17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

BDP calls on Kurds not to pray behind state imams in mosques

7 April 2011, Thursday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) leader Selahattin Demirtaş has called on Kurds in the country’s Southeast not to pray behind state imams on the grounds that they are spying for the state and working to promote the government.

Speaking to the Milliyet daily yesterday, Demirtaş claimed that the list of imams sent to the country’s predominantly Southeast is made at National Security Council (MGK) meetings as he said: “Those imams are selected by the MGK and then sent here. We ask our people not to pray behind those imams who are sent here with a special mission. There are imams working for the Justice and Development Party [AK Party] there.”

Demirtaş claimed that those imams are imposing Turkishness and statism on the people.

Last month, the BDP made an announcement calling on Turkey’s Kurdish population to stage acts of civil disobedience.

Demirtaş’s statements came as a response to the recent statements of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who accused the BDP of plaguing religion with separatism. Demirtaş also dwelled on the Kurdish sermon issue and asked Erdoğan why sermons in Kurdish are not allowed in mosques in the country’s Southeast. He said the rules in the mosques should not be made by the state, but by those attending the mosque, and that sermons in Kurdish should be allowed. “Everyone listens to sermons in Kurdish in the mass prayers held in city squares in the Southeast. Mosques are not the homes of the state, but Allah. The rules in the mosques should be set by the people attending that mosque, not by the state. If the state is deciding which language is going to be spoken in mosques, this has nothing to do with religion. Let people pray in the way they want,” he said.

Demirtaş also noted that three to five individuals who are currently under arrest for their links to the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) may be supported by the BDP as parliamentary nominees in the general elections of June 12.

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