Diyanet dismisses imam after asking congregation to 'prepare their weapons' on election night

Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) has temporarily dismissed imam Murat Gündoğdu who called the congregation to “prepare their weapons” on the night of run-off presidential election on May 28 while delivering the Friday sermon.

Duvar English

Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) temporarily dismissed an imam working in the Cebeci Mosque in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district, Demirören News Agency reported on May 23.

The move came after imam Murat Gündoğdu called the congregation to “prepare their weapons” on the night of the run-off presidential election on May 28.

While delivering the Friday sermon, imam Murat Gündoğdu said to the congregation that “Prepare your weapons. Prepare your weapons on May 28 night. My two guns are fully loaded. What is this we suffer from them (the opposition)? For 80 years, what has this country suffered from them, from Armenian progenies?,” the daily BirGün reported on May 21.

İmam Gündoğdu’s remarks stirred a reaction among the congregation of the mosque, as well as on social media as the footage of the moments spread.

Diyanet on May 21 announced that they launched an investigation into the incident.

Turkey held parliamentary and presidential elections on May 14. In the presidential elections, Erdoğan officially received 49.52% of the votes, whereas Kılıçdaroğlu received 44.88%. This is the first time Turkey will experience a run-off election on May 28.