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POLITICS > Ruling party deputy sent to Disciplinary Commission over sexist remarks

ISTANBUL - Hurriyet Daily News

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AKP's Aslan sits at a parliamentary session in Ankara. AA Photo

AKP's Aslan sits at a parliamentary session in Ankara. AA Photo

Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Zeyid Aslan was sent to party’s disciplinary commission over the sexist remarks he uttered to a group of female journalists, party spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik said today.

Aslan’s caused a storm of fury when he asked female journalists whether it would be moral if he “took picture of between your legs and published them” in response to a series of photographs showing him sleeping at the parliament’s garden that surfaced the previous day. 

Çelik said the language did not suit AKP, and wished Zeyid has not uttered the words, however, he also added that Zeyid’s reaction, to him, was right. 

“It isn’t a first time that a deputy fell asleep after 16, 17 hours sessions. Especially now that we are in Ramadan, I find it immoral to take that photo and bring that over to the headlines. The reaction is right, but I don’t think the language in any way suits AKP. I wish he hadn’t used such words,” Cemil said during a press conference on July 12.

The reaction to Zeyid’s words dominated public debate in the following day, drawing criticism from all sides, including the Turkish Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Şahin, who condemned the remarks over Twitter. 

Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek made phone calls to the four woman journalists targeted by Aslan to say he was sorry about the incident. He also met with Göksel Bozkurt, the chair of Parliament Reporters Association (PMD) and said Aslan’s remarks were unacceptable.

“I’m aware that the tension in Parliament is high due to the high tempo, but as I told to the lawmakers during an iftar dinner they should also fast with their tongues,” Çiçek said during the meeting.

Use of controversial speech is not a first-time incident for AKP’s Aslan, who was previously forced to resign from his commission post for insulting and swearing at an opposition deputy, as well as threatening to kill him, back in May of 2013. 

Aslan however refused to apologize during the parliamentary session despite the fury he caused, and claimed his words “had nothing to do with women.”

July/12/2013

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