HDP nominee: We translated Quran into Kurdish ErdoIan waves it at election rallies

A deputy nominee of the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) has criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s use of the Quran in election rallies, saying that prominent religious figures in southeast Turkey had translated the Quran into Kurdish to make it more accessible to the Kurdish population while Erdogan waves it around for political gain.
Adem andOzcaner, who is running in the upcoming general election as a deputy nominee from the HDP in the eastern province of Van and who headed the Azadi movement when he became an HDP deputy nominee, said the Kurdish translation of the Quran was prepared by religious figures in the eastern provinces and presented to the Religious Affairs Directorate multiple times since the 1990s.
andOzcaner claimed that the Religious Affairs Directorate reluctantly accepted the Kurdish translation and announced it as its official translation after recent demands to that end from the Kurdish residents of the eastern provinces. Four translations had previously been published by the Azadi movement, a civil society group established in Diyarbakir which describes itself as a Kurdish-Islamic synthesis according to Foreign Affairs magazine. andOzcaner also stated that the Religious Affairs Directorate presented the Kurdish translation as its own, despite it being translated by others.
However, the real problem according to andOzcaner is not that the Religious Affairs Directorate passed off the Kurdish translation as its own but that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is exploiting the holy text for his personal gain. and”This is a source of joy for us we [the HDP] are not against the distribution [of the Quran]. It was us who wanted the Religious Affairs Directorate to distribute [the Quran]. But the Religious Affairs Directorate giving this [the Kurdish translation] to the president for him to use in politics is very saddening,and” andOzcaner said.
Erdogan, who held a copy of the Quran as he addressed the crowd in the predominantly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir recently, has been accused of exploiting religion for political gain and of favoring the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), violating the impartiality required of presidents according to the Constitution.
During a recent rally in the southeastern province of Siirt, Erdogan spurred on the crowd as it booed main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kiliandcdaroilu over his lack of piety, something Erdogan had done many times before. Erdogan encouraged the crowd to express its emotions at the ballot box in the parliamentary election next month.
and”Mr. Kiliandcdaroilu, I was brought up with the Quran. I live my life by the Quran. We know what the place of the Quran is in your life,and” Erdogan said, waving the Kurdish translation of the Quran and hinting at Kiliandcdaroiluand’s Alevi background, a cause of discontent among many religious nationalist-leaning Turks which form the backbone of the AK Partyand’s political base.
andOzcaner said the only time he saw the Kurdish translation of the Quran in the public sphere was when Erdogan waved it during a recent election rally.
He continued by stating that he hoped to see the Kurdish translation in other public places, such as mosques and schools and not just in the hands of Erdogan at election rallies.
Erdogan is no stranger to the exploitation of religious symbols and sentiment, as when he was mayor of Istanbul, Erdogan was sentenced to 10 months in prison for reciting a poem deemed to have religious and nationalistic overtones.
He was convicted of andquotinciting hatred based on religious differencesandquot in a speech he made in Siirt over a decade-and-a-half ago in which he recited an altered version of a poem by nationalist ideologue Ziya GandOkalp, for which he had to serve four months of a 10-month prison sentence. The poem contained the lines andquotOur minarets are our bayonets, Our domes are our helmets, Our mosques are our barracks, the believers are our soldiers. This holy army looks over my religion God is great, God is great.and”

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman