Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Nov. 16 opened an investigation on the Aegean province of İzmir's Mayor Tunç Soyer of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for “insulting the Ottoman Empire and the last sultan Vahideddin, Mehmet VI,” reported İsmail Saymaz of the daily Sözcü on Nov. 21.
The ministry accused Soyer of “targeting the Ottoman Empire and its rulers, insulting a person’s legacy,” and “inciting the public to hatred and enmity.”
Soyer gave the speech in question on Sept. 9, during the 100th anniversary celebrations of İzmir’s liberation from occupation forces.
During the speech, Soyer said, “It was 100 years ago. Those who ruled these lands were negligent, misguided, and even in treachery. They did not think of the youth, the women, the children, the future. They sacrificed a whole nation to protect their reign in their palaces. They trampled on our human dignity, our desire for independence, our right to life and they surrendered.”
The ministry requested video recordings of the speech from the İzmir Municipality.
Mayor Tunç responded to the investigation through his social media. “My speech quoted the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Address to Youth. What I meant was very clear: to defend the century-old values and revolutions of our Republic against all dangers and threats. I stand behind my words.”
İçişleri Bakanlığı’nın 9 Eylül İzmir’in kurtuluşunun 100. yılı kutlamalarındaki konuşmamdan dolayı bana soruşturma açtığını öğrendim.— Tunç Soyer (@tuncsoyer) November 21, 2023
Sözlerim Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’ün Nutuk’undan alınmıştır.
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