“The region suddenly has a reaction whenever a shameless act happens toward the Prophet Muhammad. I greet each and every brother who defends the Prophet Muhammad here,” Davutoğlu said during his speech at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) provincial congress in Diyarbakır.
The Lovers of the Prophet Platform organized a two-hour long Jan. 24 protest at the central İstasyon Square with the participation of thousands of demonstrators coming from nearby towns.
Most speeches, banners and slogans, either in Turkish, Kurdish or Arabic, targeted Charlie Hebdo for publishing Prophet Muhammad cartoons. In reference to the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan, some banners read “I am Hizbullah in Kurdistan,” “I am Hamas in Palestine,” “I am Malcolm X in America” and “I am Imam Shamil in Chechnya.”
“As long as you are the enemies of Allah, we will be your enemies,” Free Cause Party (Hüda-Par) chair Molla Osman Teyfur said in his speech, vowing to “cut the tongue that talked against the prophet.”
Hüda-Par shares the same supporter base with Turkey’s Hizbullah, whose members are predominately Kurdish Islamists. The group was allegedly created by the state in the 1990s to fight the Kurdish separatist movement. Hizbullah and sympathizers of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been engaging in clashes since the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last year.
Over 40 people were killed in 35 provinces on Oct. 6-7 during the worst unrest in the recent past, with most of those killed dying at the hands of Hizbullah supporters, who were allegedly backed by the security forces or the police.
Meanwhile, a group led by the Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi) marched in Ankara for the love of Prophet Muhammad and denounced terrorism on Jan. 25, according to state-run Anadolu Agency. Another group of around 300 people also marched in Eskişehir in protest of defamation against the Prophet Muhammad.