Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Deputy Parliament Speaker Haydar Akar on Dec. 6 did not allow pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP İmam Taşçıer to speak in Kurdish in the Assembly.
During the talks for the 2023 budgets, Taşçıer wanted to make his whole speech in Kurdish language. Allowing this for a while, Deputy Parliament Speaker Haydar Akar asked Taşçıer to continue his speech in Turkish.
When Taşçıer wanted to continue to speak Kurdish, Akar turned off his microphone and did not allow the HDP MP to speak “in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.”
Akar said “I also have a native language (different from Turkish). No MP here can understand me when I speak in my native language. I continue to speak in Turkish, which is the official language so that we can all understand it. He can say a few sentences (in Kurdish), but he can't make the whole speech,” Akar said.
Objecting the decision, HDP Group Deputy Chair Meral Danış Beştaş said “There are hundreds of Kurdish-speaking deputies here. Four-fifths of the Assembly may not understand, but I argue that one-fifth does. This language is the language of more than 30 million Kurds living in Turkey. Are the Kurds not citizens of the Republic of Turkey, do they not pay taxes?”
“It is a despotic attitude for you to interrupt our deputy’s speech. The Rules of Procedure does not say that Kurdish cannot be spoken. We do not reject the official language,” Beştaş added.
In response, Akar said “I am not against the Kurdish language.He can say something in his native language. If he translates them, we can understand the remarks. You say 30 million Kurds understand it, but the remaining 50 million do not understand. The aim is for 86 million people to understand.”