Main opposition CHP MP blasts photo of 'yes' voters in mosque in referendum campaign
ISTANBULMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu has criticized a photo showing people spelling out the word “yes” while in a mosque to support the April 16 constitutional referendum.
Tanrıkulu reacted to the photo on his official Twitter account, saying, “No to politics in the mosque.”
It was not immediately clear whether the photo was genuine, but it has already sparked controversy on social media.
Earlier, Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Mehmet Görmez warned imams “not to engage in politics in mosques” after an investigation was launched on Feb. 7 into an imam who called for a “yes” vote in the constitutional referendum.
“Any word that could be controversial among the people in their daily lives, or that could create discrimination in people’s hearts, cannot be uttered in mosques,” Görmez said Feb. 7.
At the time, footage had emerged showing Hüseyin Güleç, the imam of the Modoko Mosque in Istanbul’s Ümraniye district, addressing fellow imams and calling for a “yes” vote in the upcoming constitutional referendum on replacing Turkey’s parliamentary system with an executive presidential system of government.
Görmez warned imams against using “discriminatory rhetoric” and said investigations would be opened if they were found to be conducting political campaigning.
CHP deputy Gürsel Tekin filed a parliamentary question about Güleç, saying, “This man may be an imam but he cannot be a believer.”