President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan walked out of the Turkish parliament protesting the speech of a Kurdish deputy, stating that he did not want to listen “those who martyred my soldiers,” the Hürriyet daily reported on Tuesday.
Parliament on Tuesday held a special session to mark the 99th anniversary of the first parliamentary meeting by the founding fathers of modern Turkey on April 23, 1920.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first leader of modern Turkey, later declared the day National Children’s Day.
When Erdoğan walked out of parliament, reporters asked him the reason for his early departure.
“Should I listen those who didn’t recite the national anthem in this hall? Should I listen those who martyred my soldiers?” referring to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies.
A reporter then asked Erdoğan if there would be a party closure case against the HDP in the near future.
“Party closure is different from cases against those who committed crimes,” Erdoğan said, signaling that he was not intending to seek the closure of the Kurdish party.
Since the end of peace negotiations between Erdoğan’s ruling party and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group, the government and its mouthpiece media have been targeting HDP deputies as “terrorists,” although they are duly elected members of parliament.
Nearly 40,000 people have died in an almost four-decade-long PKK insurgency in southeastern Turkey.
Most recently, four Turkish soldiers were killed on Saturday in an armed conflict with the PKK at the Iraqi border.