17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

CHP's Güler under fire for racism, fellow deputy resigns in protest

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24 January 2013, Thursday /TODAY'S ZAMAN, ANKARA
A deputy from the Republican People's Party (CHP) has resigned from his position in protest against remarks of a fellow 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, Kurdish, 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 democratic party on the left. Ensarioğlu also said he was appalled to see those from the CHP and MHP applauding Güler's speech.

Mustafa Destici, the leader of the nationalist Grand Unity Party (BBP), also said he cannot accept derogatory remarks from Güler even though his party has major differences with the government on how to solve terror problem.

Altan Tan, a deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), said the CHP deputy's comment was a betrayal of not only the Kurdish people but also of 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 the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) leader is jailed] and those who recognize the Kurdish ethnicity that should be accused of racism,” Şandır said.

Fırat, 52, is medical doctor by profession. He is member of the parliamentary commission investigating the Dec. 28, 2011 airstrike on Uludere, a district of Şırnak, that left 34 Kurdish civilians dead. Fırat has been an outspoken critic of the government on Kurdish issue, defending Kurdish rights for education and defense in mother's tongue.

Fırat also supported hunger strikes across prisons in Turkey launched by the terrorist PKK last year and attributed the strikes to the non-resolution of the Kurdish problem in Turkey.

With his reassignment, CHP's number of seats at Parliament dropped to 134, while seats of independents increased to seven.

In the meantime, CHP Deputy Chairman Gürsel Tekin said the resignation will not be accepted. Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Tekin said he and several other CHP deputies spoke with Fırat to convince him to change his decision. Tekin also said Fırat will travel to Ankara and meet with Kılıçdaroğlu to discuss the matter.

In addition, CHP Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu has vehemently criticized Güler's statements, deeming the comments discriminatory. Speaking to reporters in the central province of Kayseri on Thursday, Kılıçdaroğlu dismissed Güler's approach in what seemed an open effort to cool down an internal crisis that is dividing the main opposition party. He said his fellow party members should endorse union and solidarity, and should not express discrimination.

Kılıçdaroğlu said Güler's remarks were unacceptable and nobody should try to exclude a certain ethnic identity in the country.

This kind of statements are in favor of kurdish issue . she is right We are two different nations '
narin berwari _ Duhok
This isn't racism -- who says Kurds are a separate "race"? -- but it is objectionable, not to mention stupid.
There is no such thing as a so-called "kurdish minority" in Turkey. Minorities in Turkey are defined by international treaties and are based on religion not ethnicity. Kurdish Turks are equal citizens. Thy are not a separate nation. Recognizing a separate nation in Turkey means openly legitimizing...
@Mark, you should laugh at yourself and then take a reading comprehension course. Your chauvinism about "east" and "west" is also very laughable.
some guy
All Men are created equal by their Creator. That's where we missing it! CHP Deputy needs to sign her resignation letter ASAP. And that will be appreciated by fellow CHP supporters. Yes Mr.MHP Deputy, her remarks are racist and nothing to applaud.
not amused
So now it's a crime for Turkish Ministers to issue racist statements? What about the Minister of the Interior who attended a racist, anti-Armenian gathering? Shouldn't he also resign?
Dear Mr Editor please publish my comment for sake of balance and objectivity: As far as Turkey is concerned she has done nothing wrong, because she and her grand parents generations have grew up in an environment that despised and looked down upon anything Kurdish. This has slightly changed over tim...
David Palch
Yet what Güler has said had been so since Ataturk's ascendency. So please level criticism towards the CHP and their mindset. However, in Ottoman times Kurdistan had equal rights to Turks in many aspects!!
In the same online paper there is an article about how racism is a western problem. I am not sure whether to laugh or cry at this.
The problem with Güler is that she didn't hide what she thought. She should learn some hypocrisy, um, I mean, political correctness from conservative Turks.
Kurd Kurdson
Just a remnant of the old CHP policy of denying the existence of the Kurds and Kurdish language! CHP deputies still have not learned that denying a problem doesn't solve it ...like a child who covers his/her eyes believing that he/she can't be seen. Mr Mirzade is a "Devshirme Boy" and sadly will fin...
But she is wright,she is telling the truth becuase the kurds has not been equal to the turks since ataturk came to power, the kurds were more equal under ottomans,there is ottoman maps from 1840 that shows the kurdish areas as kurdistan. its written on the map in arabic alphabet.
I think Klicdgaroglu should resign. He is an Alevi kurd and shouldn't accept such a humiliation, if not she should be kicked out.
Totally unacceptable comment by an MP. She has to resign and if she refuses, she should be kicked out.
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