Turkey: Protest at funeral condemned by presidency

Respect for the dead is fundamental element of our faith and civilization, says presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin

Sorwar Alam   | 14.09.2017
Turkey: Protest at funeral condemned by presidency


By Sinan Uslu


Turkey’s presidency on Thursday firmly condemned a protest at the funeral of an ex-lawmaker’s mother.

“I would like to express on behalf of the presidency that we condemn this incident in the clearest way,” presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said, speaking at a routine press briefing at the Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara.  

He called the “inhuman attitude” showed during the incident unacceptable.

“This is an ugly approach that in no way matches our values of belief, culture, and civilization. Respect for the dead is one of the most fundamental elements of our faith and our civilization,” Kalin added.

On Wednesday, in Incek, Ankara, a group of 20-25 men staged an angry protest at the funeral of Hatun Tugluk, the mother of former Deputy Aysel Tugluk.

Tugluk, who is a deputy co-chair of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP), is currently on trial on terrorism charges and was released from prison to attend the service.

Tugluk’s mother, who had been attending the trial, died on Wednesday morning, age 80.

She was buried at Incek but after the angry reaction, her family decided to move her remains to Tunceli, in eastern Anatolia. 

Referendum will isolate Kurds

Kalin also reiterated Turkey’s stance against an independence referendum in northern Iraq.

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has said the referendum will be held on Sept. 25 across the northern areas under its control.

“It will push them into isolation. Because, as you can see, so far there is not a single country, except Israel, or international organization that supports the independence referendum,” Kalin said.

He called on the KRG authority to call off the vote, instead stressing attempts to solve the crisis between KRG and Baghdad under the principle of Iraq’s national integrity.  

Kalin added that Turkey has had good relations with the KRG and wants this to continue but that KRG authority must do its part.

“For our part, we have intent and desire to continue this relationship with the Iraqi Kurds," he explained.   

“But,” he underlined, “the northern Iraqi government must immediately withdraw from steps casting a shadow over and undermining this will.”

“They have to contribute to this process,” he said.

S-400 air defense system

On Turkey’s agreement to buy a Russian S-400 air defense system, Kalin said that Turkey has the right to take any necessary steps for its national security and does not need to talk with any other country in this regard.

He welcomed the NATO secretary general saying the bloc’s allies can decide what equipment to buy.

“Turkey is a strong ally in NATO. Turkey’s position in NATO is clear,” Kalin said, adding that Ankara has “a multi-faceted foreign policy,” as required by its geopolitical position.

The remarks follow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement earlier this week that a first payment for the S-400 air defense system had been made to supplier Russia.

The deal has caused concern among Turkey’s NATO allies, as the Russian system is incompatible with the air defenses of other NATO members.

Turkish officials, however, insist the system will be compatible with NATO technology.

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