Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Sunday saying Turkey is deeply concerned over the expulsion of a Belgian parliamentarian with Turkish Heritage, Mahinur Ozdemir, from her political party for her refusal to recognise the 1915 events as “genocide.”
In the statement, foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic addressed a question over Ozdemir’s dismissal from the Humanist Democratic Centre (CDH) saying, “Turkey is astonished by the decision of the party that contradicts the democratic values in Belgium which has long-established democratic policies.”
Ozdemir, the first member of Belgian parliament to wear a headscarf, said there is no court order that enforces one to recognise the events as a genocide, over the incident.
Noting that expulsion of a politician from her party disregarded the freedom of expression which is one of the essential principles in Europe clearly will not bring any contribution to the integration of 220,000 Belgians with Turkish heritage, Bilgic stated that, “Such discriminatory attitudes that drops seeds of discord among the public would only deepen the existing integration problems in Europe, instead of resolving them.”
Bilgic called on the CDH and all of Belgian institutions to “reason and refrain from such actions creating polarisation.”