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Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) İstanbul MP Hüda Kaya has brought to the Parliament agenda the incident of religious conversion of a 13-year-old Armenian refugee child to Islam through a religious ritual on the TV program “Fast-Breaking with Nihat Hatipoğlu”.
HDP Diyarbakır MP Garo Paylan, Human Rights Association (İHD) Committee Against Racism and Discrimination and Diyarbakır Bar Association Children’s Rights Center also filed a criminal complaint.
HDP İstanbul MP Hüda Kaya has pointed out these statements in her parliamentary question:
“On the TV program ‘Fast-Breaking with Nihat Hatipoğlu’ live-streamed on ATV, 13-year-old A. participated in the program as audience but got on the streaming. It was stated that 13-year-old A. wanted to be a Muslim and his religion was converted through the Islamic confession of faith (Kalima Shahadat) with the guidance of Nihat Hatipoğlu.
“13-year-old A.’s mother stated on a TV program streamed in Armenia that they were not informed of their child’s participation in the program and the religious conversion and they were not asked to give a permission.”
‘It Caused a Child Abuse’
In this context, Kaya has addressed following questions to be answered in written form by Vice President Fuat Oktay as per the Article 98 of the Constitution and 99th specification of the Internal Regulations:
- Will any working be planned about the under-aged children’s non-participation in TV programs with the aim of preventing such abuse incidents?
- Has any legal action been taken against the TV program and the TV channel in question that used a legally under-age child for a television show on the ground of religious conversion? Or will any legal action be taken about it?
- Is there or will there be any legal action about this incident to protect the children’s rights?
- Nihat Hatipoğlu, as a public official, has caused a child abuse by turning an under-age child into a show tool on the screen without the permission of the child. Has any legal action been taken against Nihat Hatipoğlu? Or will any action be taken against him?
In a fast-breaking TV program aired live on ATV television channel on May 12, theologian Nihat Hatipoğlu performed a religious conversion ritual for a 13-year-old Armenian refugee boy. Supposedly converting the religion of the child from Christianity to Islam, Hatipoğlu made the child recite the “Kalima Shahadat.” He also said that the mother of the child was informed about the ritual beforehand.
However, speaking to bianet regarding the issue on May 15, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Diyarbakır MP Garo Paylan stated that the mother told him that she did not know that his child would attend this program or the religious conversion ritual.