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Opposition parties weigh into parliamentary oath crisis.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- The main opposition leaders have joined in a war of words regarding the parliamentary oath ceremony after a pro-Kurdish deputy refused to renew her oath after she changed the wording while reading it out loud.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Leyla Zana's oath in Parliament was the center of debate last week when she purposely said "the nation of Turkey" instead of "the Turkish nation," altering the meaning of the oath, which rendered it invalid. Zana refused to take the oath for a second time, stating, "Some things have to change."

Deniz Baykal, who served as acting speaker in Parliament's opening session, asked Zana to retake the oath correctly but she instead chose to walk out of the assembly.

After the incident, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Mehmet Ali E[currency]ahin said on Saturday that the oath is not something that deputies recite "willingly," igniting the fuse for a fresh round of debate regarding the wording of the oath.

E[currency]ahin, who has previously held the posts of parliament speaker and justice minister, said the oath was too badly written to be included in the Constitution of any democratic country.

The leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kylycdaroy-lu, said in reply to a question regarding the oath that his party could discuss the issue in "the negotiations for a new Constitution," according to a Sunday report in the HE-rriyet daily.

Upon being asked his views on the issue, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli said to reporters on Sunday that "the oath must never change."

MHP deputy Yusuf Halacoy-lu joined in the debate, asking what would be changed in the oath if the other parties had their way. "Would they take out the word 'Turk' or the phrase 'to stay loyal to the Constitution'? Would we say 'small Turkish nation' [instead of great Turkish Nation]?" he asked.

Halacoy-lu said E[currency]ahin must come forward and explain why the AK Party deputies could not "willingly" recite the oath.

The AK Party managed to gain 49.3 percent in the snap election on Nov. 1, stunning pollsters and startling many experts in the process. Now its eyes are firmly set on drafting a new Constitution that they hope will allow for a switch from the parliamentary system of governance to an executive presidential style system.

Both Kylycdaroy-lu and Bahceli are currently under fire from intra-party opposition disgruntled at the results of the Nov. 1 election, which led to a decisive AK Party victory.

CHP Secretary-General GE-rsel Tekin reminded reporters on Sunday that the Constitution negotiations could carry on from where they left off, and added that the issue of the parliamentary oath was one of the 62 articles all four main parties had agreed on.

"Since our signatures are our honor, let us, as the four main parties, pass [in Parliament] the 62 articles we have already agreed to. This way we will put an end to these arguments," he said.

CHP ystanbul deputy BaryE- YarkadaE- said he has no problem with the oath itself. "However the oath is a very hard piece of writing to read out. The grammatical structure and revisions have made it bad. There could be some changes made to the structure, but this doesn't mean the wording will be changed."

MHP deputy Erkan Haberal criticized E[currency]ahin's statement, saying: "If he can't willingly recite the oath, he shouldn't recite it at all. After entering this Parliament, he has to recite that oath. Mehmet Ali E[currency]ahin knew he would recite that oath when entering through these doors."

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Nov 23, 2015
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