Investigation launched into imam endorsing ‘yes’ vote in referendum  

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Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate has launched an investigation into an imam in İstanbul who recently called on mosque attendees to vote “yes” in a public referendum to be held soon on a constitutional reform package that introduces an executive presidency in Turkey, the Hürriyet daily reported on Wednesday.

The incident reportedly took place at the Ümraniye Modoko Mosque on Feb. 3. While imam Hüseyin Güleç was delivering the Friday sermon, he talked about infrastructural improvements in Turkey during Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule and urged the mosque attendees to vote “yes” in the referendum while lashing out potential “no” voters.

Enumerating the names of some of the infrastructure projects during AKP rule, Güleç said: “Who are the naysayers today? They are the ones who are against the world’s largest airport. They are the ones who can’t tolerate the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge…”

When Güleç’s controversial comments found extensive coverage in the Turkish media this week, the Religious Affairs Directorate launched an investigation into him.

In the meantime, media reports said Güleç suddenly retired when he came to public attention in such a controversial way.

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