HDP’s Demirtaş chastises gov’t over day of mourning for Saudi king

HDP’s Demirtaş chastises gov’t over day of mourning for Saudi king

HDP’s Demirtaş chastises gov’t over day of mourning for Saudi king

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Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş has lamented the declaration of national mourning for Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, arguing the presence of holy sites in the Saudi territories does not automatically make the king a divine figure.

“Today, they declared national mourning. Of course, we have holy sites in the Saudi territories. Of course, we have our Prophet’s entrusts, which are of course assets of the Islamic world. However, is the Saudi king, the one who lives in the golden palace, holy too because of being on the holy land?” Demirtaş said on Jan. 24, referring to Saudi Arabia being the birthplace of Islam and is home to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

As of Jan. 23, the Turkish government announced that it declared Jan. 24 a day of national mourning for bin Abdulaziz, who passed away early Jan. 23 at the age of 90.

“We declare Saturday, Jan. 24, a day of national mourning for bin Abdulaziz,” the Turkish Prime Ministry said in a written statement, shortly after bin Abdulaziz passed away.

The national flag was to be flown at half-mast across Turkey and at foreign delegations on Jan. 24, accordingly. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, meanwhile, delayed a planned trip to Somalia to attend bin Abdulaziz’s funeral.

While speaking at a HDP provincial congress, Demirtaş argued bin Adbulaziz did not live according to the rules of Islam.

“He had 30 wives, 60 children and $20 million of wealth,” Demirtaş said. “God forgive him for his sins. Are we supposed to hold national mourning for him? No offense, we are not mourning. It is not our mourning. The king may be your king, but we do not recognize any kings. This country has 12 million subcontracted workers; the cost of your king’s dinner for one day is the salary that 1,000 subcontracted workers receive in total in a month,” he added.

In a message posted to his Twitter account, Demirtaş said: “Don’t lean on the king; you will fall.”

Delivering a speech at another HDP provincial congress, this time in Şanlıurfa, Demirtaş said on Jan. 25 that the government has been imposing discriminative policies based on people’s identities.

He suggested that they used women being victimized for wearing headscarves as a tool for scoring in domestic policy and used those people to “climb to the top.”

Anwar Muslim, head of the Kobane canton in Syria, also joined the congress in Şanlıurfa and delivered remarks through a teleconference.