Erdoğan slams marking of Alevi family’s house, says those responsible will be held to account
Erdoğan added that security forces are meticulously working on finding the assailants.
“Some houses’ doors are being marked to dismantle our country. As the state, we do not have such an issue. Our security forces are especially working on those who marked these doors. They will be held to account when captured,” Erdoğan said.
The president’s remarks came during a speech at the closing meeting of the Religious Council in capital Ankara.
The incident Erdoğan was referring to occurred on Nov. 26 in İzmir. Unidentified persons spray-painted “Go away Alevis” along with an “X” mark on the exterior wall of a house in the Gaziemir district. The marking has stirred nationwide outrage, with condemnation from many political figures as well as the government.
“We cannot let anyone sow the seeds of enmity between our people with adverse projects,” he said.
Erdoğan also urged Turkey to “be on alert” against these attempts.
“Shi’ism or Sunnism are trying to be reflected as separate religions, beyond being different interpretations,” he said.
“The destructive projects which are trying to be exported to our country like ‘Alevism without Ali’ has these scenarios behind,” Erdoğan said. He also accused some Western circles of setting up such projects.
The Alevi faith group is a pre-Islamic folk religion with some features from Shia Islam. Alevis, who are described as followers of the Caliph Ali, the nephew and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, conduct religious practices distinct from Turkey’s Sunni majority.
Erdoğan also urged religious officials to perform their duties with “sincerity.”
“Otherwise, this vacuum will be filled by religion merchants such as the charlatan in Pennsylvania,” he said.
Erdoğan was referring to the U.S.-based ringleader of the FETÖ, Fetullah Gülen. FETÖ orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured. Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.