Former minister says voting for ruling AKP will ensure salvation in the hereafter

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Former Minister of Education and current Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy İsmet Yılmaz said on Friday that voting for the ruling party in the local elections of March 31 would be a “salvation document” on judgment day.

His remarks came during a campaign rally in Sivas province where the former minister asked people to vote for his party’s candidate, Hilmi Bilgin.

Yılmaz’s comments made it to social media immediately and became a highly debated issue on Twitter and Facebook over the weekend. Many critics of the ruling AKP considered the remarks to be an exploitation of religious sentiment.

In his defense the former minister said he did not mean a specific “salvation document” but said that voting for the AKP would be “one” of the means to salvation in the hereafter.

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