Turkish political Islamists demand removal of statue of Greek philosopher Diogenes in Sinop

Turkish political Islamists who are coming from the same ideological roots with Turkey’s autocratic President and the Chairman of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, staged a protest in the Black Sea province of Sinop on Tuesday and demand the removal of a statue of Ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes.

The Erbakan Foundation, named after Necmettin Erbakan, Erdoğan’s political and ideological mentor and the late founder and leader of Turkish radical Islamist political movement, Milli Görüş (National View), has said it was protesting the fact that the Greek ideology being attached to the province rather than arts.

“We are not against arts and sculptures. We are against the fact that they are attaching Greek ideology to Sinop under the cover of the statue. We want the Diogenes statue to be taken from the entrance of Sinop and moved to Balatlar [a local Byzantine church]. We will put in effort for this. We will struggle to the end, whether a petition or a permanent press statement here is required,” said İsmail Teziç, the foundation’s Sinop provincial representative.

As Necmettin Erbakan, the founding father of National View on the line of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jamaat-i Islami in Pakistan, Diogenes was also born in Sinope, modern-day Sinop. Sinop was at that time an Ionian colony on the Black Sea, in 412 or 404 BC.

Diogenes is known as one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. He was also noted for having publicly mocked Alexander the Great. After being captured by pirates and sold into slavery, Diogenes eventually settled in Corinth, Greece, where he died in 323 BC.

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