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The president of the Osmanli Ocaklari (Ottoman Hearths), Kadir Canpolat, has defended the groupand’s slogan and has said that they are soldiers in shrouds for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and that they are ready to die for him. The slogan, and”Being a soldier who wears a shroud for the leader with the shroud,and” is apparently in reference to Erdogan, who frequently reminds his audiences during his speeches that he departed for his holy voyage in politics with a shroud — a clear reference to the idea that he is ready to be a martyr. In other words, Erdogan is stressing the idea that he is willing to risk everything for his cause without explaining what that cause actually is. Asked to comment on the slogan in an interview with the Handurriyet daily, Canpolat said anyone who hears the slogan asks whether the hearths were founded for war. and”Anyone who wears a shroud takes the risk of death. Anyone who takes up arms takes the risk of killing. He [apparently Erdogan] wore the shroud to serve to the nation and we also wore shrouds to serve him,and” Canpolat said. Stating that the hearths have between 2 and 3 million members, Canpolat continued: and”Those who want peace and brotherhood face a great risk of being killed. Troublemakers and defeatists kill those who want peace because peaceful people are meant to end fighting and bring peace. I will speak openly: If Erdogan did not exist in this circumstance, if he did not wear his shroud to serve his nation, there would more bloodshed, more deaths and more serious operations in our country.and” The opposition has said the Ottoman Hearths were used to incite Justice and Development Party (AK Party)-orchestrated violence nationwide toward Erdoganand’s opponents in politics and the media.
Despite the Hearthsand’ links to Erdogan and the AK Party, Canpolat claimed that the hearths are not affiliated with any political party and that he never receives orders from the leader of any political party.
Asked about his announcement of full support for the AK Party prior to the Nov. 1 snap election, Canpolat said the AK Party is the only party that protects the Ottoman legacy. and”Donand’t the other parties protect? Of course, not,and” Canpolat said.
The Ottoman Hearths were first brought to light following successive attacks on buildings occupied by the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) in the wake of the June 7 general election. Canpolat denied claims that the Hearths had anything to do with the attacks, saying no linkages were found between its members and the incidents. and”No one who takes part in attacks or violent incidents can be a member. We do not approve of such activities,and” he said. Canpolat is an open supporter of Erdogan. Speaking in Isparta this April, he said: and”We are soldiers of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I want to thank Tayyip Erdogan. We owe Osmanli Ocaklari to him. We would not exist if he did not exist!and” Canpolat has a police record. He was among six people detained for an alleged plot to kill Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Turkey in November 2006. He was later released following questioning. Police were on alert after Father Andrea Santoro was killed at the Catholic Santa Maria Church in Trabzon earlier that year. Another suspect who was detained along with Canpolat was Mustafa andOztandurk, who was later tried in the 2007 assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. When police asked andOztandurk if he knew Canpolat, he said he knew him from Alperen Ocaklari, the youth branch of the Grand Unity Party (BBP).

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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