ANKARA (AINA) — As part of a package of measures aimed to change internal procedural rules of the Turkish parliament, the legislature’s constitutional committee on Thursday approved a provision banning the use of the phrase “Armenian Genocide” from being used in legislative body. Also banned are the terms “Kurdistan” and “Kurdish regions.”
The bill, initiated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), stipulates a punishment for those lawmakers who break the rule by “insulting the history and common past of the Turkish people” that is, using the term “Armenian Genocide” while speaking about the “events of 1915.”
Members of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) walked out of parliament in protest.
Garo Paylan, a member of the Turkish Parliament representing the HDP called the bill “a nationalist authoritarian coalition proposal of the AK and NMP parties.” The opposition Republican People’s Party lawmaker of Armenian origin Selina Dogan also opposed to the bill, saying that nobody should insult Turkish people’s history but neither should other peoples’ history be insulted.
Dogan described the measure as an attempt to silence the opposition, sources from her press service told Tert.am.
Dogan accused the Turkish authorities of spreading hatred against ethnic and religious minorities. “If those speaking about Genocide are to incur fines for insulting Turkey’s historical past, then what should be the punishment for those who insult the Armenians from the same podium?” she asked the parliament members.