Top imam greets guests in Kurdish
DİYARBAKIR - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate head, Professor Mehmet Görmez. AA PhotoTurkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate head, Professor Mehmet Görmez, greeted guests in Kurdish during the April 14 ceremony of the anniversary of Prophet Muhammad’s birth.
The greeting came several days after the local senior imam’s calls for sermons in Kurdish in the southeastern province.
The ceremony, attended by Görmez as well as Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay, Agriculture Minister Mehdu Eker and Gov. Musrafa Toprak, included hymns in Kurdish, Arabic, the Zaza language and Turkish. Görmez opened the ceremony by saying, “May Allah make your night favorable,” in Kurdish.
Görmez called on Diyarbakır locals to turn the country into “a home of justice and virtue,” setting an example for everyone from Cairo to Baghdad.
“What I pray to God for is that there will be no believer in these lands left with a broken heart,” Görmez said.
Görmez’s Kurdish greetings came several days after the city mufti said officials had been working over the past years for Kurdish sermons, which are currently being conducted all around Diyarbakır.
“The religious officials who speak the same language as the locals in villages have the right to preach in that language. And the community has a right to listen to him,” Nimetullah Erdoğmuş said.
“This is not a gift. We held meetings with friends in the villages and provinces with people that can enlighten us on the issue. However, not everyone speaks in Kurdish or Zaza; we don’t want the Turkish speakers to be deprived of what is being said. We still support sermons in Turkish, but we are ready to discuss the issue.”