Turkey's parliament rejects question for including 'Kurdish provinces' phrase

Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop refused to put a series of parliamentary questions into process because they included the expression "Kurdish province." Şentop explicitly told the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy who presented the inquiries that they would be answered if the expression "Kurdish province" was excluded.

Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR

Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop rejected a series of parliamentary questions for including the expression "Kurdish province" on the grounds that the words constituted "personal opinion," and said that the questions would only be answered if the words in question were excluded. 

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Gülistan Kılıç Koçyiğit first presented an inquiry to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu about why "women in Kurdish provinces" lack access to the Turkish police application for the protection of women from domestic violence, as the KADES app lacks a Kurdish language option. 

"Are you going to develop a better solution in Kurdish provinces when the reality of infrastructure problems remains apparent?" said one of the questions the deputy presented to Soylu.

Şentop said that the inquiry was in violation of parliamentary code because it included personal opinion, and that it would be put into process if the deputy removed the expression "Kurdish province."

Koçyiğit presented another parliamentary inquiry shortly after, this time asking about reports that armed vehicles were chasing around and frightening children in southeastern Batman. 

"Why are armed vehicles used as tools to terrorize children in Kurdish provinces?" the deputy asked, and received the same response from the parliamentary speaker about the expression "Kurdish province."

Şentop repeated his claim that the expression "Kurdish province" was in violation of parliamentary code in responding to a third series of questions from Koçyiğit where she asked about the struggles of students in southeastern Şanlıurfa, Şırnak, Ağrı, Muş and Hakkari.

The deputy said that Şentop's rejection of her parliamentary inquiries was a result of "the government's monist structure," noting that the description of Kurdish interactions in parliamentary records as "language X" was an attempt at erasing historical realities. 

"There's been an administration that dismisses differences in Turkey, as well as peoples and faiths, since the foundation of the republic," the deputy said. "There's been intolerance for us saying 'Kurdish provinces' in parliament for a long time."

The government's mentality attempts to terrorize the Kurdish identity, the deputy said, adding that she will re-submit her inquiries after replacing the expression "Kurdish provinces" with the words "provinces where Kurds are in majority."