Pro-Erdoğan religious scholar claims Turkey will be lost if people vote for opposition

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) presented an award to Hayrettin Karaman for his service to Islamic culture in İstanbul on Jan. 25, 2014.

Professor Hayrettin Karaman, an Islamic scholar and columnist for the pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper, warned on Friday ahead of local elections on March 31 that Turkey will be lost to its enemies if the electorate tries to teach President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a lesson.

Telling a symbolic story in his column, Karaman, who likened Erdoğan to a property watchman, said if you decide to punish the watchman, the property could be seized by enemies who have been waiting for the right time.

Government officials and the pro-government media have been concerned about the possible impact of a deteriorating economy on the elections and asked voters not to punish it at the polls. Erdoğan and his aides often claim that Turkey’s existence is at stake in the elections of March 31.

Karaman’s column and his analogy came in this context as he warned people that the very existence of Turkey is at risk if Erdoğan is not in power.

Earlier, the same scholar issued fatwas labeling those who cast votes against Erdoğan as “opponents of Islam” and provided Islamic justification for cracking down on dissidents.

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