The Bar Association in Turkey’s eastern city of Van (Wan) pressed criminal charges against a TV celebrity who said on her live show that a guest must “speak properly in Turkish” as they were all living in the Turkish Republic, Mesopotamia News Agency reports.
The remarks came from the host, Didem Arslan Yılmaz, on the previous day, when she verbally instructed the show’s director to take the voice on the phone off air after the speaker reportedly said that she wanted to continue in Kurdish.
“No way!” she said nervously, straight after the guest was taken off air. “If she speaks properly in Turkish we’ll all understand. This is the Turkish Republic. We don’t speak the eastern language. We’d understand if we did.”
When her attitude and the words she used became the subject of wide-spread criticism on social media, Yılmaz tweeted in self-defense.
“During the broadcast, the girls [guests of the show]’s aunt wanted to join by telephone. She spoke very fluently in Turkish with the girls, insulted them in Turkish, then suddenly said that she wanted to speak in Kurdish,” she wrote, and added.
“I didn’t take her off air because she spoke in Kurdish. I did it because she insulted her nieces.”
Yılmaz also claimed that she didn’t use the term “eastern language” in her remarks.
The criminal charges were pressed by the bar association on the basis that Yılmaz had publicly humiliated a person, and that she had committed a hate crime.