Spat between interior minister, HDP MPs escalate tension in parliament

Spat between interior minister, HDP MPs escalate tension in parliament

Spat between interior minister, HDP MPs escalate tension in parliament

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers had exchanged a war of words over security policies of the government that escalated tension at the budget talks of the parliament on Dec. 13.

During the budget negotiations, HDP MPs criticized the appointment of trustees to the municipalities where their party’s candidates won at the elections.

Thanks to the government appointments, the municipality budgets are not transferred to the illegal PKK group anymore, Soylu said in reply to the criticisms.

“The money doesn’t go to the PKK, it is spent for the nation,” he said.

“The municipalities with our trustees had 600 mayors out of which 73 mayors received prison sentences of up to 694,010 months collectively,” the minister added.

“We do not tolerate those who provide intelligence to the organization, pit, barricade, those who remove the terrorist’s body with the municipal vehicle, carry out a bomb action or name the streets after terrorists,” Soylu said.

“We call a terrorist, a terrorist. We call his supporter a terrorist. We call his whistleblower, collaborator, the mayor who tricked the children into the mountains, a terrorist. We call the deposed terrorist in İmralı a terrorist. We call Duran Kalkan a terrorist,” the minister stated.

Soylu’s words were supported with applause by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MPs. The HDP lawmakers protested these words by hitting tables.

“People lost their lives in prisons, but you watched. Look, a person on a plastic chair was officially sentenced to death in prison,” HDP Iğdır Lawmaker Habip Eksik said.

Soylu, in response, accused the lawmaker of being a collaborator with FETÖ - a group that is accused of being behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Eksik drew attention to the absence of the Kurdish language among the spots prepared about the pandemic and criticized the government, to which Soylu said, “You are the enemy of the Kurd. Discriminators and disrespectful.”