Turkey’s religious body rebuts Erdogan’s claims over torched mosques in Gezi protests
Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) said there is no evidence received regarding the claims that protestors torched the mosques during Gezi Park demonstrations in 2013, Diken news website reported on Thursday.
“There are no documents and reports from the provinces regarding the mentioned events,” the body’s office for mosque services said on Tuesday, in response to a question submitted to Turkish Presidency’s Communication Centre (CIMER), asking about the mosques that have been torched, a claim by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Tacettin Bayır, submitted a question to CIMER last month, demanding the names and the locations of the mosques that have been subjected to Erdogan’s claims. Erdogan on June 4, said that protestors torched mosques and police cars, during Gezi events.
Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan’ın Gezi Parkı eylemcilerini hedef alarak öne sürdüğü ‘camileri yaktılar’ iddiasını CİMER' e soran CHP İzmir Milletvekili Tacettin Bayır, söz konusu iddianın Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı’na bağlı Cami Hizmetleri Daire Başkanlığı tarafından yalanlandığını açıklad pic.twitter.com/W2P79VBKGP— Nug Haber (@nughaber) July 28, 2022
The 2013 protest in Gezi Park started as a small demonstration in Istanbul’s historical Taksim Square against Erdogan’s governing Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) plans for building a shopping mall on a green space, but lead to county-wide protests after the police violently intervened to the protestors. Eleven people were killed during the events.
On June 1, Erdogan also called the Gezi Park protestors “sluts,” in a speech addressing his ruling AKP members, marking the the ninth anniversary of the protests.
“They [Gezi protestors] are rotten, they are sluts,” he said, prompting an outrage and widespread criticism in public.
Several opposition parties, including the CHP, filed criminal complaints against Erdogan over his remarks.