Mehmet Boynukalın, the first imam of the Hagia Sophia, submitted his resignation today, April 8, without giving any explanation.
As reported by ethnos.gr, Boynukalın, who had been appointed to this position since July 2020, had provoked many reactions due to his controversial statements, which – apparently – had annoyed executives of the ruling Justice and Development Party of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
Recently, following the dismissal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey by President Erdogan, who raised bank interest rates to stem the collapse of the Turkish Lira, Boununkalin had quoted saying that “it was Islam’s demand that interest rates are reduced or are completely abolished and Muslims must launch a war against usury”.
The statement of Boynukalın has angered the ruling party’s vice president, Bulent Turan, who tweeted that he was “saddened” that Boynukalın was embroiled in a war that overshadowed his role as imam and asked from Boununkalin to avoid interfering in political debates.
The imam of Hagia Sophia, in fact, wanted to get involved in the debate on the new Constitution that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to draft. He demanded that the French term laïcité should be removed from the new Turkish Constitution which should have references only to Islam.
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