Kurdish and Kurdish deputies in the minutes of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey

Nevzat Onaran

The Republic did not internalize the Kurdish language. The use of Kurdish in the streets and bazaars was banned with Eastern Islahat. There was an official “Citizen Speak Turkish” campaign in Garp. The problem was not language or identity; The problem lay in the wall that the dominant Turkish mentality had erected in the face of “equal citizenship.” Just like the rhyme of “we went less, we went far” in fairy tales, a long journey from the Tanzimat to today in “equal citizenship”. In the struggle for “equal citizenship” in the Tanzimat, regulations/constitutions for the Greeks were passed in 1862, the Armenians in 1860 and 1863, the Jews in 1865, and the Constitution of 1876 was later drafted. Gains were reduced by Abdülhamid’s coup in 1878; Parliament was closed and the constitution was abolished.

The revolutionary door opened against Abdülhamid’s tyranny in 1908 was closed with the unionist coup d’état in January 1913. The coups of 1878 and 1913 were essentially the same; for democratic development. And 1923 was the height of the unionist route of 1913. The two basic elements of the Turkish nation-state route were religiously Sunni and nationally Turkish. Political economy was also the elimination of Sunni and non-Turkish Islam from the demographic and economic structure. From 1914 to 1923, non-Turkish and non-Sunni-Islamic Christian nations were purged from Anatolia’s demographic and economic structure. Now, non-Turkish-Islamic nations were the target; Kurds… We have arrived until today, but the path is the same; The “deviations” that would be called “good” are also destroyed in a double way, one step forward and three steps back. We entered the field without experiencing the Dolmabahçe spring, in which the roadmap for the Kurdish issue was announced.

Kurdish-speaking travel to the Republic, in particular, is a broad subject. I will share the “Yesterday to Today” news. We learned from news reports from our journalist friend Serkan Alan in Ankara that Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop returned MP HDP Şanlıurfa Ömer Öcalan’s research proposal on Kurdish, claiming it was “vulgar and harmful”, according to the cover book. black I don’t know what article. However, the same motion was adopted two years ago when Şentop was president. In this case, we would not be able to do what is necessary within the scope of the motion. With the proposal, the opening of the parliamentary inquiry was requested in order to carry out the necessary work for the acceptance of the Kurdish language (Kurmanji, Zazaki, Gorani, Sorani) as an official language, its use in public services and its constitutional guarantee, and the elimination of constitutional and political obstacles to mother tongue education. The request should be investigated. MP Ömer Öcalan, who did not provide information on what was done about his previous motion, emphasized that government pressure on Kurds increased during the electoral process: “The bans on Kurdish concerts and theaters are also an indication of this. There is a growing situation of nationalism.”

Both Kurdish and Turkish are mother tongues. In the 1935 Census(1), out of 16.2 million, 13.9 million said “my mother tongue is Turkish” and 1.5 million said “my mother tongue is Kurdish”. In the distribution of 31 mother tongues, 154,000 were Arabic, 92,000 Circassian, 58,000 Armenian, 109,000 Greek, 43,000 Jewish, 18,200 Bulgarian and 33,000 Pomak. The examination of the Republic in 31 mother tongues is a very comprehensive subject. After 87 years, the total population has increased 5.2 times to 85 million, but unfortunately the total population of Armenians, Greeks and Jews has decreased from 210 thousand to less than 100 thousand . I don’t think the result was any different for other mother tongues with the monist/Turkish policy of settlement and assimilation in 87 years, the ‘garden of mother tongues’ of nations has withered!

While there is no ‘yes’ answer to the investigation of the Kurds in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Abdulkadir Selvi, the writer behind the scenes at the Palace, writes that MP Ömer Öcalan or Mehmet Öcalan, who has the motion, could go to İmralı to meet with Abdullah Öcalan. Two questions about the visit were also added: “But the important thing is, what will come out of this meeting? Will Öcalan send a message to Qandil and HDP?” Well, you want to know what Öcalan said to Qandil and HDP? The author wrote two questions clearly and also clarified an ‘unknown’ issue: “When you write about the meeting with Öcalan, discussions can start as soon as Part AK is starting a new resolution process. But let me tell you beforehand that there is no such study, and I did not get that impression.” In other words, the ‘analysts’ who understood as if to say, “You understand, I wrote it like this” were also waiting!

Although it is said that there is no resolution process, we witness that every news/whisper like this is interpreted as ‘something’. Such a ‘whispering approach’ to the volume of the Kurdish issue makes it clear what the problem is. There are so many commentators that make you spill like a daisy, like soap bubbles. We also recall the letter that the postman brought from Öcalan before the Istanbul local elections, which were repeated in 2019..

The Kurdish language is so carefully focused that the Kurdish word pronounced by a member of parliament, such as Ömer Öcalan, in the rostrum of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, was written as “XX” in the minutes. What this means? Mr. Şentop may remember, he was also a member of parliament at that time. On 5 January 2016, some Kurdish words in the speech by MP HDP Şanlıurfa Osman Baydemir at the General Assembly of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey were recorded as “XX” in the minutes of the Assembly. (2) It turns out that all people will be offended, what does it mean to have two words written as “XX” in your mother tongue?

96 years before Baydemir, deputy Muş Hacı Ahmet Hamdi was freer than Baydemir. In other words, in 2016, Baydemir did not have the freedom of the platform that Hacı Ahmet Hamdi had in 1920. The sentence that Hacı Ahmet Hamdi uttered on the podium on November 30, 1920 was written exactly in the minutes. The agenda was the discussion of the draft Constitution of 1921. Deputy Hacı Ahmet Hamdi, who explained the ‘risk’ of choosing a deputy on the basis of profession compared to another Armenian, in 1327 [1911] He narrated the incident he experienced while he was the Property Manager in Şiran. Stating that Haro Ağa, a member of the court in Şiran, and his secretary brought him a decree for signature, Hacı Ahmet Hamdi asked parliamentary officials to carefully write down the Kurdish conversation between them: “By signing the decree (Babo, nem izha yekem, nem seravi mulazayiha bikem, bekice muntefiseki han) ) says. Here are the statements made by the members to be brought to the Assembly of such persons who say (signature) ızha, (annotation) shar, (consideration) or negotiation, (inspector) intefis. [karışım] nothing but a blacksmith’s crucible. I would like the gold to be brought from our people.”(3)

In 1920, Kurdish words were written on behalf of deputy Muş Hacı Ahmet Hamdi in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, but in 2016, some Kurdish words of deputy HDP Şanlıurfa Osman Baydemir were registered as “XX”. In this case, which deputy has the freedom of the tribune?

In 1920, it was okay to write Kurdish words in the memo, no one shouted, called or attacked. Some deputies even identified with a regional identity. Siverek deputy Lütfi, “Gentlemen, today I am the deputy for Kurdistan”(4) and Bitlis deputy Yusuf Ziya, “We are shouting to Lord Curzon; we are the true representatives of Kurdistan. We want Mosul from you and your politics and we are going to take it!”(5) and Mazhar Müfid (Hakkari) said: “I am also a Kurdish deputy. To the insult of Lord Curzon [hakaretine] Kurdish deputies cannot remain silent against [susamaz]. […] While there are many people in Kurdistan who are eligible to be members of parliament, […]”(6) he said. The deputies positioned themselves above the province on a historical, geographic and regional scale, and this was recorded in the minutes.

Mustafa Kemal, the president of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly, was also unfamiliar with Kurdistan. Because the Kurdish question and the declaration of solution was one of the articles of the Amasya Protocol.(7) This was the subject of the instruction dated June 27, 1920, given by the President of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Mustafa Kemal to the Commander of the Elcezire Front : “On Kurdistan, the Deputies of the Grand National Assembly Deputies [Hükümetin] It is an instruction for the Commandment of the Elcezire Front. […]”(8) Without prejudice to the discussion of its content, the things to be done for the purpose of solution are listed in five items. Article 4 stated that “our internal policy in Kurdistan will be managed by the Alcezire Front Command”.

We read Kurdistan or Lazistan in the pages of the minutes of the first semester of the GNAT. Ziya Hurşit was one of six deputies from Lazistan, whose provincial name was Rize, in 1926. The “first term tribune language” of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which existed with the opposition of the “Second Group”, was freer in comparison with the second term. In the second period, especially after the Eastern Reform Plan, Kurdish was banned and the “Citizen Speaks Turkish” campaign aimed to silence the languages. The first term of the Turkish Grand National Assembly was left behind and the Republic was not institutionalized on the basis of the construction of “equal citizenship”. Then “inequality” was systematized!


(1)1935 General CensusS. 135.

(two) Journal of GNAT Records, period: 26, volume: 3, p. 45.

(3) Parliamentary Minutes (ZC), circuit: 1, volume: 6, p. 156-157.

(4) Minutes of the Secret Session of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GCZ), vol: 3, p. 564.

(5) TGNA ZC, circuit: 1, volume: 26, p. 506.

(6) TGNA ZC, circuit: 1, volume: 26, p. 507-508.

(7) The first article of the 2nd Amasya Protocol (All Artworks by Ataturk, vol: 4, Kaynak Publications, Istanbul, p. 341) He speaksIt was censored in (Gazi Mustafa Kemal, Speech (1919-1920), vol: 1, State Printing House, Istanbul-1934, p. 174).

(8) Parliamentary GCZ, vol: 3, p. 550-551.

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