ANKARA: Draft bill bars certain terms in parliament

Hurriyet, Turkey
July 10 2017

Draft bill bars certain terms in parliament


A draft bill proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party
(AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has recommended
imposing sanctions on who use the terms “Armenian genocide” and
“Kurdistan” in addresses to parliament’s General Assembly.

The change comes as part of an 18-article draft bill, expected to be
discussed at parliament next week, overhauling the internal
regulations of parliament. The AKP says the changes are necessary to
overcome what it says are opposition parties’ efforts to slow down
legislative works. The draft bill includes sanctions for lawmakers who
use the expression “Armenian genocide” while describing the 1915
killings of Armenians.

Deputies who use the term will be banned from three General Assembly
sessions and two thirds of their salary, which is around 18,000
Turkish Liras ($4,957), will be cut.

This sanction will also be valid for deputies who describe Turkey’s
southeastern region as “Kurdistan,” and provinces in this region as
“Kurdish provinces.”

The articles have been included in the drafted internal regulation
upon the request of the MHP, which has allied with the AKP government
in recent months, including in the contentious April referendum on
shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system.

The move comes following a number of angry exchanges over the years
after some MPs, mainly from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), have
used these terms in speeches at parliament.

Another important change, added to the draft upon Parliament Speaker
İsmail Kahraman’s request, is the requirement that the parliament
speaker must wear a frock coat with a white tie while chairing the
General Assembly. The new bill stipulates the wearing of dark suits
for both the speaker and deputies.


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