Q: There have been certain attempts since Dec. 17 to present the Hizmet movement as a terror organization. How would you comment on these attempts to have Hizmet seen as a threat or a terror organization?
Özkes*: The AK Party argues that there is a parallel state; they are the parallel state. The country is not aware of it. They are creating a new religion that justifies bribery and corruption. A deputy referred to the prime minister as a second prophet. Another deputy said touching him is a sacred prayer. Some mocked Qur'an verses. A minister said even the Prophet was proud but they were not. We can cite other examples. I mentioned these in my book “AKP'nin Gerçek Yüzü” (The True Face of the AKP). With these practices and this discourse, they give the impression that these are normal in Islam. However, they are not. They are harming the religion of Islam. For this reason, it is an attempt to create a parallel religion; the AK Party itself is the parallel state.
*Republican People's Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy and retired mufti İhsan Özkes
Excerpted from the interview with Özkes, published on Today's Zaman, 24 September 2014, Wednesday