Parliamentary speaker ‘sad’ over fights
We are appalled. We have critiqued all of it; we questioned them. I am referring to the fist fight coming from the Turkish parliament.
I had the opportunity to ask Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek what he thought of it. I told him, “You have struggled for so many years for democracy and conciliation. In the last days of this term, what do you think of what is happening?”
Çiçek replied, “It is not possible to accept what has happened in parliament. Parliament’s term should not end like this. It is a pity.”
I asked Çiçek what he felt while watching the video of the incidents at parliament.
“Imagine that more than 70 deputies were given the floor to condemn the atrocity inflicted upon our dear daughter Özgecan [Arslan]. Each of them took the floor and condemned this violence, hate and atrocity. However, the same parliament was involved in a fist fight three hours later. It is not possible to either accept it or understand it,” he said.
Çiçek had a call to the leaders: He said the deputy group chairs were the representatives of leaders in parliament. “I always speak to them. I expect the leaders to convey to their representatives that they are very uncomfortable with these scenes.”
He went on, “We are the cause of these incidents and it will be us who will prevent them. This is because this place is the Parliament of the Turkish Nation.”
“However, unfortunately, the 24th term is off to a bad start. When it was opened in 2011, we had an oath taking crisis because of our deputies under arrest. In other words, when the opening of parliament should have been the festivity of democracy, it was the stage of an oath taking crisis.”
When we come to today, he said, “In March, this term will close. In other words, the members of parliament, our friends, our deputies, have only 15 days of a working schedule left. Instead of saying our goodbyes, we are having fist fights. And people are watching these scenes. It is a pity.”
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli asked this heartfelt question: “What has happened to us? What has happened to this noble nation? What are these fights and violence?”
You may or may not agree with Bahçeli’s political views. However, at those moments when opposite camps, racism and hate transformed into frenzy on the streets Bahçeli was able to, each time, to keep his “idealist” youth away from violence.
For a politician, this alone is more than enough…
Those who are old enough, that means we, have gone through those streets when every day one or two young people were killed.
It was a period when gangs massacred young people at Bahçelievler, Ankara.
We experienced it; we suffered from it.
Now, we saw a parliament yesterday, one that was trying to pass a bill that had the name “security” on it with fists and kicks.
After those scenes in parliament, Bahçeli again spoke in this good judgment.
This question and call by Bahçeli are very meaningful for a leader who was able to hold the extremely pulsating idealist youth in the legitimate path of politics everywhere in Turkey.
I wish all the leaders, all opinion setters and universities could ask this question with their