Kasım Gülpınar, a deputy from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has said it is normal for his party to abuse religion for politics and that other parties can do the same as well, the T24 news website reported on Friday.
The AKP has long been accused of using Islamic rhetoric for political gain.
Another AKP deputy, İsmet Yılmaz, a former education minister, attracted widespread criticism in January when he said that voting for the ruling party in the local elections on March 31 would be a “salvation document” on judgment day.
Many critics of the AKP considered the remarks to be an exploitation of religious sentiment.
In the wake of growing criticism against his party, Gülpınar said: “Why shouldn’t we use it [religion], friends? You could do it as well. Religion is not under my monopoly. Everyone can use it.”
The deputy also reiterated Yılmaz’s remarks and said God would not ask for an accounting in the hereafter from the people who vote for the AKP because God wants power to be entrusted to competent people.