Tensions run high in Turkish parliament after Minister Pakdemirli calls opposition MP 'stupid'

Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Bekir Pakdemirli has insulted main opposition CHP lawmaker Fethi Gürer by calling him “stupid” following the latter's criticism of the government's agriculture policies The CHP demanded from the parliamentary speaker's office that Pakdemirli be given punishment over his remarks.

Main opposition CHP lawmaker Fethi Gürer is seen in the middle.

Duvar English

Tensions ran high in Turkish parliament again on Dec. 10 as Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli called a main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker “stupid” after his criticism of the government's agriculture policies.

During his speech at the parliament rostrum, CHP leader MP Fethi Gürer said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s import of agricultural products from foreign countries has been damaging local farmers.

“If you want farmers to be happy, halve the prices of forage and fertilizer. You determined the floor price of barley as 1,750 liras for our farmers, but imported the barley at a price of 4,550 liras per ton from farmers of foreign countries. You have determined the floor price of wheat as 2,250 liras, but imported the wheat at a price of 5,000 liras per ton from foreign farmers. If you want farmers to be happy, give them the difference between the prices you paid to foreign farmers and the floor price,” he said.

Pakdemirli turned his back to Gürer, clearly disturbed by his criticism of his policies.

The CHP lawmaker urged the minister to face him as he was talking, and said: “Do you not have the courage to look at me? At least look at me and listen to what I am saying, Mr. Minister. You have been looking at some place else for the last 10 minutes, having turned your back [to me],” Gürer said.

Upon this, Pakdemirli insulted the CHP lawmaker by calling him “stupid.” In response, Gürer walked towards where Pakdemirli was sitting and said: “Have you called me stupid? You are the one who is stupid. Know your place.” At this point, other lawmakers left their seats and intervened in the incident. 

The CHP demanded from parliamentary deputy speaker Celal Adan that Pakdemirli be given punishment over his insulting remarks against Gürer.

The parliament session adjourned for a short break when Adan spoke with the group deputy chair of both the CHP and the ruling AKP. 

Following the break, Pakdemirli addressed the parliament saying that he had “made amends” with Gürer. “Sometimes, when the tensions run high in parliament, words can be mutually said that exceed the intention. With regards to this, we have talked with each other inside and in a mutual way made amends,” Pakdemirli said.