Osman Baydemir, HDP deputy representing Sanliurfa and party spokesperson, in parliament on Wednesday. Photo: HDP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey’s parliament has suspended a member of the pro-Kurdish party for using the word Kurdistan in the legislature.
Addressing the parliament on Wednesday during budget discussions, Osman Baydemir, HDP spokesperson and deputy representing Sanliurfa in southeast Turkey, referred to his electoral area as Kurdistan and described himself as “a child of the Kurdish people.”
In July, the parliament adopted new guidelines that banned use of the terms “Kurdistan,” “Kurdish regions,” and “Armenian genocide.”
Deputy Parliament Speaker Aysenur Bahcekapili asked Baydemir, “Where is Kurdistan?”
“It is here,” he replied, clapping his hand on his heart.
After a parliamentary vote on the matter, Baydemir was dismissed from the session and barred from an additional two General Assembly sessions. He will also lose two thirds of his monthly salary, as per parliamentary regulations.
HDP lawmakers walked out of the session in protest.
Baydemir is the first MP to be sanctioned under the amended regulations, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
He is among a group of HDP MPs facing terror-related charges
. Ankara has accused the party of having ties with the banned PKK - a charge HDP denies.