Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Imam of the Dolmabahce Mosque: "I did not see alcohol being drunk in the mosque"
PM Erdogan has been agitating against the Gezi demonstrators mostly by employing arguments that should expose the protesters as antireligious zealots and infidels, i.e. he claimed that they went into the Dolmabahce Mosque, did not take off their shoes, drank alcohol and had group sex there. In fact the Imam had opened his mosque in order to set up an infirmary for the wounded.
Although Erdogan had stated that he has evidence for these claims and he was going to make them public on Friday, June 14th, nobody has ever seen this evidence. Still, Erdogan keeps claiming that demonstrators drank alcohol in the mosque.
The Imam of the Dolmabahçe Mosque Fuat Yıldırım, who was already put on leave after having declared that there was neither alcohol, nor group sex in the mosque, had to answer the official's questions. He said: "I had neither seen anyone drinking alcohol nor was there any alcohol at all in the mosque. I am a cleric. I cannot lie. I cannot say I saw something that I did not see. Maybe there were some people who drunk alcohol - I cannot know that. I saw a bottle that looked like a beer bottle only in front/outside of the mosque. I did not see anything in the mosque."