“We are not Islamists, we are Muslims” - Felicity Party

The leader of Turkey’s Felicity Party has said that his party is not Islamist but Muslim and that there are senior members of the ruling Justice and Development Party who will vote for the Felicity Party in the upcoming elections on June 24, party-linked newspaper Milli Gazete quoted the provincial head of the party, Abdullah Sevim as saying on Thursday.

The party, whose similarly Islamic-origin predecessor, the Welfare Party, was originally the home of most of the founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party, is taking part in these elections as part of an opposition bloc.

“There are AKP members in executive positions who have personally told our friend that they would vote for the Felicity Party,” Sevim said. 

“Our party chair says that he is a Muslim, not an Islamist,” added Sevim, noting that when the party declares itself as Islamist, 98 percent of the population turn their back on it and have doubts, but when it says it is Muslim, its message reaches to all Muslims in the country. 

Sevim also complained about the negative image of Muslims in the society due to the AKP’s policies. “There is a perception in the society that a Muslim can steal, accept bribes, and give bribes. This is what comes to people’s minds when one mentions Muslims,” Sevim said.