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Deputy PM Kurtulmuş equates Islamophobia with opposing Erdoğan

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Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said that Islamophobia is opposing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a statement on Tuesday.

Speaking to state-run broadcaster NTV, Kurtulmuş was asked to comment on the claims that Turkey’s image was tarnished after the recent attack on Radiohead album celebration event held in İstanbul.

“Islamophobia is opposing Erdoğan. Many islamophobic circles are waiting for a chance to attack Turkey. The country must be very careful about it. We need to unite. Respecting others means respecting yourself. Unfair criticisms against Islam are in question here,” Kurtulmuş said.

He also said that the attack on the record store in Istanbul, where a listening party was held during Ramadan, represented the “mentality” of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

“This attack did not become Turkey. No one should use this attack – which was not supported by anybody — as an excuse to insult or mock beliefs of Muslim people. It was an impertinent attack. This is not an acceptable situation,” Kurtulmuş added.

At album celebration event held in İstanbul on Saturday night for the British rock band Radiohead, participants were attacked by a group of men, who claimed they were reacting to alcohol consumption during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Speaking at an iftar event on Sunday, Erdoğan commented on an attack and stated, “Using brute force is as wrong as this event, which spread to the street in Ramadan.”

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