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 Turkey's opposition leader blasts Hollywood actor’s support to Kurd move

 Source : Hurriyet Daily News | Agencies
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Turkey's opposition leader blasts Hollywood actor’s support to Kurd move  28.9.2009  

September 28, 2009

ANKARA, Turkey, — CHP leader Deniz Baykal responds to American actor and director Kevin Costner’s support of the government’s Kurdish opening. ‘Why are you interfering in Turkey’s domestic affairs? Do your job as actor,’ says Baykal

The main opposition leader has blasted famous Hollywood actor Kevin Costner’s open support to the government-sponsored Kurdish initiative over the weekend, labelling it as interference in the country’s domestic politics.

“Why are you interfering in Turkey’s domestic affairs? Do your own job as an actor. Who are you, my brother? What do you know and speak?” said Deniz Baykal of the Republican People’s Party, or CHP.

Baykal criticized the government for seeking remedy from Hollywood actors.                                    

Hollywood star Kevin Costner, voiced support for the government’s Kurdish move

Turkey's opposition leader CHP leader Deniz Baykal

“The prime minister is hiding the truths from the public regarding the opening. He has a project on his mind and plans to make it accepted slowly in the face of possible reactions from the nation. Is it the prime minister’s job to deceive people?” asked Baykal.

“They [government officials] have found an actor from Hollywood to make it amiable. I don’t know how they convinced him [Costner] to come out and say ‘I support the opening.’ Why are you interfering in Turkey’s domestic affairs?” said the CHP leader,
www.ekurd.netreferring to the actor. “If you now put a map in front of him [Costner], believe me he cannot spot where Şirnak is,” he said.

U.S. actor and director Costner, who visited Turkey in 2007, voiced support for the government’s Kurdish move. Ruling Justice and Development Party’s, or AKP, deputy chairperson Edibe Sözen said last week Costner had been invited for the party’s general congress on Oct. 3 but the actor was unable to attend.

Debate over language

The CHP leader also criticized the government’s approach toward language. He said a person could come from a different origin, tribe, race or ethnic identity but “all of us must establish a unity under a common language.”

He continued: “What is the prime minister doing today? He is initiating a conflict on the language unity. The state’s duty is to teach the official language to everyone and help it to develop and strengthen. The state is not in a position to accept another language and present it as a rival to the official language. Turkey’s official language is Turkish and it will remain so.”

‘Aim is to split nation,’ says MHP

Opposition Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, leader Devlet Bahçeli, in a message issued on Language Day over the weekend, said those who support a second language aimed at splitting up the nation. He argued that beginning to use other languages than Turkish would speed up the process of weakening the Turkish language.

“It should not be ignored that the equal use and spread of a different language besides Turkish in the public domain could lead to the formation of a new nation out of the blessed presence of the Turkish nation, spoiling the thousand-year nation truth,” the MHP leader said.

Minister defends

In the eastern Kurdish province of Van, Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergün commented on the government’s “democratic opening” commission. He said: “When you use the name ‘Suzan’ it doesn’t split the nation. Will the name ‘Zozan’ split it?”

Explaining the government’s move to businessmen and representatives of non-governmental organizations, the minister said there was a state that understands its citizen,
www.ekurd.netinstead of a state that doesn’t understand its own citizen. “That’s the case and that’s the process,” he said.

“Why do you ban people from using their local names? Why can’t you use the name ‘Zozan’? We would get divided. Why did we ban the name Berivan for a girl? The birth registry clerk didn’t write it because it was banned,” said Ergün.

The minister said there were differences in Turkey and asked to “let the people exist with their own colors.”

Copyright, respective author or news agency, hurriyetdailynews com

** Kurds are not recognized as an official minority in Turkey and are denied rights granted to other minority groups. Under EU pressure, Turkey recently granted Kurds limited rights for broadcasts and education in the Kurdish language, but critics say the measures do not go far enough.

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" Southeast Turkey.

Others estimate over 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 25 million live in Turkey. A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK for a Kurdish homeland in the country's mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media. The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q which do not exist in the Turkish alphabet has led to judicial persecution in 2000 and 2003

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" 

Southeastern Turkey: North Kurdistan ( Kurdistan-Turkey) wikipedia        


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