Turkey's main opposition CHP seeks probe into ‘alcohol in mosque’ Gezi protest claim
Prime Minister Erdoğan had claimed that protesters drank beer in the Dolmabahçe Mosque. DHA photoA group of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies has demanded a parliamentary inquiry into the controversy over claims that alcohol was consumed in Istanbul’s Dolmabahçe Mosque during the intense first week of the Gezi Park protests.
The question over whether alcohol had been consumed in the mosque, an act considered deeply offensive to pious Muslims, was stirred when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan first made the claims in June. Despite denials from the mosque's muezzin, Erdoğan repeated the claims on a number of occasions.
On June 11, three days after the night in question, he vowed to show a 20-minute video recording of vandalism committed by protesters, who he said entered the mosque wearing shoes on swigging from beer bottles. However, the video was never shown. The muezzin who denied Erdoğan’s statements was removed and assigned to other mosques twice.
The issue returned to the agenda last week, when daily Zaman’s news editor İbrahim Doğan said the beer cans that were seen in a photo taken at the mosque after the protests were placed there by someone else.
Meanwhile, CHP deputy Hüseyin Aygün said in a press conference at Parliament that 94 of the 5,500 people who were taken into custody during the Gezi protests were still being held.
Speaking alongside members of the Gezi Park Detainees’ Families Platform, Aygün stressed that the detained people had been waiting to appear before the judge for almost six months, as the indictment of the case had yet to be drafted.