CHP deputy faces dis­ci­plinary ac­tions for sug­gest­ing call to prayer in Turkish

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Politics -

THE REPUB­LI­CAN Peo­ple’s Party (CHP) on Thurs­day re­ferred one of its deputies to the dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee for mak­ing con­tro­ver­sial re­marks about the ad­han, the Mus­lim call to prayer.

Öztürk Yıl­maz, a CHP deputy from eastern Turkey’s Ar­da­han, re­cently de­fended the Turkish ver­sion of the ad­han, tra­di­tion­ally de­liv­ered in Ara­bic.

The party, how­ever, said that Yıl­maz’s words do not rep­re­sent the CHP’s views and it was com­pletely against an idea that con­tra­dicts peo­ple’s com­mon val­ues.

Yıl­maz had pre­vi­ously told a TV pro­gram that the prayer should be re­cited in Turkish and he wanted “my lan­guage to be spo­ken ev­ery­where.”

The de­bate on whether the ad­han should be re­cited in Turkish or Ara­bic dom­i­nated lo­cal pol­i­tics be­tween 1932 and 1950 when the CHP’s sin­gle-party rule forced mosques to re­cite it in Turkish. In re­ac­tion to the CHP’s de­ci­sion, Yıl­maz said it was un­law­ful for the party to treat him that way, claim­ing his opin­ion was only per­sonal.

“This dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ing is wrong and un­law­ful. He [Kılıç­daroğlu] is cen­sor­ing his own par­lia­men­tar­i­ans; within his own party - this can­not be the CHP’s pol­icy. There can be no such pol­icy of re­main­ing in power within the party while los­ing all the elec­tions,” Öztürk told a press con­fer­ence, blam­ing in­cum­bent party Chair­man Ke­mal Kılıç­daroğlu for his sit­u­a­tion.

Yıl­maz said this dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ing was be­ing held be­cause the party chair­man does not want any ri­vals. This is a wrong pol­icy ahead of the up­com­ing elec­tions just as it was wrong in the pre­vi­ous elec­tions. His re­cent com­ments would only fuel the on­go­ing un­rest within the CHP. He has re­peat­edly blamed Kılıç­daroğlu of not be­ing able to run the party and stated that he was pre­par­ing to run for the party chair­man­ship. “That’s why they are try­ing to block me,” Yıl­maz said, adding that he would not re­sign no mat­ter what.

CHP Deputy Chair­man Yıldırım Kaya re­sponded to Yıl­maz’s claims, say­ing: “The ad­han in Ara­bic rep­re­sents our re­li­gion and is one of the val­ues of this coun­try - just like our be­lief, our flag and our val­ues that came with the procla­ma­tion of the re­pub­lic. Re­open­ing this de­bate to­day as a mem­ber of CHP should not be per­ceived as the gen­eral opin­ion of the party. The CHP is against this com­ment that con­tra­dicts our val­ues.” This is not the first time Yil­maz has gone against the party and Kılıç­daroğlu in par­tic­u­lar. Yıl­maz has crit­i­cized the party’s fail­ure in elec­tions sev­eral times. He even com­plained about the lack of democ­racy within the party and called upon party of­fi­cials to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the poor re­sults af­ter the pres­i­den­tial and par­lia­men­tary elec­tions on June 24.

The CHP re­ceived only 22.6 per­cent of the votes in June 24 elec­tions, much lower than the pre­vi­ous elec­tions. The party also fell be­hind its pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Muharrem İnce, who got about 30 per­cent of the votes.

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