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Sedat Ergin

Arıtman should be expelled from CHP

Adeviye Gül, the mother of President Abdullah Gül, could be Armenian. She could be Kurd, Georgian, Circassian or similarly Turk

If Adeviye Gül is Armenian, Kurd or Georgian, this is a richness. If she is Turk, this is also a richness.

Every human being is a richness because every nation, ethnic group and minority existing in this world is richness.

Each and every one of them is the equal sharer of the existence and heritage of humanity. None of them can allege their superiority over the other due to their ethnic origin. Similarly, no groups or member of it can be subject to any kind of discrimination due to their origin. None of them can be the target of any insult or accusation.

Otherwise, it would mean racismÉ

If you try to accuse and corner someone who welcomes a certain declaration, which you disagree, you commit this crime.

No way to deceive people
The accusations of Canan Arıtman, İzmir member of parliament of Republican People’s Party, or CHP, regarding the ethnic origin of Abdullah Gül, who did not disagree with the notice of apology for the Armenians signed by a group of intellectuals falls into this category.

"It is obvious that Gül gives his support to this notice. Gül should be the president of the Turkish nation, not of the ethnic origin. If you search the ethnic origin of Gül’s mother, you will see that she is Armenian. Gül’s uncle, who is a doctor, told this to his assistants", said Arıtman.

Here, the world "Armenian" is meant as an insult. Moreover, we are not foreign to this societyÉ Do not we know that this word is reminiscent of negative impacts for many people in this society? No way to deceive anyone.

Way to prove being Turk
I have been waiting for the CHP’s reaction to this issue for two days. While I was doing this, Arıtman went on with her declarations at the same level. She even went beyond that by saying "They ask the question, "are you Armenian?" to anyone who supports the claim of genocide.

This means that those living in Turkey and supporting this claim are attributed to be Armenian. This is something new.

If we follow this logic, disagreeing the claim of genocide is the absolute way of proving being Turk. This means that if you defend a political solution to the Kurdish problem, it can be a good reason for your being regarded a Kurd.

I do not want to lose time by trying to show that the saying of Arıtman is wrong. I do feel uneasy, unhappy and sorry to write such an article in the year 2008É

Arıtman uttered these words on Wednesday. While I was writing this article, CHP had not made a formal declaration yet. The insufficiency of the declarations made, and some statements supporting Arıtman increased my uneasiness.

Were CHP a Western social democratic party in real terms, the person who uttered these words would be expelled from the party; however, I have abdicated the needs of being a social democrat.

At this point, the CHP’s reaction to Arıtman’s declaration has turned into an examination of humanity and civilization for the party. Note: After I completed this article, CHP group vice president declared A) that Arıtman got a ’verbal’ warning for her sayings about Gül, B) that Arıtman got a written warning for making such a declaration without permission, if same thing happens again, she will be taken to the board of discipline. I do not feel it necessary to make any alteration in my article. S.E.

Sedat Ergin is the editor-in-chief of the daily Milliyet in which this piece appeared on Saturday. It was translated into English by the Daily News's staff