“Cast your votes like you hit the giaour” debate

AKP Bursa MP Hayrettin Çakmak deleted his social media entry because of pressure and reactions. Archpriest Tatul Anuşyan also criticized Çakmak

Political parties continues their referendum campaigns. In addition to rallies of the party chairs, MPs also talk about their parties' choices in meetings and social media entries. And some of those entries contain some racist and discriminatory discourse. Previously, CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu used discriminatory discourse against Syrians. More recently, AKP Bursa MP Hayrettin Çakmak targeted “giaours”. In social media, Çakmak wrote, “Cast your votes like you hit the giaour”, urging people to vote “yes”.

Apology demanded

People severely criticized this message in social and Çakmak deleted it. Archpriest Tatul Anuşyan also criticized Çakmak. In a message sent to Çakmak, Anuşyan wrote:

“Dear Hayrettin Çakmak, I have read a message in Facebook pages written by you. You talked about how people should case their votes. I think that an MP cannot use that improper word. And if you used it, you should apologize right away. And when you apologize, please don't try to say that you meant something else. There is one meaning of that word which is defined by the dictionary of Turkish Linguistic Society. I think that there is no need to remind the damage of insulting words that lead to discrimination in the society.”

As an adjective...”

Hayrettin Çakmak responsed to Archpriest Anuşyan and stated that he deleted that entry: “I wrote it as a response to the attitude of Germany, Holland and Europe. It is obvious that I used that word as an adjective, not as a noun. The dictionary of Turkish Linguistic Society writes: 'giaour 1) noun: a nonbeliever (atheist), 2) non-Muslim person, 3) adj.: cruel, 4) adj.: stubborn'. As you may notice, there is only one meaning denoting non-Muslim. It is obvious that I used it as an adjective. You see the racist xenophobia of the countries like Germany, Holland and Austria and their attitude towards Turkey. I guess I explained myself.”