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Palestinians mourn death of leading Turkish Islamist

February 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Palestinian factions and organisation have been mourning the death of former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, the founder of the Islamist movement in Turkey. Mr. Erbakan died on 27 February from cardiac and respiratory failure, aged 85; he had been in hospital since January. His passing came on the eve of the 14th anniversary of the military coup d’état which overthrew his government in 1997.

The Palestinian Scholars Association offered their condolences to the Turkish people, the Islamist movement in Turkey and the Turkish government: “The deceased was a star in the Muslim world’s sky. He spent long decades carrying Islam – as a religion, sharia and a way of life – preaching and establishing one generation after the other,” said the PSA in a statement.

Palestine’s Islamic Jihad movement said that Mr. Erbakan “spoke up for rights, supported justice, and called for freedom for oppressed”.

Mr. Erbakan, continued Islamic Jihad’s statement, “was a great personality who struggled to restore Islam’s glory and contributed to developing Turkey’s relations with Arab and Muslim countries”. In opening and developing such relations, it added, “he was a strong supporter of the just nature of the Palestinian cause”.