Turkish opposition MP resigns over 'racist' remarks

A deputy from Republican People’s Party resigned from his position in the party in protest of another party official who recently said people of Kurdish origin cannot be equal to Turkish people.

Turkish opposition MP resigns over 'racist' remarks

World Bulletin / News Desk

A deputy from the Republican People's Party (CHP) has resigned from his position in protest against remarks of another party official who said people of Kurdish origin cannot be equal to Turkish people.

In a written statement released on Thursday, CHP Adıyaman deputy Salih Fırat said he had resigned from the party on account of a speech made by CHP İzmir deputy Birgül Ayman Güler at a meeting in Parliament on Wednesday.

“The Kurdish nation cannot be equal to the Turkish nation,” Güler said, addressing the lawmakers who convened to discuss a law to allow suspects to use their mother tongue in court when delivering defense statements.

“There is no Kurdish conflict in Turkey,” Güler further stated. Many deputies from the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) were seen applauding Güler's speech.

Güler became the target of criticism over her racist remarks following the parliamentary meeting, with many lawmakers from the CHP and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) condemning her comments.

AK Party deputy Galip Ensarioğlu blasted Güler's remarks as “grave,” saying he wouldn't expect such “fascist” thoughts from a party which describes itself as a social democrat party on the left. Ensarioğlu also said he was appalled to see those from the CHP and MHP applauding Güler's speech.

Altan Tan, a deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), said the CHP deputy's comment was a betrayal against not only the Kurdish people but also against all people living in Turkey.

MHP deputy Mehmet Şandır, on the other hand, said Güler's comments are not racist.

“It is those who visit İmralı [where PKK leader is jailed] and those who recognize the Kurdish ethnicity that should be accused of racism,” Şandır said.

Last Mod: 24 Ocak 2013, 14:30
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