “justice, secularism and reason” are crucial. He stressed that an understanding of justice that defends the rule of law and freedom of thought and speech are the first steps of humanity. Problems in the Islamic world stem from a lack of understanding of democratization, freedom of religion and consciousness, and a wrong understanding of the social state and the state of law, he added.
The CHP head also highlighted the importance of secularism as a “guarantor of freedom of religion and conscience,” adding that the state should impose a system prohibiting religion intervening in people’s private lives.