Politicians call on religious directorate head to resign over use of luxury car

Religious Affairs Directorate President Mehmet GandOrmez has been at the center of controversy for his use of a luxury armored vehicle, with politicians from opposition parties calling on him to resign in order to prevent his reputation from being tarnished any further and to avoid being part of the governmentand’s waste of public resources.
In an interview with Todayand’s Zaman on Tuesday, former izmir Mayor Burhan andOzfatura, saying that the directorate has been made a party to the extravagant spending of public resources by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), called on GandOrmez to resign from his post so that he would not be part of the governmentand’s reckless spending.
The revelation of the price of GandOrmezand’s previous car, which was valued at TL 1 million sparked public controversy, subsequently forced GandOrmez to announce that he would return the car.
The debate surfaced once again after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the Presidentand’s Office had provided GandOrmez with a new armored vehicle as a gesture for GandOrmez returning his previous car.
Previously, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahandceli had also criticized the gift of a luxury car to GandOrmez during an election rally in Kiriehir province last week, stating: andquotSuch a polemic regarding the luxury vehicle should not be allowed to damage GandOrmez and the institution he represents. Instead of accepting such a car, he should refuse to accept it from Erdogan. This would befit his dignity. [GandOrmez] is accepting a car similar to the one he returned, because he does not wish to offend Erdogan. Can it be acceptable? [GandOrmez] should refuse the vehicle by saying, and’Sorry, I cannot take this one.and’ He should resign immediately.andquot
Speaking to Todayand’s Zaman on Tuesday, former Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuirul Gandunay questioned the motive for the head of Turkeyand’s top religious body to use a luxury car by saying that partaking in such luxuries constitutes disregard for Islamic values.
and”If [GandOrmez] wants to make a display of luxury to certain people, I would like to remind him of a verse from the Quran, andlsquoAnd do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height,and” said Gandunal.
GandOrmez had previously called the reports about his luxury car a and”perception operationand” designed to misinform the public.
and”I will return the vehicle to serve as an example,andquot GandOrmez said.
Gandunay commented on GandOrmezand’s remarks by saying that and”being an exampleandquot to people by returning a luxury car is simply a reflection of pride and reveals a lack of religious knowledge. Gandunay argued that the fact that the head of the top religious body needs an armored vehicle to travel in public shows that there is a lack of security in society.
The former minister then lamented that due to the deterioration of the image of the directorate in the eyes of the public, respect and trust for religious intellectuals has declined.
Pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP)o-chair Selahattin Demirtai had previously slammed GandOrmez for having accepted a new luxury armored car from Erdogan.
Speaking at an election rally in the Baicilar district of Istanbul last Sunday, Demirtai called on GandOrmez, saying: andquotFor your information, a Mercedes does not help you pass the required stages to get into heaven! Does that vehicleand’s armor protect you from sins? While such a great number of people are in need, it is a shame to accept a luxury vehicle.and”

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman