Turkish PM praises late Islamic scholar Nursi

Photo: Turkish PM praises late Islamic scholar Nursi / Turkey

A man propagating chaos in his home country (Turkey) cannot be considered an Islamic scholar, said Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referring to U.S. based self-exiled scholar Fethullah Gulen, in a speech at a local election rally in the eastern town of Bitlis in Turkey Anadolu Agency reported.

Bitlis is the hometown of the late Islamic scholar Said Nursi (1877-1960) the founder of the Nur Movement, which it is said, Fethullah Gulen draws his inspiration from.

The Gulen movement is accused by the Turkish government of conducting a 'parallel state' and for being responsible for wiretapping the prime minister and other prominent people.

Erdogan, quoting Nursi, 'eternal truths shall not be based upon mortal personalities', accused Fethullah Gulen of exploiting religion as a political instrument for the wellbeing of his movement.

Erdogan also slammed the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) holding up a Nursi book published by Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs.

"The books of Nursi were banned by the Republican People Party's cabinet in the 1940s but the Justice and Development (AK) Party government has started publishing them," said Erdogan.

Stating that Nursi and his followers were oppressed by the CHP single party rule in the second quarter of 20th century, Erdogan drew comparisons between Gulen and Nursi. He said that Nursi, who despite oppresive treatment did not leave his country and try to undermine the government from abroad.

Erdogan criticised the CHP regime in 1960 for changing the name of Nursi's village of Nurs to Kepirli. He added it was the AK Party in July 3, 2012 who reinstated the name.

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