A deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has branded sharia as "our law" in a speech in parliament, prompting outrage among the ranks of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
AKP lawmaker Cengiz Aydoğdu was addressing deputies on the budget of the Council of State on Dec. 9 when he said that sharia law is "above everything."
"The regulation of a person's basic rights and freedoms was never left to the hands of the state in our history. Instead, society did it itself. Sharia is above everything, which means that the law is above everything. We are afraid of the word 'sharia,' but it shouldn't be the case. Sharia is our law, our general law and customary law is included in that," Aydoğdu said.
His remarks were followed by applause from AKP seats and protests from those of the CHP.
"Civil law is in force in the secular and democratic Turkish Republic, not sharia law. I condemn him," CHP Group Deputy Chair Engin Özkoç said.
Following criticism, Aydoğdu denied saying, "Sharia is our law" despite the remarks being included in the parliament records.