Ruling AKP lawmaker campaigns at mosque ahead of local elections

A deputy with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) from the country’s northwestern province of Kocaeli organised an event at a local mosque ahead of the March 2019 municipal elections, asking for the congregation to vote for AKP, Gerçek Gündem website reported.

Radiye Sezer Katırcıoğlu set up the mosque with chairs to address the all-woman congregation at Hayrat Mosque about politics and asked them to vote for the AKP candidate in the upcoming elections, it said.

Katırcıoğlu, a member of the parliamentary Human Rights Commission, has been vocal about increasing women’s involvement in politics.

The upcoming local elections are set to take place on March 31, 2019 throughout the 81 provinces of the country. The leading AKP won 18 out of 30 metropolitan municipalities in the last local elections in 2014, receiving 60 percent of the votes.

Politics at the mosque has been an ongoing topic of discussion in Turkey, where the Directorate of Religious Affairs is looking to repeal a law that forbids imams from engaging in political activity, allowing imams to deliver political speeches at mosques during Friday prayers and religious holidays.