View Full Version : EU-Turkey: Recognize that Kurds are Kurds and Kurds are not Turks

Ali Asker
8 november 2006, 22:15
EU-Turkey: Recognize that Kurds are Kurds and Kurds are not Turks

[15:40 , 08 Nov 2006]
ANKARA,Turkish Daily News

PNA- The European Union's former envoy in Ankara urged Turkey to
recognize that Kurds have a distinct ethnic identity, putting him at odds
again with Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Büyükanit, who disapproved of
attempts to "create minorities" in Turkey and told the EU to speak more

"It is necessary to recognize the identity of the Kurds, to recognize
that Kurds are Kurds and Kurds are not Turks," Kretschmer said in an
interview with the Turkish Daily News before his successor, French diplomat
Marc Pierini, succeeds him as head of the EU Commission's Delegation in
Ankara tomorrow. "They are Turkish citizens and they want to be Turkish
citizens, but they are Kurds, you cannot deny that."

Büyükanit, an outspoken critic of EU demands to grant more cultural
rights to the Kurds, suspecting that they are aimed at ruining Turkey's
unity, slammed the EU's demands for recognition of different ethnic
identities. "Approaches based on race are shameful in this century,"
Büyükanit told reporters late on Thursday during a visit to Greece. "Such
approaches are an insult to the Turkey of Kemal Atatürk. . Atatürk would
have been deeply saddened if he had lived through these days."

"When you are in the Southeast, in areas that are predominantly
inhabited by Kurdish people, when you see Atatürk's words, 'Ne Mutlu Türk'üm
diyene,' how can one interpret that?" Kretschmer asked in the interview,
referring to the founder of the republic's famous saying. "They are Kurds
living there and they see 'how happy I am that I [say I] am a Turk' while
they are not Turks."

In Athens, Büyükanit, who earlier chided Kretschmer for his remarks
critical of the military's role in politics, revealed the extent of the
disagreement with the now former EU envoy. "Atatürk says 'how happy [is] the
one who says he is a Turk.'

He does not say 'how happy [is] the one who is a Turk.' Show me just
one country that has a homogenous racial structure. There are communities
all around the world that are proud of the country they live in," he said.
"We have to be sensitive; they are trying to create minorities."

The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously rejected due to its
alleged political implications by the Republic of Turkey, which does not
recognize the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan".

Others estimate as many as 40 million Kurds live in Big Kurdistan
(Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia), which covers an area as big as France,
about half of all Kurds which estimate to 20 million live in Turkey.

The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan but unofficially
flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey
where flying it is a criminal offence"