On 23.10.2020, the Head of Religious Affairs, Turkey, Ali Erbaş made a speech after the opening ceromony of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Mosque in Patnos/Ağrı. In his speech, he targeted the non-believers, saying, “Any evil is expected from people who don’t have a belief in the afterlife”.

Non-believers who are equal citizens of the Turkish Republic, undergo social pressure and violence, sometimes to the point of life threatening levels because of such dissociative and irresponsible statements. In this sense, the responsibility of an attack against the non-believers living in this country, belongs to the authorities who use the religious belief differences to block out any chance of social consensus between different views, also who take no necessary action against these statements, ensuring the continuity of such actions.

Considering this hate speech is against the relevant articles of both the Turkish Constitution and the Turkish Criminal Code, The Association of Atheism, Turkey has filed a criminal complaint against Ali Erbaş to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, for openly insulting non-believer citizens who live in the Turkish Republic, for provocation of hostility and grudge in society or humiliation.

As The Association of Atheism, Turkey, we emphasize once again that it is extremely dangerous to provoke belief-based differences, even worse that it is done by the government officials, and we invite authorities to demonstrate the responsibility expected of them, which is required to ensure social peace.

Significantly announced to the press and the public.