Former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy İdris Bal submitted a parliamentary question to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday, asking whether Erdoğan regards himself the Caliph of the Muslim world and whether the prime minister is trying to suppress religious communities in Turkey.
In his question, Bal asked whether Erdoğan has demanded that the leading figures in religious communities such as the Hizmet movement and the İsmailağa movement acknowledge his authority by obeying the instructions of the government.
Submitting a written question about allegations regarding Erdoğans' efforts to influence Turkey's religious communities by forcing them to obey the government's instructions, Bal asked whether The prime minister has used the apparatus of the state to punish Islamic community groups which refused to follow Erdoğans' instructions and to reward the groups which obey them.
Some of the questions Bal asked Erdoğan about his designs on religious communities include:
“Have you [Erdoğan] worked to create a new religious community shaped around [the Foundation of Youth and Education] TÜRGEV -- of which your son [Bilal Erdoğan], is an executive board member and your daughter [Sümeyye Erdoğan] is a member -- by pushing prominent businessmen to donate land to the Foundation?”
“Do you instruct the businessmen who win tenders from ministries to donate land and money to TÜRGEV?”
“Did you order [the National Intelligence Organization] MİT to wiretap all religious communities and did you try to suppress some of these groups by threatening them?”
Bal also asked whether Erdoğan tried to prevent religious community leader Mahmut Ustaosmanoğlu from visiting Chechnya and whether a group of Chechens was ordered to persuade Ustaosmanoğlu not to pay the visit and whether the religious leader was threatened with an investigation.
The former AK Party deputy also asked whether Erdoğan had ordered MİT to keep members and supporters of the faith-based Hizmet movement, inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, under surveillance as well as purging large numbers of civil servants in state institutions without the legal right to do so.
Published on Today's Zaman, 30 June 2014, Monday