Imam Murat Gündoğdu has been reinstated by Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs, commonly referred to as Diyanet. The imam was initially suspended for making a call for armament during a Friday sermon at Cebeci Mosque in the Sultangazi district of Istanbul on 19 May.
In the sermon, Gündoğdu stated, “Prepare your weapons for the evening of 28 May; I have two guns fully loaded.” He also made remarks questioning what the country had “endured” for 80 years and made a derogatory reference to “Armenian seeds.”
Following the sermon, a man named Halit Demir, who protested against the imam’s statements, was forcibly removed from the mosque. The incident was reported by journalist İsmail Arı from BirGün Newspaper, leading to public outcry. Diyanet subsequently announced that an internal investigation had been initiated and that Imam Gündoğdu was suspended from his duties.
Approximately three months after the initial incident, it has been confirmed that Gündoğdu has returned to his position at the same mosque. The Sultangazi District Mufti’s Office verified his reinstatement.
Diyanet had previously announced an internal investigation into the matter. However, details about the findings of the investigation or the rationale for Gündoğdu’s reinstatement have not been publicly disclosed.