Diyanet head Ali Erbaş
Turkey’s religious authority head brands broadcasts ‘normalizing adultery’ as ‘crimes against nation’
The head of Turkey's top religious authority said that broadcasts that "normalize adultery and encourage violence" were devoid of Muslim ethics. "It's a crime against the nation, our civilization and our future generations to broadcast content that normalizes adultery, and encourages violence and abuse," Diyanet President Ali Erbaş said.
A deputy of the main opposition CHP has criticized the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) after a video footage showing a child being battered at a Quran course has surfaced. CHP MP Ali Öztunç called on Diyanet head to enlighten the incident, while also indicating that he does not believe the explanation of the district governor's office that the 10-year-old child was beaten by a 15-year-old child attending the same course.
Turkish Education Ministry has urged its personnel to attend a symposium on Hagia Sophia organized by the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) and scheduled to be held in Istanbul on Sept. 30 upon the religious body's request. The ministry sent a notice to all provincial and district directorates to ensure attendance.
Turkey’s top religious body head defends delivering sermon with a sword during prayers at Hagia Sophia
The head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), Ali Erbaş, has defended delivering the Friday sermons at Hagia Sophia with a sword in hand, saying that it's a "widespread practice." "The fact that the sermon is delivered like is to announce that Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque and to give a message regarding conquest," he said.
Police blocked a protest by the Confederation of Public Employees Trade Union (KESK) slamming comments by the country's top religious figure. Diyanet head Ali Erbaş have been the source of controversy nationwide, as he "damned" the country's founding father Atatürk during his sermon at the first mass prayer held at Hagia Sophia.
Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said that triggering debates on establishing a caliphate and regime change aims to divert Turkey from its goals. "We can never accept damning [someone] at a place like Hagia Sophia as a correct approach. Neither our president nor our friends had such an attitude," Kalın said on Diyanet head Erbaş's remarks.
Thousands of people have called on Diyanet head Ali Erbaş to resign after his remarks that "damned" the country's founding father, Atatürk. Erbaş, whose Islamist statements often draw ire, on July 24 caused outrage for giving a sermon at Hagia Sophia that included apparent damning of Atatürk.
Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) head Ali Erbaş delivered the Friday sermon at Hagia Sophia with a sword in hand, presenting an Ottoman tradition of conquest. Two green flags were also hung on the pulpit of the mosque as a symbol of conquest.
Diyanet head Ali Erbaş has urged the opening of of an Islamic school in Hagia Sophia following its conversion into a mosque on July 10. "I think the decision is very meaningful. May it host a lot of worshippers. Praying in it is not enough, there should be a madrasah [Islamic school] in it," Erbaş said on July 11 in the Black Sea province of Rize.
Turkey defended a homophobic tweet by the head of the Turkish Red Crescent, describing him as a victim of "LGBT propaganda." Fahrettin Altun, Turkish presidency's communications director, said on Twitter that "LGBT propaganda poses a grave threat to freedom of speech," adding that the IFRC "became complicit in that attack by targeting" Kerem Kınık.
Turkish prosecutors have given 15 days to 11 executives of the Ankara Bar Association to submit their defenses over their criticism of Diyanet head Ali Erbaş's homophobic remarks in April.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that the government will change in the next elections since people will hand power to those advocating democracy. "The people are seeing that our beautiful country is not being governed properly and that we're heading downhill like a truck with no brakes. They also know that the only way to get rid of this course depends on their choice in the next elections," he said.