Two Turkish imams have been fired for possessing bitcoin investments, according to local media reports. Turkey’s religious authorities determined that bitcoin is “not compatible with Islam” in November 2017.
Two Imams Fired for Owning Bitcoin
It has been reported that two religious officials in Zonguldak, Turkey, have been removed from office by Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs.
Mecit K, who held a position at a mosque in Zonguldak’s city center, and Satilimis B, who worked in a surrounding village, were removed following an investigation by the Presidency of Religious Affairs into allegations that both men were investing in bitcoin. Both men have appealed the determinations.
According to a rough translation, Mecit C has pled only to have made investments into “blockchain,” stating “I do not have a close relationship with Bitcoin, I have not invested a penny, I do not have a connection […] I have an investment in ‘Blockchain’, but I have never invested in Bitcoin, it is a legitimate investment.” Mecit also indicated that this was not the first investigation of its kind into his investments, adding “In 2016, an investigation was launched on the grounds that necessary jurisdictions had been opened and then the case was closed, and an investigation was launched again in 2017. Justice will make its decision.”
By contrast, Satilimis pled total innocence, claiming not to “even know what bitcoin is.” Satilimis’ statements appear to claim that his wife’s jewelry business had recently been the victim of some sort of scam. Satilimis stated that his “wife went to this place by selling the jewelry items, under the influence of the father-in-law and getting the rental income from this company but this company went down without getting any rental income. I am also the victim here. they gave me the air of directing my friends to this company, but my friends who entered this company without being under the influence of anyone in the investigation declare them. I was dismissed from such a calumny. It is a pity that the Religious Council has come to this point.”
Turkish Religious Officials Rule Against Bitcoin Use in 2017
Late last year, it was first reported that Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs had announced that it would not permit the use of cryptocurrencies.
According to a rough translation, The Gazete Manifesto quoted the High Council of Religious affairs as concluding that “It is permissible to use any kind of money which is generally regarded as a measure of exchange or value among users, which gives trust to the user as a source. What is important at this point is that the means of change, known as money, is not used as a means of deceiving, in its essence, i.e., in the form of production, in the stages of release and in the nature of interrogation, as a means of deception, and is not conducive to the unjust and unjust enrichment of a particular segment. The use of each of the digital-crypto[currencies] that have emerged in recent years […] should be evaluated in the light of the above general principles. According to this, there is a risk of deceit, which has serious uncertainties in its essence.”
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