Müzeyyen Yüce / DUVAR

A draft bill submitted to the Parliament Speaker’s Office by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on establishing a site to remember the victims of the Zilan massacre was rejected for including “Kurdish geography” and “massacre” remarks.

The bill submitted by HDP deputy Murat Sarısaç on July 13 proposed setting up the site to remember the victims of the massacre in the Erciş district of the eastern province of Van in 1930.

Sarısaç called for cancelling the hydroelectric power plant construction on the Zilan River, saying that the project would destroy the memories of the massacre.

He also said that some 15,000 people were killed when their villages were burned 90 years ago at the area, adding that the site has gravestones and bones of those killed.

“A hydroelectric power plant would destroy the memory. In addition to the massacres carried out in the Kurdish geography, a massacre of nature has also been taking place for years,” read the draft bill.

Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop rejected the bill, saying that it includes “rude and hurtful remarks.” He also said that the bill could be put into process if the said remarks are removed.

Sarısaç slammed Şentop’s move, saying that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are scared of different voices.

“The AKP and MHP are putting limits on the opposition not only on social media, but also in parliament. That’s why our proposals are rejected for being ‘rude and hurtful,'” Sarısaç said, adding that the government doesn’t refrain from calling the Kurdish-majority southeast Kurdistan to get Kurds’ votes during election periods.

“This is called hypocrisy. There is the understanding of denial and rejection regarding massacres committed against Kurds,” he also said.