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Turkey’s Salafi Groups Voice Support for Erdogan in Election

Turkey’s 14 Salafi groups declared support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party in the June 24 elections, despite voicing their disdain and disapproval for the democratic system.

“We declare that we support the president and the present government with the conviction that they are more qualified than their peers,” a declaration on behalf of the groups said on Saturday.

According to the statement, Salafis pledge to support Erdogan and his government” in order to not live through the animosity toward religion, treason against our country and the repression against our people again, and in order to not to become an Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Egypt, and in order to not to waste the gains of the past 16 years.”

Eyeing for winning the critical presidential elections, President Erdogan increasingly employs religiously-driven discourse to coalesce a wide-ranging social alliance among Turkey’s pious quarters.

Apart from Islamist Felicity (Saadet) Party, dozens of Islamist groups and communities have declared support for Erdogan. In late April, the president called for snap elections on June 24.

Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) forged an electoral alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) while four opposition parties cobbled an electoral alliance for the parliamentary elections.

Polls indicate that Erdogan’s party may lose the majority in Parliament.

Ebu Said Yarpuzlu who signed the document said: “We never approved democracy. We never thought that we could reach any good with it. It never came to our mind that sharia would come with it. We never waited for the arrival of sharia, because we never believed it has gone.”

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