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Don't let citizens kiss your hands, Turkish PM tells officials

In Turkish culture, hand kissing of an elder or esteemed figure is deemed an act of respect.

Published: Updated:

Turkish citizens should no longer be allowed to kiss the hands of officials in the country, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has ordered, according to a report in the Hurriyet newspaper on Saturday.

"As Prime Minister, I say it as an instruction for all state officials: Nobody will let a citizen kiss [his or her] hand anymore," Davutoğlu was quoted as saying at the provincial congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

AFP Davutoglu Turkish FM
AFP Davutoglu Turkish FM

In Turkish culture, hand kissing of an elder or esteemed figure is deemed an act of respect.

According to report, Davutoğlu made the announcement as a response to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chairman Devlet Bahçeli, who had allegedly opposed the government's latest initiative for social and political reconciliation over 1937-1938 killings in the eastern province of Tunceli.

“Labeling the events before the massacre as a rebellion, Bahçeli had slammed Davutoğlu’s recent visit to Tunceli as ‘treason,’ arguing that ‘the state never kisses hands,’ Hurriyet reported.