Turkish deputies divided on reacting to Thierse
BERLIN - HürriyetDeputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have criticized Wolfgang Thierse, the deputy speaker of the German Bundestag, who recently stormed out of a meeting with them, while Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Şafak Pavey expressed support for Thierse’s remarks but questioned his style.
“[This] was not a platform where human rights were discussed in a political sense. Despite this, Thierse diverted the topic in a different direction, as he did not have much to say in response to the critical questions we asked,” said Münevver Çiğdem Ökten, a deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP.)
A Turkish parliamentary team consisting of AKP deputy Ökten, Tunca Toskay from the MHP, Şafak Pavey from the main opposition CHP, and Nazmi Gür of the BDP met with Thierse in Germany on May 9. The meeting turned bitter when the focus of the talks shifted from recent neo-Nazi killings to Turkey’s stance toward Christians and the Turkish parliamentarians currently in prison. “The reactions were mutually disproportionate, but I think the truly embarrassing situation is that eight deputies in our country are under arrest,” CHP deputy Pavey said. Pavey also noted that Thierse may have been upset by the fact that a civil servant (Karslıoğlu) was answering a parliamentarian, although Toskay said he could still have avoided such a confrontation by simply telling the ambassador that he was addressing the four deputies.