Tensions over the removal of a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, by a deputy in the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) continued to mount with a decision by the CHP Assembly to refer for the dismissal of Deputy Aylin Nazlıaka during a meeting in an extraordinary session held under Chairman Kemal Kılıçdardaroğlu on Sunday. The assembly approved the referral of Nazlıaka to the disciplinary committee for dismissal from the party. During Sunday's session, 54 CHP deputies voted for Nazlıaka's dismissal and four objected.
The CHP issued a statement following its decision on Sunday that said: "It has been decided that Ankara deputy and Party Assembly member Nazlıaka, who led to the CHP being debated in public by making unsubstantiated and false claims that a CHP deputy took down a portrait of Atatürk in their parliament room, is referred to the disciplinary committee for dismissal within the party's 68/A, F, and 70/A-a-b decrees in its law." The decision was made in the wake of Nazlıaka's previous remarks that a CHP deputy had taken down a portrait of Atatürk from the office wall in Parliament. A picture of Turkey's founder hanging in every deputies' office is a convention on the premises. During the session meeting, Nazlıaka said in her defense: "After the case leaked to the press and with the misleading of the case by the press associations, a small thing has become an important problem. I decided to not announce the name [of the person] who actually removed the portrait from their wall, not in order to protect that person, but because of my own principles. These situations of principle could not be understood today, but it will be understood in the future." She also compared her situation to the Dreyfus affair, which occurred in the French army in the late 19th century. "The Dreyfus affair is an example for today's situation," she said.
CHP Ankara Deputy Necati Yılmaz, who was recently fingered as removing the Atatürk portrait, accepted the claims about removing the portrait, and advocated himself in order to show that there is no intention for removing the portrait. He showed photos and technical reports as evidence during the extraordinary session. Meanwhile, under the presidency of CHP Deputy Uğur Bayraktar, the Higher Inspection Board (YDK) will make a decision about Nazlıaka's expulsion in the coming days.