Zoroastrians row hits Parliament
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe row over whether the prime minister insulted Kurds for being Zoroastrians was the latest controversy between ruling and main opposition party deputies in the Turkish Parliament.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had insulted all Kurds by dismissively referring to them as Zoroastrians, Anatolia news agency reported.
“Hasn’t Erdoğan also called all Kurds Zoroasrians by insulting them?” Tanrıkulu told the General Assembly meeting of Parliament on May 30, also recalling the killing of 34 people in Uludere when Turkish aircraft struck a group of smugglers on the border with Iraq, mistaking them for outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants. Mustafa Elitaş, deputy parliamentary group leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) criticized Tanrıkulu’s remarks, saying that Erdoğan had never described the Kurds as Zoroastrians. He said Erdoğan denied the claims of PKK leaders that the Kurds were Zarathustras in the past.
“The terror organization heads were claiming that [Kurds are Zoroastrians], the prime minister denied this. He said Kurds had made contributions to Islam.”