Turkish Defense Minister perplexed by deputy's Kurdish greeting

Turkish Defense Minister perplexed by deputy's Kurdish greeting
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"Am I supposed to reply to that?" minister Akar asked the parliament's deputy speaker when HDP MP Bulbul greeted him before his speech, saying, "Rojbas, cawayi basi?"

The Turkish Minister of Defense was caught off guard on Friday when he was greeted in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) by a deputy who addressed him saying "Good afternoon, how are you?" in Kurdish.

During the talks on the defense budget, Kemal Bulbul, deputy for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), turned to minister Hulusi Akar before he started delivering his speech on the budget, and greeted him, saying: "Mr. Defense Minister, Rojbas, cawayi basi?"

Startled, Akar turned to Celal Adan, Deputy Speaker of TBMM and a member of the far right Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) parliamentary group, asking him, "Am I supposed to reply to that, Mr. Speaker?"

Adan said that he is not.

Bulbul insisted, saying: "It would be nice if he did reply. I think Mr. Minister will reply."

However, he did not receive any response from Akar.

Later Bulbul told reporters that one of the greatest motives of their speeches in the parliament is peace, and that greeting the defense minister in Kurdish was an attempt for dialogue.

"How are we supposed to solve so many big problems when we are not even able to have such a small dialogue?" he said.

Bulbul's Kurdish greeting was not transcribed in the minutes, and was indicated by three dots.