Turkish governor admits cursing at protester
Adana Governor Hüseyin Avni Coş has admitted he called a protester p*mp. AA photoAdana Governor Hüseyin Avni Coş has admitted he called a protester “gavat” which means p*mp in response to a protest against him by a group of people on Nov. 10, and claimed the reaction followed a severe provocation.
Gov. Coş received a storm of criticism from both ruling and opposition parties, after engaging in a row with a group protesting his support for the prime minister’s remarks on university students’ co-ed housing.
“Unfortunately, this word came out of my mouth involuntarily. I want everyone to know that this word was not for the people gathered there but for that swearing man,” Coş told the daily Vatan yesterday.
Coş was criticized after he called a protester a “p*mp,” after the protester shouted “God damn you” at him on Nov. 10. The governor later denied calling the man a “p*mp,” (“gavat” in Turkish), claiming that he had actually said the similar-sounding “kavas,” which means, “a man who walks around and rambles.”
Coş told the daily that he thought that he said “kavas” but later on when he watched the camera footage he realized that he said “gavat.”
Coş claimed that one of the protesters has sworn at the governor and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after he got into his car. “At this moment, with this quick temper, we made slip of the tongue under the severe provocation. This did not happen for no reason. I have used that term against that person after he swore a blue streak on me and Mr. prime minister,” said Coş.
Ten people were detained upon the governor’s instructions. All were released Nov. 11, with nine of them receiving fines of 186 Turkish Liras.
AKP deputy complains about Adana governor
Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Adana Deputy Ali Küçükaydın complained about Coş in a letter sent to Interior Minister Muammer Güler Nov. 11. In the letter, Küçükaydın said Coş had given all major tenders in the cities to the same company, which he also worked for, and also claimed that the governor was involved in wiretapping deputies and mayors.
Küçükaydın told daily Hürriyet today that those who protected the governor and kept him in his office are guiltier than the governor.
“If anyone were to do one percent of what he [Coş] has done, that would be enough to dismiss him from the profession. But I no longer accuse him. That governor is not guilty. If we are looking for someone to blame, we must look at those who protect him and keep him at his office. If they would have done anything over my complaints, these incidents would not take place,” said Küçükaydın.
Interior Minister Güler, meanwhile, said the governor’s reaction was “not elegant.”
“It is not appropriate for the state’s governor to respond to a citizen this way, even though there was a disturbing dialog. I have instructed officials to investigate the issue, but each party will go to court. Whatever his justification is, there are legal ways [to deal with it]. He can complain or give instructions. Being involved in such a row is not elegant at all. It has made me uncomfortable as well,” Güler said.
On Nov. 11, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy leader Sezgin Tanrıkulu noted that Coş was deputy governor in eastern Turkey during the state of emergency.
“Çoş’s ‘excitement’ must be dated back to his experience of being a deputy governor during the state of emergency between 1991 and 1994,” wrote Tanrıkulu on his Twitter account, referring to an era of gross human-rights abuses perpetrated by state officials in Kurdish areas of the country.
Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy group head Oktay Vural also harshly criticized the Adana governor for his remarks.
“A man who insults the citizen has no right to be governor in Adana. That post [represents] the state. The state should not insult its citizens,” Vural said at a press conference in Parliament on Nov. 11.
A group of people holding Turkish flags protested Coş on Nov. 10 after a commemoration ceremony was held for the 75th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Coş got out of his car and pointed at several people and instructed security to detain them.
The Adana governor also recently made headlines by voicing support for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s condemnation of co-ed housing, saying that for him, “the words of the prime minister are orders.”