* Photograph: Elçin Top / Ankara / AA
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Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Sezai Temelli spoke at the weekly group meeting of his party today (June 11).
Referring to ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) İstanbul Metropolitan Mayoral candidate Binali Yıldırım, who held a speech in Kurdish in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır, Temelli said, “Diyarbakır has never heard such Kurdish since the day it became Diyarbakır; only one person could understand his Kurdish and it was Mehdi Eker.”
Some highlights from Temelli’s speech are as follows:
“As it was also the case before, we are again faced with a judicial reform, a judicial change in an election atmosphere. İstanbul elections will be held on June 23. In fact, this election does not have any reasonable justification, it is an obligation imposed by the Supreme Election Council (YSK).
“Candidates are, of course, carrying out their electoral campaigns. One of the candidates is Binali Yıldırım. He went to Diyarbakır. For some reason, he campaigned for the [İstanbul] election in Diyarbakır. He said ‘Kurdistan MP’.
“He continued and spoke Kurdish. But, Diyarbakır has never heard such Kurdish since the day it became Diyarbakır. Only one person could understand his Kurdish and it was [AKP’s] Mehdi Eker.
“But, before March 31, AKP Chair Erdoğan was shouting at the squares.
“Just because we say ‘Kurdistan’, he was telling us, ‘Kurdistan is there [in Northern Iraq], you can go there.’ Every day, they are constantly insulting us the Kurds. We were called terrorists, we were subjected to ‘go away’ insults.
“While he [Binali Yıldırım] was speaking Kurdish and saying Kurdistan for a couple of votes, Kurdish sign boards were being taken down in Tatvan.
“We know: When our friends uttered one or two sentences in Kurdish at the Parliament, you insulted it as ‘an unknown language.’
“But, for a couple of votes or for your dirty bargains, you say Kurdistan, you speak Kurdish as if nothing happened. Just when these were discussed in Turkey, sign boards were being taken down in Tatvan and Bitlis.
“You will not be valued or esteemed by Kurdish people just because you said a few words in Kurdish. Because your attempt to speak Kurdish is insincere, you do it for your benefit. Kurdish is not a language that can be used as a mask for your electoral campaigns or daily policies. What needs to be done is to pave the way for education in the mother tongue.”
In his speech, HDP Co-Chair Temelli also referred to Governor of İstanbul Ali Yerlikaya, who has been appointed as the Acting Mayor of İstanbul after the Metropolitan Mayoral election was annulled by the YSK on May 6.
Temelli said, “To the ones who ask our attitude, let me say it one more time: Wherever there are trustees, we will continue sweeping them away. We heard that there is also a trustee in İstanbul, we will sweep him away as well.” (PT/SD)