UPDATE WITH REMARKS OF CHP's DEPUTY CHAIR, GURSEL EROL CASE
By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - The debate over having mosques issue the Muslim call to prayer (adhan) in Turkish rather than Arabic is wrong, said a senior Turkish main opposition party lawmaker on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in parliament on Thursday, Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Abdullatif Sener criticized the push by Ozturk Yilmaz, another CHP lawmaker, to change the adhan's language to Turkish.
There was a similar debate in the early years of the republic, until 1950, said Sener, but this debate “ended with the votes of CHP [lawmakers] in parliament."
Resurrecting this old debate is “wrong," said Sener, as it “contradicts the pillars” of Islam and ill befits a politician.
Unal Cevikoz, the party's deputy chair, distanced the CHP from the adhan proposal, telling reporters the remarks were just Yilmaz's "personal opinion."
After Cevikoz spoke, the CHP announced Yilmaz would face the party's disciplinary committee for possible expulsion.
From 1932 to 1950, in Turkey’s single-party era of CHP rule, the adhan was recited in Turkish, but then-Prime Minister Adnan Menderes ended the practice in 1950.
Separately, the CHP also announced that Gursel Erol, lawmaker from the eastern Elazig province, will face the disciplinary committee over possible expulsion.
Erol had called on party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu to step down, and also appeared on television without permission, in violation of party rules.