Kurdish Member of Turkish Parliament Jailed after Harsh Speech

Photo from Twitter, @FerhatEncu

A while back, , a Kurdish member of the Turkish Parliament from the Sirnak province of Turkey, delivered extremely critical remarks about Turks and Turkey on the floor of the Parliament in Ankara. I just discovered the video of his bold speech on YouTube.

Encu, a member of the Kurdish HDP Party, is well known for his steadfast opposition to the Turkish government for its perpetual violence against Kurds and violation of Kurdish human rights. In 2011, the Turkish Air Force bombed a group of Kurdish civilians killing 34 of them, including several members of Encu’s family.

During his speech, Encu, 33 years old, received many threats from Turkish parliament members. Subsequently, he was stripped of his parliamentary immunity and jailed. He remains in jail.

Here are Encu’s six-minute-long powerful remarks in the Turkish Parliament which was constantly interrupted by threats: “I will make my statement short and to the point. Some of you call us killers. But, who kills civilians and who is a killer? You are!”

Threats shouted at Encu from the Parliament floor: “Shut him up! Take that terrorist and shoot him!”

Parliament Speaker: “Let him speak. Say what you have to say and finish it.”

Encu continued his remarks: “Together here, you are tough! But, the truth is you are just a mouth and nothing more. I, as a Kurd—history is my witness, that I, as a Kurd, live in my land, Kurdistan, at a time when you were gathering grassroots and feeding, playing around with your horses in Mongolia…”

Shouts from the floor: “Shoot him!”

Encu: “This so called your land is not your land, nor that of the AKP [Pres. Erdogan’s ruling party]. This land is older than all of you. It belongs to the real people…”

Parliament Speaker: “You will be punished for this. You can talk this over Kebab during lunch time. You support terrorists in front of us.”

Encu: “The honorable Greeks and Armenians were here…”

Shouts from the floor: “Shoot that terrorist.”

Encu: “We Kurds are still here. No tanks and none of your military can remove us…”

Shouts from the floor: “We destroyed your city.”

Encu: “You can destroy it, but we will build a dozen more. You Turks are nothing. We have defeated worse monsters than you in Silopi. Drop your bombs. Kill our children. Kill civilians, but you cannot kill us being a Kurd in Roboski, all over Kurdistan or what you call ‘Turkey.’ Humanity has seen worse than you. We defeated them…”

Parliament Speaker: “You will go to jail for this. Five years will be your minimum sentence.”

Encu: “I don’t give a damn. Truth is more important than life…”

Shouts from the floor: “He needs a bullet. Arrest him!”

Parliament Speaker: “We have sent for security. He will be arrested.”

Encu: “We Kurds will always be Kurds, before you Turks came here and after you Turks leave here. Your ‘Turkey’ is the stolen land of Greeks, Armenians and us Kurds. History is my witness.”

Shouts from the floor: “Your head will roll.”

Encu: “What can you do? Here I am against hundreds of you. What you got in you?”

Parliament Speaker: “You will be punished for this.”

Encu: “Kill me. I will still tell the truth.”

Parliament Speaker: “Say that when the security gets here. By this law book, I will send you to 10 years in prison. Ten years is the minimum.”

Shouts from the floor: “He needs to be shot right here.”

Encu: “I will finish.”

Shouts from the floor: “You will pay with your life for this; you scum Kurd!”

Encu: “Bark all of you as you wish. I stand strong here, come and face…”

Shouts from the floor: “That is enough. Where is the security?”

Encu: “You all act tough in a group, but alone, you are cowards. Our Kurdish youth showed that to your military. No Turkish soldier or police can patrol a Kurdish street. Your soldiers ran from our youth. Like now, you just have mouths and act tough together. But, face to face you are nothing…”

Shouts from the floor: “Shut that Kurd up!”

Encu: “Alone, I, as a Kurd, can take on all of you…”

Shouts from the floor: “Firing squad!”

Encu: “You think by killing us you can defeat us; it only makes us stronger. You call me a ‘terrorist,’ I, who fight for my freedom from your occupation. I, who lived in this land for thousands of years, you come and occupy it. I fight for the freedom of my people, for freedom like all other nations…”

Shouts from the floor: “You will be shot!”

Encu: “I face death and bullets bravely for my freedom like millions of other Kurds. No occupation lasts forever. Freedom always triumphs at the end…”

Shouts from the floor: “You signed your own death warrant by a Turkish bullet. You are a dead man walking. Don’t let him leave alive from here.”

Parliament Speaker: “Go back to your seats. He is alone. There is nothing to worry about. He is alone. We are many. We will get him. Take your seats.”

The fearless and self-sacrificing Ferhat Encu has joined thousands of other innocent Kurds and Turks who have been arrested by the Turkish government in recent years for expressing their opinions and some for no reason at all. It is shameful that world leaders have remained silent in the face of such massive and persistent Turkish violations of human rights.

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Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the United Armenian Fund, a coalition of the seven largest Armenian-American organizations. He has been decorated by the president and prime minister of the Republic of Armenia, and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

7 Comments

  1. The translation is completely wrong… he does not say any of those things nor do the other members of parliament, including the speaker…

  2. Mr. Sassounian, I remember this video when it came out. People were very interested in this video but it was soon realized that a significant portion of the translation doesn’t exist or is manipulated (for fun), however, the essence of the speech is about Kurdish rights in Turkey.
    The mentions of kebab, Armenians, him being a dead man, etc.. are entirely made up.

  3. The Kurds are not our friends, my ancestors were SLAUGHTERED BY KURDS. more Kurds killed Armenians than Turks. Today they claim our ancient lands they claim OUR HOLY MOUNTAIN ARARAT. They have taken western Armenia and now label is “Kurdistan” now since they don’t get along with Turks they suddenly become our friends? No. The places where historically was populated by Armenians is now populated by Kurds. I wonder how that happened. Kurds historically were never in that region. They didn’t live in the Armenian highlands, they are an Iranian people who were always in the Iranian plateau. Now they are tying to claim our lands after committing genocide on us.

  4. The Kurds are the most deserving people in history. Compared to the Kurds, the Turks are nothing but cheap terrorists and thieves. As a European who believes in peace, democracy and the rule of law, I am proud to support the heroic PKK against these barbaric ISIS-supporting Mongols. The invasion of Turkey is coming. One looks forward to the day of Erdogan’s end and utter humiliation, live on CNN. It will be like Gadaffi all over again, and we will cheer and laugh at the terror in that little man’s eyes as the rope is placed around his little neck.

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