National Politics

Kılıçdaroğlu verbally attacked during cemetery visit in quake-hit city

Kılıçdaroğlu verbally attacked during cemetery visit in quake-hit city


Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the main political opponent of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the upcoming elections, was verbally attacked during a visit to the earthquake-stricken province of Adıyaman.

To mark the first day of Eid al-Fitr, Kılıçdaroğlu visited earthquake survivors and a cemetery where victims of the massive quakes were buried.

During the prayers of a crowd of people in the presence of an imam, a man started shouting and pointing to Kılıçdaroğlu, saying “This one doesn’t know how to recite Fatiha, why are you having him recite it?” implicitly referring to Kılıçdaroğlu’s Alevi identity, showed a video released by the Medyascope news portal.

The imam had instructed the people to recite the Fatiha chapter of the Quran in silence, which is a common practice during grave visits.

Kılıçdaroğlu did not respond to the person, but others around warned him “not to be rude.”

Later in the day, Kılıçdaroğlu tweeted, “In the cemetery, a grieving person can say or do anything; we must respect their pain. Let’s not discuss these things today, let’s properly commemorate our losses.”

He also forgave the person who verbally attacked him and called on people not to expose that person on social media.

The verbal attack followed Kılıçdaroğlu’s recent Twitter video where he openly stated that he is an Alevi, a persecuted religious minority in Turkey whose faith is not officially recognized. In the video, he promised equal rights for Alevis.

In the past, Erdoğan has repeatedly drawn attention to Kılıçdaroğlu’s Alevi identity, which has been criticized for being discriminatory.

“We will unite”

After visiting the cemetery, Kılıçdaroğlu went to greet locals and wish them a happy holiday. Addressing the citizens, he said, “They separated us, but we will unite. On May 15, we will embrace each other again within the framework of the holiday. We need to embrace each other on holidays. Society has become too divided, and people have started to see each other as enemies. We need to break free from this and come together.

“Our culture says that a neighbor needs the ash of their neighbor. We need to expand our neighborhood relations and build beautiful relations in the neighborhood. We must bring a new political understanding, a new culture that competes on goodness to Turkey. I am fighting for this, and with your support, I will bring it.” (HA/VK)


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