Ankara moves to create its own diaspora

Ankara moves to create its own diaspora

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Ankara moves to create its own diaspora

Turkey pushes the millions of people in its diaspora to organize themselves against ‘genocide’ claims. This strategy is being penned by a body led by Deputy PM Bozdağ. AA photo

Turkey is pushing the millions of people in its diaspora to organize themselves in the interests of countering Armenian genocide claims and fighting the growing threat of racism in Europe.

“We are working on drafting a strategy document on the diaspora. It will respond to our priorities, objectives and working methods. We will also outline our messages through this document,” a senior government official told the Hürriyet Daily News over the weekend.

The strong Azeri diaspora is likely to be a powerful allied force for the Turkish diaspora. This strategy is being penned by the Overseas Turks Agency, established in 2010, a government body led by deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ.

As part of the plan to create a well-functioning diaspora, the agency is planning to hold two massive meetings in June and September to provide solid ground for Turkish nongovernmental organizations based abroad and those who want to take an active part in such affairs. In June, around 500 NGOs from mainly European countries and elsewhere will be invited to Ankara for a conference on legal ways to confront racist and discriminatory attitudes toward Turks.

“Our objective is to provide our citizens and NGOs information on ways to claim their rights in a conscious and organized manner,” the official said. “We advise them to remain within the boundaries of the law when they face racist attacks. We tell them to go to the police and make written applications so that these attacks can be addressed in a proper way using democratic means.”

The Turkish government is seriously concerned by growing racism in European countries, especially in Western Europe, and is making it an issue during political talks as well.

“However, we need to do more than this. We are encouraging them to adopt dual citizenship and enjoy full-pledged rights,” the official added. In the second phase, officials want to gather around 2,000 Turks living abroad for a meeting in Istanbul which would mark the establishment of what the official called the “Turkish diaspora.” The plan is expected to be strengthened by the establishment of alliances with several other diasporas of like-minded countries – especially Azerbaijan.

In line with this idea, officials are planning on holding the meeting on Sept. 15, the day when Nuri Paşa, an Ottoman general serving under the infamous Enver Paşa, commander of the Eastern Army Group, saved Baku from the Russians in 1918.


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