Atatürk's aphorism on Turkishness replaced with one promoting peace
BATMAN - Doğan News Agency
Question lingers on who is responsible of changing Atatürk’s quote under a statute in Batman with another proverb of the founder of the Republic. DHA photoThe removal of “How happy is the one who says ‘I am a Turk,’” a proverb by the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, from a square in the southeastern province of Batman caused controversy yesterday.
The proverb located at the Atatürk’s statue was removed and replaced by another proverb of the late Turkish leader, “peace in the country, peace in the world,” on March 24.
The Batman governor’s office and Batman municipality both denied responsibility for the incident. The Governor’s office asked the municipality about the incident, and the municipality in turn told the governor’s office that they did not make the change and it was governorate’s responsibility.
Batman Gov. Yılmaz Arslan said the information must be received from the municipality. However, Batman Deputy Mayor Serhat Temel said they do not bear responsibility for the incident, adding that the municipality is responsible for changing texts on the streets.
Governor learns Kurdish
In a separate development, Arslan is learning Kurdish and practicing by chatting with locals and he has started learning Kurdish from a book titled, “Guide to speaking Kurdish easily.”
“We encounter villagers in rural areas from time to time. We have to learn Kurdish in order to increase dialogue with citizens,” he said. “I am acquainted with some Kurdish words. But I still want to learn Kurdish. The Kurdish language guide book is a good source. I have started to learn some of the Kurdish words from this book already,” said the governor. “I would like to learn Kurdish, which is spoken by citizens in rural areas. I want to listen to citizens without having any [translator]. I will learn Kurdish in a short time,” he added.