Tuma Çelik, a Kurdish Member of Parliament from the Mardin district, has called on the Turkish parliament to investigate and speak of the Greek Genocide (1913-1923).
From his Twitter he called for a parliamentary inquiry into the genocide against Greeks that began in 1913 and continued until 1923, as well as for the seizure of public cultural assets and private property belonging to the victims.
Rumlara yönelik 1914 yılından başlayıp 1923'e kadar devam eden katliamların ve kamu iradesiyle el konulmuş, gasp edilmiş kültürel varlık ve şahıslara ait olan mülklerin araştırılması için Meclis Araştırması açılmasını istedik!#PontosRumSoykırımı #19MayısPontosRumSoykırımı pic.twitter.com/NXhxsJpYSe
— Tuma Çelik (@tumacelikhdp) May 19, 2020
The image attached to his tweet said “We proposed a parliamentary inquiry into the genocide committed against Christians in 1915. The policies that began in 1914 against the Armenians and Assyrians and later the Greeks and aimed at clearing the area of Christians, led to many people displaced. What happened in the area has had consequences that cannot be offset.”
The MP belongs to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). The left-wing party is mostly Kurdish and has a strong emphasis on minority rights. The HDP is a strong endorser for a new Turkish constitution that has an article on minority rights.
Offices belonging to the HDP are often attacked by ultra-nationalist Turks who want to maintain a “Turkey for the Turks” and extinguish the existence of minorities.
Turkey to this day still does not recognise the Greek Genocide and claims there is no historical basis for this despite the academic consensus that a genocide did take place.
Over a million Greeks were killed by Ottoman and Nationalist Turkish forces, who killed millions more Armenians and Assyrians.
Kurdish tribes had an important role in perpetrating the genocide, particularly against the Armenians. However, Kurdish NGO’s, political parties and newspapers have recognised and apologised for their ancestors crimes, helping in the normalisation of relations between Kurds and Armenians.
It is hoped that a Turkish recognition of the genocide can be used as a catalyst to normalise relations between Greece and Turkey as the latter’s ultra-nationalism can ease demands for a Turkish territorial expansion into Greece as pushed by the political leadership, military and media.