Deputy parliament speaker denies using
ANKARA- Hürriyet Daily News
A mob of CHP deputies raided the rostrum at the General Assembly on Nov 22 and said they would not leave unless Mehmet Sağlam resigns from his post. HÜRRİYET DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY SELAHATTİN SÖNMEZ
Deputy Parliament Speaker Mehmet Sağlam has denied using obscene language during an outburst against opposition lawmakers at the General Assembly, brushing aside calls for his resignation amid mounting rows in the legislature.
“I have no intention of resigning. Such words can slip from anyone’s mouth during moments of disarray. But it is clear that I did not use such a word,” Sağlam told reporters yesterday, after he initially apologized for using the “F-word” at a session Nov. 22.
Sağlam explained he had watched a video recording of the session and was unable to hear himself use the obscene expression, arguing what he had actually said was misunderstood due to his distance from the microphone.
“I apologize if anything I did in those stressful circumstances caused a misunderstanding, but there is nothing more for me to do,” he said, and “if I had really said that, the deputies sitting in the front row would have heard me.”
Sağlam criticized the Republican People’s Party (CHP) for calling for his resignation. “People dropped dead in Parliament due to stress. Arguments happen. I think it’s wrong to turn it into a feud,” he said.
Asked about the incident, which followed physical altercations in Parliament earlier this month, Speaker Cemil Çiçek urged lawmakers to “to be more careful in order to preserve Parliament’s respectability.”
He voiced regret that the new legislative year “did not start well” and stressed that “every person in Parliament has a responsibility, no matter what their rank, including me.”
In a move to soothe the tensions, Sadık Yakut, the other deputy speaker of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), presided over the General Assembly yesterday.