Oscar Wilde-Oscars references confuse Turkey’s polarized parliament commission
ANKARATurkish lawmakers found themselves debating Oscar Wilde during a constitutional commission meeting on May 2, after several lawmakers said they did not know who the classic Irish writer was and confused him with the Oscars movie awards.
Debate between Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies started when an HDP lawmaker tried to quote Wilde to illustrate his point, after which AKP lawmakers said they did not know who Wilde was.
“Please nobody take it personally, but I want to quote from Oscar Wilde,” said HDP deputy Mithat Sancar, who was greeted by confusion from AKP deputies.
“Who is he?” asked AKP deputy Zeyid Aslan, to which Sancar replied by saying that Aslan should look up Wilde himself.
“I can’t give you a lecture, we don’t have time. But if someone needs it then we can rent a room and have a private session in parliament,” Sancar said.
His choice to quote Wilde was criticized by several AKP lawmakers, with AKP deputy Halis Dalkılıç saying Sancar should give an example from “this civilization.”
“Do you not have any examples from this culture, this civilization?” asked Dalkılıç, while AKP MP Ahmet Sami Ceylan asked Sancar to quote from the conservative Islamic poet Necip Fazıl Kısakürek.
After much debate, Sancar recited the Wilde quote, relating it to Turkey’s now collapsed Kurdish peace process.
“I can oppose vulgar power, but I can’t stand vulgar reasoning. There is injustice in vulgar reasoning,” Sancar stated.
However, the debate continued to leave some confused, with AKP deputy Adnan Günnar later asking Sancar to talk about the Academy Awards.
“It’s Oscar Wilde. He is not an award, he is a man called ‘Oscar Wilde,’” HDP deputy Burcu Çelik Özkan told Günnar.