Absence of flag causes mayhem at Turkish Parliament
The absence of a Turkish flag at Nevruz celebrations in Diyarbakır during which hundreds of thousands of people listened to a cease-fire call by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) leader has elicited fury among opposition deputies.
During a General Assembly meeting on March 21, all MPs of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) put Turkish flags on their desks, while there were also photographs of some soldiers killed by the PKK on the desks of the deputy parliamentary group chairs.
Following the General Assembly meeting, MHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Mehmet Şandır told reporters that the Turkish flag was insulted in Diyarbakır. “There, the Turkish nation and the state have been challenged. We flew the flag at the General Assembly in a show of a rebellion against this,” Şandır said. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Kamer Genç also criticized the situation, suggesting: “Today is the day when Turkey is divided. It is the day when Turkey’s sovereignty rights ended.”
Interior Minister Muammer Güler, who took the floor in order to respond to the opposition parties on behalf of the government, joined their criticism. “Nevruz event which took place in Diyarbakır today was conducted by a seven-member organization committee. I also condemn with hatred that there was not a Turkish flag there,” Güler said, saying the judiciary would do its part when violations of relevant laws were identified with help from his ministry.