Turkish female deputies protest use of ‘obscene’ language

Turkish female deputies protest use of ‘obscene’ language

Turkish female deputies protest use of ‘obscene’ language

A group of female deputies held a meeting with Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek on Dec.16 in order to voice their unease with the use of obscene language. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The common use of profane language in Parliament recently has prompted a group of female deputies to appeal to the Parliamentary Speaker to display their disapproval with a symbolic protest.

A group of female deputies led by Deputy Parliament Speaker Ayşe Nur Bahçekapılı of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), including Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDP) deputy parliamentary group chair Pervin Buldan, held a meeting with Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek on Dec. 16 in order to voice their unease with the use of obscene language.

Following a half-hour long meeting that was closed to the press, Çiçek briefly said he had earlier expressed his conviction over the issue.

“These actions, those of a few of our colleagues, are neither acceptable nor appropriate, and the whole of the Parliament needs to be held responsible for such acts, manners and statements. We don’t deserve it; Parliament does not deserve it. I hope everybody will learn from what has happened so that such actions will not occur again,” Çiçek told reporters on Dec. 12 at a ceremony in Parliament.

His comments on the matter came after a budget debate at Parliament descended into a bad-tempered slanging match between ruling and opposition party deputies on Dec. 11.

The female deputies who had met Çiçek wore red scarfs at a General Assembly meeting later that day, calling on male deputies to wear red ties in show of support for them.

“We reject all disrespectful behaviors and all swearwords used inside the Parliament and in General Assembly. We express that we find these very ugly,” the statement presented to Çiçek says.

“We ask you as women and as representatives of the people: Please don’t use brute force; please don’t swear; please don’t use women in your swearwords; please be sensitive about these issues while using social media as well,” the statement continued.

The female lawmakers also vowed to sustain their fight against profane attitudes among lawmakers, saying they would meet with the chairmen of all the political parties represented in the Parliament.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputies were not represented during the visit or in the statement as none of their deputies were present among the group visiting Çiçek and they didn’t sign the statement.

“We don’t find a suppliant attitude, which doesn’t consider any sanctions, as right,” CHP Bursa deputy Sena Kaleli told Anadolu Agency explaining the reason for her party’s absence.

Adding the party still supported establishing a common reaction; Kaleli said the issue should be approached in a comprehensive way with the participation of all male and female deputies.

MHP Deputy Chairman and Eskişehir Deputy Ruhsar Demirel, meanwhile, said “As men are cursing, they should be the ones to declare their will [to stop the usage of profane language.]”

Demirel also stressed the source of the problem was partially that some previous rude remarks had been left unpunished.