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Turkey: MP says Kurdish clerics indicted in an attempt to implicate Istanbul Mayor

Turkey: MP says Kurdish clerics indicted in an attempt to implicate Istanbul Mayor

An MP for the Peoples’ Democratic Party has said that a group of Kurdish clerics who were indicted over terror charges were targeted both as a religious opposition to AKP and also in an attempt to implicate the Istanbul Mayor, out of revenge for AKP losing the local elections in Istanbul back in 2019.

Hüda Kaya, an MP for the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), former journalist and activist known for her struggle against the headscarf ban in Turkey and who was incarcerated for two years for her activism in 1990s, said that the latest targeting of Kurdish Muslim clerics by the judiciary was in fact a reflection of the political administration’s policy to punish opposing religious circles. She added that while the mother tongue of the Kurdish clerics was being used against them as evidence of alleged affiliation with an illegal group, the legal case was also an attempt to implicate the Istanbul Mayor, a key opposition figure, who won the last local elections in 2019 with the support of the HDP and Kurdish voters.

She referred to the recent indictment of a group of Kurdish clerics, members of the legal Association of Religious Scholars for Solidarity (DİAYDER), accused of affiliation with an illegal group.

Speaking to Mezopotamya news Agency on Monday, she said: “The allegations are a tragicomic slander. The use of the word ‘mele’ [Kurdish word for a Muslim cleric, ‘imam’ in Turkish] is considered a crime in the indictment. The word ‘mele’ itself has been associated with an ‘illegal organisation’. This word has not come into use along with the AKP governments. People have had their values and holies for thousands of years.”

“Today, opposing religious circles of men and women have become the greatest potential threat for the AKP administration,” she continued.

”They are trying to maintain their rule through monism and by establishing their control in the political sphere, in the economy, the judiciary and the media, and over profitable urban projects,” Kaya added. “They pursue policies of eliminating and lynching everyone who stand against this or criticise them.”

Kaya underlined that Kurdish clerics were targeted because of their language.

“Even their mother tongue has been included in the indictment as if it constituted propaganda for an illegal group. It’s indicated that the meles don’t know Turkish, as if they actually have to, and they speak to people and preach in Kurdish in their sermons.”

She continued:

“As it always does, AKP is trying to shoot two birds with one stone. They still couldn’t get over losing in the Istanbul local elections against the opposition which won with the support of the Kurdish people and the Peoples’ Democratic Party.”


Mezopotamya Ajansi


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