Holidays are days that are meant for the expression of mutual love and respect, says President Abdullah Gül in his Nevruz message, as celebrating the once-banned day as an official holiday is discussed
Young people in Diyarbakır say they are hopeful of the peace process. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZ
Messages marking the spring holiday Nevruz, which will be celebrated today, offered an opportunity for Turkey’s leaders to inspire unity and fraternity among the people of the country.
President Abdullah Gül urged utmost care not to disrupt peaceful celebration of Nevruz, as he also voiced pleasure at having this year’s Nevruz in an environment of refreshed hopes for the future.
“Holidays are days that are means for the expression of mutual love and respect and for consolidation of unity and togetherness,” Gül said in a written message released yesterday. “This year, the Nevruz holiday is being celebrated in a period during which positive developments are taking place and hopes for reaching a better future are refreshed. I’m additionally pleased at this. That’s why it is essential to show the necessary sensitivity to avoid extremism and imprudence.” Official holiday debate
With all eyes on Diyarbakır
today since a message from the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, is expected, celebration of Nevruz as an official holiday has also come on the agenda.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç noted yesterday that Nevruz is “not yet an official holiday” in Turkey, raising hopes it might become an official holiday in the near future.
As Arınç made his remarks, in which he also expressed hope that this year’s Nevruz would be a true holiday unlike earlier years when it was like a “nightmare,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair Sezgin Tanrıkulu announced that he had presented a bill to Parliament proposing Nevruz be made an official holiday.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, meanwhile, spoke of the “Nevruz spirit,” in his written message.‘Preserving spirit of Nevruz’
Erdoğan said he hoped this year’s Nevruz would be celebrated in a climate of refreshment for the entire nation “preserving the spirit of Nevruz, which calls us to be one and consolidates our friendship and fraternal ties, and its celebration away from frenzy and provocations – which doesn’t befit this spirit – and in the joy of a joint earnest desire of our nation.”
Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek
also included a warning against potential tensions. “Not having the Nevruz holiday turned into a tool of separation, enmity and ethnic and cultural disintegration is our biggest desire. Staging grudge and enmity demonstrations and violent actions during the Nevruz holiday will cast a shadow over Nevruz joy,” Çiçek said.