ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday accused the opposition and Kurdish parties of disrespecting Islam by booing the Islamic call to prayer, adhan, for joining a women’s march Friday that his police force violently dispersed in central Istanbul.
During a televised election rally in the southern city of Mersin, Erdogan showed thousands of his supporters a video taken during the march at Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue, showing women chanting feminist slogans while the night-time adhan was being called from a nearby mosque.
“These women who gathered in Taksim under the leadership of CHP and HDP were disrespectful to the adhan,” Erdogan claimed.
“They whistled,” he continued, “These are people who also never read the national anthem. If the enemy shows up at our gates, they will be applauding.”
The Turkish president designated the secular Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as a “coalition of intolerance” to Islamic values.
Several thousand women and men gathered on Friday evening for a march to mark the International Women’s Day, but Turkish riot police attacked them with tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets as snipers took positions on buildings nearby.
Feminist groups denounced Erdogan’s claim on social media, saying the chanting and whistling were not aimed at the Islamic call to prayer but simply a part of the demonstration.
Some 45 million voters are going to the ballot box on March 31 to elect local administrations and mayors in over 1,400 population centers.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany