New deputies take oath in Turkey’s 25th parliament

Newly elected deputies of Turkey’s 25th parliament take oath on June 23

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

New legislators took oath on Tuesday on an official ceremony held at the parliament in capital Ankara on Tuesday to form the 25th government of Turkey.

Fife hundred and fifty-five lawmakers were elected to the parliament in June 7 election.

Republican People's Party (CHP)  Antalya deputy Deniz Baykal (77) administered pledge ceremony as the temporary speaker of the parliament since he is the eldest member of the parliament.

At 2:00pm, Baykal took over the post from former parliament speaker Cemil Cicek and the ceremony proceeded after deputies and parliament bureaucrats left a wreath at the Ataturk monument in the parliament campus and held a moment of silence in respect.

Marking the opening speech, Baykal said, “We now have a new parliament consisting of people that must understand and respect each other,” adding that the progress can be made by acting together in accordance with the will of the voters.

“Different religious and ethnic identities could not retain us from uniting under a common national identity and could not be done. Naturally, the different identities lead to organising but it should not lead to emplacements in politics and bureaucracy,” Baykal said.

The ceremony was predicted to last 10 hours and continue until late hours of the night.

Six youngest deputies from various parties also accompanied Baykal in the parliament council.

One of the six members on the council was pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Sanliurfa deputy Dilek Ocalan, the niece of imprisoned leader of outlawed PKK Abdullah Ocalan.

The HDP deputies refused to read national anthem during the ceremony except HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas.

Ahead of the ceremony, the HDP asked Baykal to tolerate the pledge of HDP deputy Feleknas Uca who has hard time pronouncing Turkish which was accepted by Baykal.

HDP Agri deputy Leyla Zana who had received criticism for pledging in Kurdish back in 1991, has pledged in Turkish in her second time entering the parliament.

In the meantime, the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Ankara deputy Lutfiye Selva Cam was the first deputy to swear at the parliament with a headscarf on.

Ravza Kavakci among the headscarved deputies, wore the headscarf that her sister Merve Kavakci had worn 16 years ago when she was elected to the parliament.

Merve Kavakci was booed and forced to leave the ceremony for wearing headscarf which was banned in public institutions back then under the secular government.

The headscarf ban was lifted under the governing AK Party.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also followed the ceremony.

TRTWorld and agencies