Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks on “one religion” for Turkey were a slip of the tongue in his apparent intention to emphasize the common Muslim faith of Turks and Kurds, a senior official of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said. Erdoğan’s controversial comments had sparked concerns that he was targeting the secular system with his statements.Sure - a slip of the tongue. Twice.
Erdoğan made the controversial remarks in two separate speeches over the weekend as part of comments on the Kurdish conflict. Addressing Kurds, he said that he had never advocated one language for Turkey but “one nation, one state, one flag and one religion.”
“Democratic and secular countries cannot have one religion. Our attitude towards [non-Muslim] minorities is evident. As someone who has known the prime minister for years, I can say that this was a slip of the tongue,” AKP deputy chairman Hüseyin Çelik told daily Radikal, stressing that the party’s statute rejected “ethnic, religious and regional nationalism.”