Local politician refuses to resign after incendiary Chinese comments
Socialdemokraterne in Helsingør have asked local politician Fuat Yalan to withdraw from the party's city council group after his scathing attack on China late last week, but Yalan has refused to buckle under the pressure.
The party’s council in Helsingør met Monday afternoon to discuss the issue and unanimously agreed to ask the embattled politician to step down. This morning however, Yalan told local newspaper Frederiksborg Amts Avis that he would not go peacefully into the night.
"I will not voluntarily step down, so [the rest of the council group] will have to hold an extraordinary meeting," Yalan said. "If they kick me out, I'll either become an independent or find a new party. But until they throw me out, I'm a member of Socialdemokraterne."
Based on the reaction of his colleagues to Yalan's Facebook comments that he hoped that China would ”burn” and that he would “shoot” a Chinese person if he was in front of him, Yalan's days in the party are likely limited.
“The comments were so volatile and so against our Socialdemokrat values, that we don’t feel that Fuat Yalan can represent our party,” Vibeke Schmidt, the head of Socialdemokraterne in Helsingør Council, wrote in a press release.
Yalan lost the plot late last week after allegedly watching a video in which some Chinese people were abusing a small boy. Writing on Facebook, Yalan said that he hoped that China would ”burn” before telling the local newspaper that he would “shoot” a Chinese person if he was in front of him.
The Chinese Embassy was understandably upset over the outburst and Yalan eventually came out and apologised. He explained that his comments were aimed at the people in a video he watched that allegedly showed a Chinese boy being subjected to abuse, and not all Chinese people.
”I apologise to all the people who I have hurt and I regret my outburst and the effects it has generated," Yalan wrote in a press release. "I have behaved like a fool and there is just one person that can change that, and that’s me.”
But Yalan’s apology seems to be too little, too late and his party has decided that they can no longer be associated with him.
It’s not the first time that Yalan has landed in hot water. He has called Israel a terrorist nation in the past and in 2002 he said that he was ashamed of being a Socialdemokrat. Yalan is also listed amongst the city councillors in the nation with the most absence in attendance.