AK Parti denied that they had put up banners that read “Every ‘yes’ vote is a prayer for Sheikh Said and his friends” to promote Turkey’s upcoming constitutional referendum.

On Friday, Mohammad Akar, Ak Party’s provincial chairman in Diyarbakir, denied claims that the controversial banner was made with party’s knowledge or permission while speaking to a reporter from news agency Anadolu Ajansı.

Akar continued by saying, “Our party’s slogans and banner are prepared and put up according to certain standards and discipline. We are looking into who hung this banner up and why.”

The banner, which was hung in the center of Diyarbakır, featured the slogan “Every ‘yes’ vote is a prayer for Sheikh Said and his friends” alongside a picture of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım. This slogan made reference to Sheikh Said, a religious leader who led a Kurdish rebellion in 1925.

Akar went onto say that whoever hung the banner wanted to create tension in the public by bringing Sheikh Said into the conversation. Said is considered to be a separatist traitor according to official state ideology and revered as a hero by a section of the Kurdish population

Leyla Amur

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