Turkey slams politician's expulsion from Belgian party

Turkish FM Cavusoglu has termed Belgium's Humanist Democratic Centre party move to expel parliamentarian Mahinur Ozdemir as 'unacceptable'

Turkey slams politician's expulsion from Belgian party

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has condemned the decision of a political party in Belgium for expelling a female politician over her refusal to recognize the 1915 events as “genocide”.

In comments made on Twitter about the Humanist Democratic Centre (CHD) party’s decision to expel parliamentarian Mahinur Ozdemir, Cavusoglu termed the move as "unacceptable".

"Is this your understanding of democracy and freedom?" he tweeted.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a statement Sunday that it was "worrisome" to see Ozdemir getting expelled.

"We are astonished about the non-democratic decision of a party in Belgium, who has a rooted tradition in democracy," Bilgic said.

He also said that the expulsion of Ozdemir would not contribute to the integration of 220,000 Turkish-origin Belgium citizens in the country.

Mahinur Ozdemir, who is the first woman with a headscarf to become member of the Belgian parliament, told on Friday that she refused to recognize the 1915 events as “genocide” and was later expelled by a committee from her party.

CHD President Benoit Lutgen said last week that any member of the party who denied what he called ‘the Armenian genocide’ would be expelled.

Ozdemir, who did not attend a standing ovation to commemorate the 1915 events, said there was no court order that could force one to recognize the events concerning Armenians; moreover, the European Parliament’s resolution in April for recognition of the 1915 events as “genocide” was also non-binding.

She also alleged that the CHD felt uncomfortable because of her headscarf.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Mayıs 2015, 12:52