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Another controversial 'expression of deep feelings' to Erdoy-an.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Ethem Sancak, the owner of the pro-government Star Media Group, recently expressed his feelings for President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an using an expression that resembles praise for the Prophet Muhammad made by one of his companions, in another example of the compliments for Erdoy-an by Justice and Development Party (AK Party) supporters that have been widely denounced as offensive.

Giving a speech on May 10 during a discussion panel on the proposed Turkish presidential system held in the Erdoy-an's home province of Rize, Sancak employed the controversial expression and also mentioned his intention of working hard to prevent the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) from crossing the parliamentary threshold.

Sancak was recorded as saying: "An Arabic proverb says: May my father and mother be sacrificed to you. I too say the same to Erdoy-an: May my father, mother, wife and children be sacrificed to you."

Sancak, one of the businessmen closest to Erdoy-an, has been recently given a role in the AK Party's leadership. Last year, Sancak enlarged his media group -- which had previously consisted of only the Star daily and the Kanal 24 TV station -- by buying the AkE-am and GE-neE- dailies and the SKY 360 TV station from the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF).

Sancak's previous expressions of devotion to Erdoy-an also received considerable attention. When discussions about production of a Turkish-made car were on the public agenda, he was recorded as saying: "I am in love with Erdoy-an. I will be a national hero [by producing Turkish-made cars]."

AK Party officials have also made a number of controversial expressions that have been criticized by conservative sections of society. Bursa deputy HE-seyin E[currency]ahin at one time said that "touching Erdoy-an is a form of prayer," while DE-zce deputy Fevai Arslan said Erdoy-an has "all the attributes of God."

AK Party Aydyn provincial head ysmail Hakky Eser once said: "We are in love with our prime minister [then-Prime Minister Erdoy-an]. Our prime minister is like a second prophet for us." Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad is the final prophet, a belief that forms one of the core principles of Islam, and therefore describing anyone born after as a prophet is antithetical to Islam. Eser later resigned from his post.

Last summer, Former Interior Minister Efkan Ala said that the Prophet Muhammad was "arrogant" when he conquered Mecca and that the AK Party would not make the same mistake. His comments were also highly controversial among Turkey's conservative community.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman)


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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:May 11, 2015
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