Gov’t plans to change bars’ election system amid rift over top religious official’s homophobic remarks
The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) is planning to change the election system of bars amid a recent rift between the government and the bars over Diyanet head Ali Erbaş's homophobic remarks. One of the changes sought by the AKP is the election of bars' administration via proportional representation. The government also seeks to decrease the effectiveness of bars with a high number of lawyers, such as Ankara and Istanbul, in the Turkish Bar Associations elections.
The Positive Living Association, a non-governmental organization advocating the rights of individuals living with HIV, has urged Diyanet head Ali Erbaş to apologize for his remarks targeting the LGBT community and HIV-positive individuals. Saying that Erbaş's statements contradict logic, science and law, the association noted that he discriminated the society with hate speech.
The head of Turkey’s top religious authority has once again targeted LGBT individuals during a sermon. “Islam curses homosexuality. What is the reason of that? The reason is that it brings with it illnesses and decay to lineage,” Ali Erbaş said on April 24, while addressing the novel coronavirus outbreak. Last year, Erbaş had claimed that the pride march “goes against creation,” calling same-sex relations “heresy."
Vice President Fuat Oktay said on April 17 that some 25,000 Turkish citizens in 59 countries will be brought to Turkey in order for them to spend the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the subsequent Eid al-Fitr at home with their loved ones.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has shared a video showing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan listening to the Muslim call to prayer in Granada. "May Allah make us reach days that we perform prayers in mosques altogether, shoulder to shoulder," Altun said.
The imam too is apologetically in a hurry. I try to appear comforting in reiterating over and over again that everything is in order according to Islam. I even attempt to reassure him by patting his shoulder but my hand remains hanging in the air as the wide-eyed imam is aghast of this potential physical contact.
Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate said on March 13 that instead of attending weekly collective mosque prayers on Fridays, Muslims in the high risk group can pray at home amid coronavirus concerns. Underscoring that Friday prayers were a must for every obliged person, the statement said that various justifications could excuse a person from the congregation, including danger to life, property or health.
France will replace an imam exchange program that was established in 1977 and allowed teachers to be sent to France from nine countries to teach languages and culture without Paris' supervision, President Emmanuel Macron said on Feb. 17. Instead, France will sign bilateral agreements with those nine countries, though not with Ankara.
The administration of the İsmail Tarman Imam Hatip Middle School pressures students into religious conformity, parents of the central Istanbul school claim. One parent, whose daughter is Christian, is forced to attend an Islam-focused religion class. Another parent says that teachers tell female students to avoid laughing, dressing "chic" and social media.