Turkish Cypriot leaders rule out ban on Quran courses following Erdoğan's harsh remarks

Turkish Cypriot leaders have ruled out a ban on Quran courses following President Erdoğan's harsh remarks on the top court's decision to close Quran courses. "Turkish Cyprus is a Muslim country and closing the Quran courses is out of the question," PM Ersan Saner said.

This file photo shows a Quran course.

Duvar English 

The president and prime minister of Turkish Cyprus have said that there will be no ban on Quran courses following Ankara's harsh reaction to the issue. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vice President Fuat Oktay and Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun criticized the Constitutional Court over its decision to close Quran courses, with Erdoğan saying, “It is impossible for us to accept this. The head of the Constitutional Court should learn secularism.”

Commenting on the issue, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersan Saner said that they have no intention to close the courses. 

"Turkish Cyprus is a Muslim country, and an instance of closing the Quran courses is out of the question," Saner said on April 17. 

He went on to say that the case filed with the Constitutional Court concerned whether the Religious Affairs Commission has the authority to organize courses for memorizing Quran. The court ruling said that it was not possible for an institution other than the state to organize such courses.

"Therefore, nobody in the Turkish Cyprus has any intention of closing the Quran courses and there is no such incident. The issue was misunderstood," he said.

"As a person bound by the Constitution, we can never have an idea of closing the Quran courses, since it is a constitutional right and a social need of every citizen to receive religious education," Saner noted.

Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar made similar remarks, saying, "The Turkish people of Cyprus are people who adhere to their religion and faith."

"We were disturbed by the top court's decision," he said.