HDP MP Paylan asks if Erdoğan will apologize over 'infidel' remarks

HDP MP Garo Paylan has said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's use of the pejorative word “gavur” (meaning “infidel”) during a speech on April 11 amounted to hate crime. Paylan asked in a parliamentary question if Erdoğan will apologize for his remarks.

HDP MP Garo Paylan is seen in this file photo.

Duvar English

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MP Garo Paylan submitted a parliamentary question asking if President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will apologize for using the pejorative word “gavur” (meaning “infidel”) during a speech on April 11.

Paylan noted the Turkish Language Association (TDK) in its official dictionary defines “infidel” as “a person without religion, a non-Muslim, someone without compassion and without mercy.”

“As a deputy who has been several times exposed to hate attacks through the blasphemy of 'infidel,' it is unacceptable that this hate speech ... is used by the President,” Paylan said in his parliamentary question submitted to Vice President Fuat Oktay.

“Don't you know that the word 'infidel' is a hate speech and used as blasphemy against your citizens for generations? Don't you know that the hate speech of infidel causes hate crimes? Aren't you aware that your use of hate speeches as the President will damage social peace? Are you going to withdraw your 'infidel' remark and apologize?” Paylan asked.

Paylan's motion came a day after Erdoğan likened the opposition's criticism of the government to a “sword of the infidel swinging” at Turkey. 

“We are saddened when we see those who are coming on us by swinging the sword of the infidel as if to do opposition, although they have the Turkish Republic identity,” Erdoğan said on April 11, as he addressed a meeting of the women and youth branches of the Union of International Democrats (UID) in Istanbul.