Candidate in Koran pledge .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} KOCAELİ - The Republican People’s Party, or CHP's, mayoral candidate for the city of Kocaeli added an extra initiative to his party’s attempts at reaching out to conservative segments of society. Sefa Sirmen visited the offices of the local press of Kocaeli to talk about his pledges for the local elections and said if he ended up in office, he would open a Koran course in every district.

Daily Özgür Kocaeli reported the previous day that if Sirmen became mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Kocaeli on March 29, "village or district houses" would be opened in every village and district. Sirmen said Koran courses for children would be held at those houses in cooperation with muftis (Islamic clergy). "It is the right for everyone to learn about the rules of our religion and its book.

We will open Koran courses for children, for the best religious training possible, of which all families may send their children without any worries." Sirmen said and added that courses for learning foreign languages or practicing art would also be available for those who so desired. Sirmen also said: "We are not from among those who exploit religion but we respect religion and religious people more that the ones who do."