ANKARA (Agos) — On December 3, Turkey’d Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said, “For us, independence means to stand against the giaours (infidels)  and to be able to call them giaours.”

HDP MP Garo Paylan tabled a parliamentary question about this statement and requested answer from Kurtulmus himself.

Paylan asked the following questions to Deputy Prime Minister Kurtulmus:

1.-According to Turkish Language Association (TDK), giaour means “(1) a nonbeliever person, (2) non-Muslim”. According to linguist Sevan Nisanyan, it means “(1) Zoroastrian, fire-worshiper, (2) non-Muslim, heretic.” Do you think that you insulted the Christians and non-Muslim peoples of Turkey by using the word of “giaour”, which is used in a pejorative way in many Turkish idioms and proverbs and which people often use to insult or defame certain groups or individuals?

2.-Given that hate speech is defined as “speaking in an insulting or threatening manner on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability or sexual orientation”, do you think that your statement is a form of hate speech?

3.- Regarding the fact that such statements often lead to hate crimes, do you think that your statement may cause hate crimes?

 

 

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