HDP Parliamentary Group Deputy Chair Meral Danış-Beştaş held a press conference at the Parliament and talked about several current issues in Turkey, including a music band being prevented from singing in Kurdish in İstanbul’s Taksim.
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Siirt MP and Parliamentary Group Deputy Chair Meral Danış-Beştaş held a press conference at the Parliament in the capital city of Ankara yesterday (January 31).
Talking about a series of current issues on Turkey’s agenda, Danış-Beştaş also touched upon the appointment of Bekir Bozdağ as the new Justice Minister of Turkey in place of Abdulhamit Gül. Recalling that Bozdağ was replaced by Gül as the Justice Minister in 2017, Danış-Beştaş said:
“Bureaucrats change. All these happen at midnight and in darkness. This is, in fact, a result of the system left in the dark by the government.
“Who has been removed from office here is not the Minister of Justice, but justice. Justice is not on the job. Justice is not functioning. Ministers are changed in order to ensure that injustice will continue. […] What concerns us is whether justice will be established or not. For this reason, this is a change of duty made to ensure that this injustice will be maintained.
“The issue is not about establishing justice. Attention: The Justice Minister wanted to be excused from his duty at midnight. Resignation or dismissal is considered to be excused.
“The failure to abide by the ECtHR rulings is not discussed. What else is not discussed? The women killed every day and the women subjected to violence are not discussed. The deceased bodies of ill prisoners are still taken out of prisons; this is not discussed. A fair trial is now only something that we talk about; this is not discussed, either.
“Arrested journalists, politicians are not discussed. While all these are in place, justice ministers do not hold up in this system of injustice.”
‘President cannot issue decrees on basic rights’
HDP’s Danış-Beştaş also talked about the Presidential circular about the TV programs “against the national and spiritual values of society” published in the Official Gazette on January 28. Danış-Beştaş defined this circular as a “circular of censorship”, saying, “It is an odd circular.”
Underlining that “it is an unlawful circular and against the Constitution,” Meral Danış-Beştaş briefly said:
“Erdoğan sees himself above the Constitution. He does not feel bound by the Constitution. Even according to a coup Constitution, the President cannot issue a decree about fundamental rights. He cannot do so in the new system, either. The President does not have the authority to issue Presidential decrees regarding fundamental rights. […] Article 28 of the Constitution is an imperative provision. It guarantees that the press is free.”
‘Turkey now has a basic food crisis’
Speaking about the economic crisis as well, Danış-Beştaş said, “There is a basic food crisis in Turkey now. Let’s name it. The efforts to maintain the economy by increasing consumption have collapsed.”
Underlining that the Parliament should intervene as soon as possible, the MP also listed a few steps that need to be taken:
“The tax levied on basic food products should be reduced to zero. The Special Consumption Tax should be lifted.
“The taxes levied on electricity bills should be completely eliminated. The processes of energy generation and distribution must be publicized.
“The tax burden on natural gas bills should be removed and the tax burden on households should be reduced by at least 50 percent. The prices introduced to industrial facilities should be withdrawn.”
‘The system of bans starts at the Palace’
Concluding her remarks, HDP’s Danış-Beştaş talked about the street musicians who were prevented from making Kurdish music on İstanbul’s İstiklal Avenue in Taksim. Danış-Beştaş briefly said:
“A music band making Kurdish music was prevented from singing in Taksim. A law enforcement force, a police officer says, ‘I run things around here.’ He says, ‘I am in charge’. Where does he derive this power? From the one at the Palace. The system of bans starts there. They think they can continue governing by banning everything they don’t want in the country.
This is a result of the hostility to Kurds reflected in Kurdish language and music. Not preventing violence against women, the police prevent a band because they sing a song in Kurdish. They raid the weddings where Kurdish music is played. You can ban none of these ancient languages. You cannot ban the Kurdish language, either.
In conclusion to her speech, HDP Group Deputy Chair Danış-Beştaş read out the lyrics of the song that the ones prevented from singing in Kurdish were singing: “Zimanê me hebûna me ye. Zimanê me pêşeroja me ye. Em ê her tim zimanê dayikê biparêzin. (Our language is our existence. Our language is our future. We will always protect the mother language.)”
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