New Parliament strengthens hope of unity in diversity

A broad spectrum of deputies elected in Sundayand’s general election, among them lawyers, academics, former members of the judiciary, intellectuals, journalists, musicians and a large number of women, will take their place in the legislative branch of the government.
Sundayand’s critical election, which ended 13 years of Justice and Development Party (AK Party) rule as a single-party government, brought colorful names to Parliament, especially after the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) managed to pass the 10 percent election threshold.
Former main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) leader and Antalya deputy Deniz Baykal, 78, is the oldest member of the 25th legislative term of Parliament and is expected to serve as the temporary parliament speaker until a speaker is elected by the deputies. The oldest deputy among the newly elected deputies traditionally serves as the speaker until the deputies take their oath of office and elect a parliament speaker.
Ekmeleddin ihsanoilu, a presidential candidate in the 2014 election and an internationally recognized intellectual and former secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is also among the senior deputies in the new Parliament. ihsanoilu, 72, entered Parliament as an Istanbul deputy of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Former Turkish Central Bank Governor Durmui Yilmaz former Diyarbakir mufti Nimetullah Erdoimui Armenian activist Garo Paylan the founding chairman of the Mhallami Association, Mehmet Ali Aslan Mithat Sancar, a professor of law at Ankara University Syriac Christian Erol Dora the head of the Alevi Pir Sultan Abdal Association, Manduslandum Dogan Yazidi community member and former Member of the European Parliament Feleknas Uca the niece of the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) Abdullah andOcalan, Dilek andOcalan and former football player Saffet Sancakli are some of the names among the newly elected deputies.
Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, a former AK Party deputy and one of its founders, has entered Parliament as an HDP Mersin deputy. Firat became a strong critic of the AK Party after a major graft probe became public on Dec. 17, 2013, implicating people from the inner circles of the AK Party and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was prime minister at the time.
Ferhat Encandu, who lost his brother Serhat along with 34 other relatives in an attack by Turkish military jets on the Turkish-Iraqi border near Uludere, iirnak province, on Dec. 28, 2011, has also been elected as a deputy from the HDP.
Zeynep Altiok Akatli has been elected as a CHP deputy from izmir. She is the daughter of poet Metin Altiok, who died at the Madimak Hotel in Sivas on July 2, 1993, along with 33 others after an angry mob set the building on fire. The group was attending a conference on Alevi poet Pir Sultan Abdal.
Several candidates who reside in Europe, such as Mustafa Yeneroilu from the AK Party, and Ali Atalan, Turgut andOker, Feleknas Uca and Ziya Pir from HDP, have entered Parliament, according to the unofficial results of Sundayand’s election. This is a first in the history of the Turkish Parliament.
Retired Col. Dursun andciandcek, who was convicted in two coup plot trials before being released in June 2014, will be another interesting figure in the new Parliament as he was sentenced to 16 years in jail for being part of a coup plan against the AK Party government in 2003. All the convicted in these coup attempts were retried and released by courts last year as the AK Party sought the support of ultranationalists, especially retired generals, in order to cleanse members of the judiciary and police forces who were involved in the Dec. 17 graft probe investigation. andciandcek entered Parliament as a CHP deputy from izmir.
h240 pct of HDP deputies women, 97 women enter Parliamenth2
According to the unofficial election results, 97 women have been elected deputies, with 32 coming from the HDP alone. Female representation in Parliament has thus increased to 18 percent, up from 14 percent in the 2011 general election.
Women make up 40 percent of the HDPand’s deputies. This figure is 16 percent (41 out of 256 deputies) for the AK Party, 15 percent for the CHP, which has 20 women out of 132 deputies, and 5 percent for the MHP, which has four female deputies out of 82 total.
Two HDP deputies in Parliament wear headscarves, Handuda Kaya and Seher Akandcinar Bayar. Kaya and her daughters were accused in court of and”attempting to forcefully dissolve the Turkish Republicand” — a charge that could have gotten her the death sentence — because she wore a headscarf while at university during the Feb. 28, 1997 coup era.
The AK Partyand’s Leyla iahin Usta, Ravza Kavakandci and Fatma Benli are the other women deputies in Parliament who wear headscarves. Kavakandci is the sister of Merve Kavakandci, who was the first headscarved deputy in Parliament and who was forced out of the building for wearing a headscarf in 1999.
The youngest deputy of the 25th legislative term is Fatma Gaye Ganduler of the AK Party. She is 26 years old. Twenty-eight-year-old Sena Nur andcelik from the AK Party and Dilek andOcalan from the HDP are the other two young deputies in the new Parliament.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman