Turkey’s main opposition leader passes voter’s ‘Quran test’

Turkey’s main opposition leader passes voter’s ‘Quran test’

Turkey’s main opposition leader passes voter’s ‘Quran test’

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Turkey’s main opposition leader has said he proved that he could recite a Quranic verse when a potential voter put him to an impromptu test.

“I am going to vote for you, but I am not comfortable. Can you recite al-Fatiha?” the Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu quoted a citizen as saying during a recent rally in the western province of Düzce, daily Sözcü reported June 1.

Al-Fatiha, meaning “the opening” in Arabic, is the first chapter, or surah, of the Quran.

“I recited al-Fatiha and he said, ‘Now I can comfortably vote for you,’” Kılıçdaroğlu recalled.

CHP chair told the anecdote as evidence for his argument that the main opposition party managed to remove some negative stereotypes about the party during its campaign for the June 7 general elections. “We broke the perception that CHP can’t produce projects, and is only interested in Atatürk, secularism and meddling with people’s life styles and dresses,” he said.

“The AKP created such a public perception that we cannot even recite al-Fatiha, as if no one except themselves has a religion,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.

The main opposition leader also claimed that the campaign boosted his hopes to win parliamentary seats from provinces that they could not win in the 2011 general elections. “Düzce, Adapazarı and Sakarya surprised me. We were met with incredible fervor in these provinces,” he said.