Turkish parliament turns 100
Turkey's Grand National Assembly celebrated its 100th anniversary on Friday. Official ceremonies took place in the First Parliament Building in Ankara, but due to the corona pandemic the customary public celebrations were cancelled. The commemoration was unworthy of this historical occasion, commentators believe.
Just pretty words
The reality of Turkish politics is very different from how it was portrayed in the speeches, Hürriyet Daily News criticises:
“The messages were in line with the spirit of the 100th year anniversary of the parliament, but one may argue that they were not very much in line with reality. A big divide between the political parties enflamed by non-curable polarization undermines the role of the parliament and negates the will of the people. Grievance and enmity should have no place in politics, but dialogue and tolerance should, as suggested by the representatives of the parties at the special session on April 23.”
Virus convenient for the government
In recent years the AKP government has cancelled several national holidays introduced by Ataturk. In a commentary piece written in the run-up to the anniversary the Kemalist daily Sözcü complains that yet another pretext has been found to do this:
“One hundred years is an important milestone in the history of the Turkish Republic, and the event should be celebrated with great enthusiasm. So will we? Unfortunately not! The coronavirus has been very convenient for the government, which imposed a curfew on April 23 for National Sovereignty and Children's Day. ... The following days will also be affected by the curfew, until midnight on Sunday. ... So our people will not be able to celebrate April 23rd.”