Speaker of National Assembly in Turkey hands back question on genocide perpetrator

Speaker of National Assembly in Turkey hands back question on genocide perpetrator
A+ A-
An deputy's question on the exhibition of a genocide perpetrator's picture in a Kurdish-majority province was left unanswered as she was handed back the question by the Speaker.

The Speaker of the Turkish National Assembly handed back a parliamentary question regarding the picture of a genocide perpetrator exhibited in different parts of Turkey's Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakir.

In May, a bus belonging to the municipality of Giresun on the Black Sea drove through the neighborhoods of Diyarbakır as part of an "off-road festival" with a picture of an armed man on the back, and words that read, "Giresun alone is enough to deal with you."

The armed man was a militia leader named "Topal Osman," one of the perpetrators of the Armenian and Pontic Greek genocides after the Balkan wars in the mid-1910s.

The "off-road festival" was co-organized by the mayor of Giresun and the trustee in Diyarbakir, who had been appointed by Ankara in the place of elected mayor Selcuk Mizrakli, who had been removed from his post and arrested in 2019.

Remziye Tosun, deputy for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), filed a parliamentary question over the event. She said "the people in Diyarbakir are saying that the appointed city and district trustees demonstrate discriminative and colonialist approaches in many of their actions," and asked whether the ministry was aware of this.

The Speaker of the Turkish National Assembly, Mustafa Sentop handed the question back to Diyarbakir deputy, stating that the question reflected her "personal opinion," and that it was "not the kind of question to ask."

About Topal Osman

Topal Osman, who served as the commander of the special bodyguard regiment of the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal, was killed in a clash in 1923 after being accused of instigating the murder of a deputy.

On 9 June after the protests against the display of Topal Osman’s picture in Diyarbakir, Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), submitted a legislative proposal for the legal restoration of Topal Osman's honor.

Bahçeli said in the introduction to his proposal that Topal Osman "lived like a great patriot all through his life and made unprecedented contributions to the independence struggle of the Turkish nation."

Notably, Topal Osman has been referred to in the state media as a "hero of the Turkish war of independence."