Selahaddin Menteş, the chairman of Turkey‘s State of Emergency (OHAL) Commission, has deleted his social media posts about Nurettin Yıldız, a controversial cleric whose sermons were also followed by police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, who assassinated the Russian ambassador to Ankara last year.
Yıldız, the president of the Social Fabric Foundation (Sosyal Doku Vakfı), had sparked a public reaction after he argued that marrying a 6-year-old girl is legitimate. In addition to this remark that caused outrage, Yıldız also said it is a sin to watch a woman news anchor on TV and that women should be grateful to be beaten.
In an interview with the state-owned Anadolu news agency, Yıldız voiced support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying that it was a requirement of his faith to support the president.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declared a state of emergency on July 20, five days after a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. On April 18 Parliament approved a three-month extension to the state of emergency. A commission was announced by the Turkish government to review situations of state workers who have been dismissed by government decrees following the coup attempt.
The Hürriyet daily reported that police officer Altıntaş, who shouted al Nusra Front slogans after shooting the Russian ambassador, attended the sermons of Yıldız at Ankara’s Hacı Bayram Mosque.