This story was published more than 3 years ago.
Turkish newspaper Hurriyet is reporting that the Turkish Chess Federation is filing suit against a televangelist who claimed that the game of chess is more sinful than gambling or eating pork.
The controversy stems from popular Turkish televangelist Ahmet Mahmut UnlU, who also goes by the name Cubbeli Ahmet Hoca. He claimed in one of his sermons that people who played chess were committing a sin that was worse than gambling or eating pork, dooming players to hell after they die. "Playing chess is worse than gambling and eating pork ... People who play chess are more prone to lying than others. People who play chess may not say the shahada [declaration of Islamic belief] while they are dying," the televangelist said.
That statement caused the Turkish Chess Federation to launch legal proceedings against UnlU, with the group writing: "The remarks of the person in question on chess in a video are unacceptable and have drawn a reaction from our community."
It is currently unclear what relief the TCF is seeking, whether it be monetary or seeking a retraction by the televangelist. This is certainly a strange case, and is the first time we've ever heard someone call chess evil, and certainly the first time we've heard it compared to gambling or eating pork in a religious sense.
Needless to say, we'll be keeping abreast on the case and will update you as we learn more.