Profanity-laced debates mar budget discussions at Turkish Parliament

Profanity-laced debates mar budget discussions at Turkish Parliament

Profanity-laced debates mar budget discussions at Turkish Parliament

The parties stooped to profanity while exchanging verbal salvos in Parliament on Dec 11, which saw the 2014 budget debates descend into bitter mudslinging. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The parliamentary debate on the 2014 budget descended into a game of old-fashioned mudslinging on Dec. 11, as the parties stooped to profanity in exchanging verbal salvos.

A verbal argument between ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Zeyid Aslan and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Muharrem İnce was only prevented from turning into a physical fight by their fellow colleagues, during a General Assembly meeting that was supposed to focus on debates on the 2014 Central Governance Budget Law, which started Dec. 10.

Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Sadık Yakut subsequently called for a recess, but Aslan and İnce continued to spar with each other verbally.

Following the break, Aslan said İnce swore at him and demanded an apology, prompting Yakut to promise an examination of the session’s minutes. A subsequent inspection revealed that both used obscenities against each other.

Later, speaking to Anadolu Agency, Aslan admitted his wrongdoing, but also sought to justify it.

“I look at the press and it's as if I'm the one who swore. I swore in response to swearing. I did wrong, but I did wrong against another wrongdoing,” Aslan said, suggesting that the media was ignoring the fact that İnce was the one who started the fight.

Back in July, Aslan also made headlines when he lashed out with sexist comments at female reporters at Parliament. After being sent to the discipline committee, he eventually received only a warning, the lowest possible penalty.

Meanwhile, CHP deputy parliamentary group chair Engin Altay said they appealed to the Parliament Speaker’s Office because of a message posted by Bilal Erdoğan, the son of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, via his Twitter account.

“Try to get credit from the people. The Parliament is not a place for vagrancy, what is the purpose of dissolute and low manners?” Altay quoted the message as saying, posted late on Dec. 10 as the prime minister was delivering his speech at a General Assembly meeting on the budget.

According to Altay, with such a comment, Bilal Erdoğan “insulted the Turkish nation and its representatives.” As such, Altay asked the Parliament Speaker’s Office to launch the required legal action against him.


Meanwhile, CHP deputy Mustafa Balbay, who was released from prison pending trial earlier this week and took his oath Dec. 10, used the rostrum to criticize Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu through wordplay.

Balbay voiced his criticism against the government’s foreign policy by playing with the letters in the foreign minister’s last name. Later, in response to reporters’ questions, Davutoğlu made clear that he found Balbay’s speech and style "not appropriate." 

“Particularly in human relations, wordplay over names is extremely wrong both in regards to decency and in terms of civilized manners. It doesn’t befit any standard,” he said.