Panel approves bill for changing names of university, district in Turkey
DHA PhotoA Parliamentary Commission has approved the bill to change the names of a university and a district, the government promised as part of recently announced democratization package, and the bill is expected to be passed in Parliament’s General Assembly soon.
According to the bill signed by lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party, (AKP), the name of Nevşehir University will be changed to “Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli University,” and the name of the Aydınlar district in the Siirt province will be changed to Tillo, its former name.
During debates at the Parliament’s National Education, Culture and Youth Commission on Oct. 24, deputies of both the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) objected to changing the name of Siirt’s Aydınlar district, but they both favored changing name of Nevşehir University.
“If we change district’s names with the mentality of ‘people want it, it is the accepted name,’ we will face further demands soon. For example, somebody will demand to change the name of Diyarbakır to Amed [Kurdish], Ağrı to Ararat [Armenian], İzmir to Smyrna [Greek] and Istanbul to Konstantinopolis [Greek]. This won’t get us anywhere,” CHP lawmaker Nur Serter said.
The bill was submitted to the Parliament Speaker’s Office on Oct. 9 by the AKP’s Parliamentary group, as a sign that the group has internalized the “democratization package,” a set of reforms.
Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli is known as an esteemed figure for the Alevi community.
The bill rationalized the change from Aydınlar to Tillo as “It is a known fact that Siirt’s Aydınlar district is known as ‘Tillo’,” while adding the name Aydınlar was not accepted in the country and it played a negative role in the promotion and development of the district. “By changing the district’s name with the proposal, it is aimed to give back its old, accepted name,” the bill stated.
Both changes were previously announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 30.