Leyla Zana takes her par­lia­men­tary oath in Kur­dish

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The Kur­dish prom­i­nent of law­maker, Leyla Zana de­fied cus­tom on Tues­day, chang­ing some of the words while recit­ing her par­lia­men­tary oath, 24 years af­ter she in­sisted on tak­ing her oath in Kur­dish and earn­ing her­self a long jail term.

Be­fore tak­ing her oath at the lectern, Zana cheered "Biji Aşiti," a Kur­dish ex­pres­sion for "Long live peace."

Zana, who won a seat from the pro-Kur­dish Peo­ple's Demo­cratic Party (HDP), also changed the word­ing of the oath to "the na­tion of Tur­key" in­stead of the "Turk­ish na­tion."

The Repub­li­can Peo­ple's Party's (CHP) Deniz Baykal, who was pre­sid­ing over the as­sem­bly as the act­ing speaker, asked Zana to re­cite the oath state­ment once again, but Zana re­fused. Her oath was de­clared nul­li­fied.

"I take this oath for the broth­er­hood be­tween the Turk­ish peo­ple and the Kur­dish peo­ple," she had said, earn­ing her­self a 10-year prison term by the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment.

Tues­day’s oath tak­ing was for MPs who won seats in the Novem­ber 1 snap elec­tions – held af­ter polls in June failed to grant any party enough seats to form a gov­ern­ment.

Zana be­came a sym­bol of free speech across the world af­ter serv­ing 10 years in prison for speak­ing Kur­dish while tak­ing her par­lia­men­tary oath in 1991. She was ul­ti­mately re­leased in 2004 and once again be­came an MP af­ter the June 2011 elec­tions, al­though a ban re­mained in place pre­vent­ing her from join­ing the coun­try’s then-main Kur­dish party, the Peace and Democ­racy Party (BDP).

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