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Will Erdogan apologize to Turkey's Shiites?

Turkey’s high political tensions finally engulfed the Turkish Shiites (Jaafaris) who are furious with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for calling Shiites “liars, slanderers and hate mongers.”
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses the crowd during an opening ceremony of a new metro line in Ankara  March 13, 2014. A defiant Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, already battling a damaging corruption scandal weeks ahead of elections, cast the latest unrest as part of a plot against the state. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS TRANSPORT CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3GWD4

It was Turkey’s Shiite (Jaafari) community's turn to be offended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as he criticized the Gulen faith movement, which he holds responsible for revealing the corruption files. Talking about Gulenists on a TV program, Erdogan said, "These people have three major characteristics. They practice taqiyya [religiously sanctioned dissimulation], they lie, they slander. As a result they are involved in sedition, malice. They are far ahead of Shiites. Shiites cannot compete with them.” Many news websites quoted Erdogan verbatim.

Turkey’s Shiites, who call themselves Jaafaris as a tribute to the sixth Imam Jaafar-i Sadek, are now expecting an apology. Civil society organizations of the Jaafaris, the Caferi-Der and Jaafari Wise Men Union (CABIR), declared that the prime minister had to be equidistant from the beliefs of all citizens and had to know that insulting any faith is a crime. Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) member of parliament Ali Ozgunduz, who represents the Jaafari community, said the prime minister had committed the crime of “provoking people to hatred and enmity” by libeling Shiites, and said, “Erdogan’s out-of-control discriminatory, racist and sectarian approach is threatening our social peace.” 

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