A district mayor from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Sakarya province has said there is no problem regarding the issue of secularism in Turkey and that making statements in defense of secularism means supporting terrorism.
On Monday three people from the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) youth branch in Sakarya’s Serdivan district were battered by an angry mob that chanted “La Ilaha Illallah,” over banners they hung inside a shopping mall.
The banners reportedly read “Turkey is secular and will remain secular” and “We are soldiers of Mustafa Kemal.”
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was the secular founder of modern Turkey.
Serdivan Mayor Yusuf Alemdar, who referred to the incident from his Twitter account on Monday, wrote: “Nobody has the right to spoil the peace of our citizens. Saying things like Turkey is secular and will remain secular only supports terrorism.”
Alemdar said Turkey actually does not have any problem regarding secularism but that some people are trying to stir up unrest in the country by claiming that secularism is being weakened.