CHP member resigns following poster flap in Istanbul district
ISTANBUL - Dogan News Agency | 9/6/2010 12:00:00 AM | HASAN ÖRNEKOĞLU
A CHP member of Avcılar municipal council has resigned following the appearance of party posters ahead of Sept. 12’s charter poll that compared headscarfed women to nuns.
A Republican People’s Party, or CHP, member of Avcılar municipal council has resigned following the appearance of party posters ahead of Sept. 12’s charter poll that said vote “Yes for Muslim women to cover themselves like nuns.”
“I have sent a written request to the CHP Avcılar District Chairmanship [to resign],” said Ömer Zengin, adding that he had already set a date for the resignation request and was waiting for the answer.
“The [CHP] group deputy chairman had to take the floor in the assembly and say this was a mistake,” he said.
Zengin walked out of the monthly meeting at the municipal assembly in the Istanbul district Monday after a call from ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, members to leave the meeting in a sign of protest against the poster, which they said offended the personality of many women wearing headscarves, including many assembly members’ wives.
Noting that he was not resigning from his post as a municipality assembly member, Zengin said he was also not considering becoming a member of any other political party for the time being.
Meanwhile, the Syriac Culture Association and the Dünya Mıhellemi Birliği in the southeastern border province of Mardin’s town of Midyat have reacted to the posters allegedly hung by Avcılar Municipality, which is CHP-run, and the controversy that followed in the country’s political arena.
The chair of the Syriac Culture Association, Yuhanna Aktaş, invited the leaders of the country’s two major parties to apologize to all Christians living in Turkey for their statements related to the posters and the comparison of women wearing headscarves to nuns.
Aktaş said in a written statement that nuns’ dress was a very significant symbol for the Christian world and not one to be insulted. On the contrary, he said, it was as respectable as the headscarf in the Muslim world.