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Kurdish move leads to tension in Turkish Parliament
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1316 days ago | Wednesday, 11th November , 2009 , 01:20 [am] | Azerbaijan
|.|| The ruling partyâ€™s Kurdish initiative heats up Parliament as the debate comes packed with plenty of criticism of the Justice and Development Partyâ€™s efforts and what many opposition leaders are calling intentionally bad timing. Tuesday was also the anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal AtatÃ¼rk, the founder of modern Turkey .
The anniversary of the death of the founder of modern Turkey turned into a heated debate Tuesday as the ruling party attempted to discuss in Parliament its Kurdish initiative to end the 25
The ruling partyâ€™s Kurdish initiative heats up Parliament as the debate comes packed with plenty of criticism of the Justice and Development Partyâ€™s efforts and what many opposition leaders are calling intentionally bad timing. Tuesday was also the anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal AtatÃ¼rk, the founder of modern Turkey .
The anniversary of the death of the founder of modern Turkey turned into a heated debate Tuesday as the ruling party attempted to discuss in Parliament its Kurdish initiative to end the 25-year terror problem.
The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, last week submitted a motion to Parliament requesting a discussion of its Kurdish initiative with opposition parties in Parliament on Tuesday. The date, Nov. 10, was the 71st anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal AtatÃ¼rk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
Opposition parties reacted negatively to the chosen date, saying parliamentary discussion of the Kurdish initiative would likely overshadow commemoration activities.
Amid this opposition, the AKP brought the issue to Parliament on Tuesday for discussion. The Republican Peopleâ€™s Party, or CHP, and the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, submitted a motion to Parliament asking for the Kurdish move to be discussed another day and tension inside the hall started to grow.
Before the session, CHP leader Deniz Baykal held his partyâ€™s parliamentary group meeting and harshly criticized the AKPâ€™s insistence on the Nov. 10 date, as well as the Kurdish initiative in general.
â€œWe are witness to the first time in Turkish history that a plot is being staged and implemented by the ruling government against the accomplishments of the Republic. They are staging this plot in the name of developing democracy,â€ Baykal said, adding that the AKPâ€™s inability to accept secularism has led to a constitutional conflict.
â€˜Discussion on Nov. 10 a plotâ€™
Emphasizing the importance of preserving the principles and values of the Republic, which is AtatÃ¼rkâ€™s legacy, Baykal said: â€œWe shouldnâ€™t let ambushes wear down the Republic. We should oppose the ethnic-oriented discriminatory efforts.â€
Baykal also criticized the AKPâ€™s insistence on discussing the Kurdish move on the anniversary of AtatÃ¼rkâ€™s death and said such a move implied a kind of veiled plot against the founderâ€™s accomplishments. â€œI donâ€™t know whether the Nov. 10 date is coincidental, but it is a kind of contempt against the Turkish nation to discuss the issue on such a date,â€ the CHP leader said. â€œWe should not forget such initiatives if they are demonstrated in a challenging way.â€
Stating that â€œNov. 10 is a day on which the flags are lowered to half-mast,â€ Baykal said: â€œA plan that targets the accomplishments of the Republic is being staged on such a day. Today, they are lowered to half-mast, but tomorrow they will rise again to where they have to be.â€
Opposition parties submit motion
The opposition parties also offered harsh criticism against the Kurdish initiative and the AKPâ€™s decision to hold the debate on Nov. 10 during the parliamentary session in which the initiative was discussed.
The CHP and MHP submitted a motion to Parliament asking for the Kurdish move to be discussed another day.
Mehmet ÅžandÄ±r, MHP parliamentary group leader, called the AKPâ€™s move discriminatory.
â€œIt is not right for such an issue to be discussed on the anniversary of AtatÃ¼rkâ€™s death,â€ ÅžandÄ±r said. â€œThe AKP insisted on this day and it is very unfortunate to bring the issue to Parliament on such a date when the flags are lowered to half-mast. Who are you challenging?â€
AKP KahramanmaraÅŸ deputy Avni DoÄŸan criticized the oppositionâ€™s approach and his speech sparked tension in the parliamentary hall. â€œThe AKP says it brought a project of democracy, peace and unity. Today is not a day for mourning. You [the opposition], however, say AtatÃ¼rk didnâ€™t die but lives in our hearts but also refuse to discuss the Kurdish initiative saying that today is a day for mourning,â€ DoÄŸan said.
â€œKemalism doesnâ€™t mean a deadlock and it anticipates making the terrorists come from down from the mountains,â€ DoÄŸan said as he accused the opposition parties of applauding the military coup plotters.
His words sparked tension and CHPâ€™s Kemal Anadol and MHPâ€™s ÅžandÄ±r reacted strongly.
Banners interrupt Atalayâ€™s words
Taking the floor, HakkÄ± SÃ¼ha Okay, the CHPâ€™s parliamentary group deputy leader, also criticized the AKPâ€™s decision to discuss the Kurdish move on Nov. 10. â€œYou [the AKP] couldnâ€™t make the terrorists come down from the mountains. You welcomed them with a state ceremony and you chose Nov. 10 on purpose. It is a challenge and taking revenge from AtatÃ¼rk,â€ he said.
The tension escalated again once Interior Minister BeÅŸir Atalay, the coordinator of the governmentâ€™s Kurdish move, took the floor. Banners that read â€œAtatÃ¼rk, we are following your pathâ€ and â€œThe Republic is your legacy and it is we who will perpetuate itâ€ were opened by CHP deputies.
Atalayâ€™s remark that the AKP represented all of Turkey and that the opposition parties represented only regions drew reactions from CHP and MHP deputies. The CHPâ€™s Kemal KÄ±lÄ±Ã§daroÄŸlu stood up and demanded to take the floor, but Atalayâ€™s speech was interrupted when CHP deputies unveiled their banners.
Parliament speaker Mehmet Ali Åžahin warned the CHP and MHP deputies that Parliament was not a rally. He called on the opposition deputies to lower the banners. He then recessed the session for five minutes and then started the session.
The parliamentary session continued into Tuesday evening.hurriyet, Voice of a Nation