Barzani’s visit to Diyarbakır reflects Turkey’s self-confidence: FM Davutoğlu

Barzani’s visit to Diyarbakır reflects Turkey’s self-confidence: FM Davutoğlu

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Barzani’s visit to Diyarbakır reflects Turkey’s self-confidence: FM Davutoğlu

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani is seen during an interview. AFP photo

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani’s visit to Diyarbakır, an overwhelmingly Kurdish city, is a reflection of Turkey’s "self-confidence," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has suggested.

Davutoğlu said Barzani was invited to Diyarbakır by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan some time ago, and added that this should be considered as part of Turkey's "normalization process." 

“There will be a wedding ceremony in Diyarbakır and a very positive atmosphere will be created. This is in fact a part of our normalization and reflection of self-confidence. In the past, there were those who were against any contact between Kurds inside Turkey and outside, as if it would be the end of the world,” he told journalists upon returning from Iraq late on Nov. 11.

“We are happy when we see bonds between Turkey and Bosnians or Albanians in the Balkans. The same is valid for Kurds as well,” Davutoğlu added.

Barzani’s relations with Turkey have been problematic since the mid-2000s. But relations between Ankara and Arbil have developed in recent years, largely through gas deals.

“This visit to Diyarbakır will break another taboo,” the foreign minister also said. “We believe in our government and our policies. We are implementing them without hesitation ... There is nothing wrong with this.”

He said a "new consciousness" was being born in Turkey and in the world, and that Turkey was following this to become more contemporary.

Davutoğlu said Barzani’s visit was announced while he was paying visits to the most important Shiite cities in Iraq, Najaf and Kerbela, and that this was reflected in Turkey’s approach toward Iraq as well. “This reflects not only our policy toward Iraq but also our internal policy choices,” he said.

Evaluating the ongoing resolution process to end the Kurdish issue within Turkey, Davutoğlu said abandoning the process would send Turkey into a "tunnel with no end."

"Nobody in Turkey will approve of such scenario or those who approve such a scenario. Everybody should take into account the consequences of such a move," he said. 

Kurdish icons on stage

Two popular Kurdish singers, Şivan Perwer and İbrahim Tatlıses, will sing together at a joint wedding ceremony in Diyarbakır this weekend. It will be the duo’s first-ever joint concert.

Prime Minister Erdoğan said he would be attending a ceremony where some 300 couples will be tying the knot, and the two icons will also take the stage at the event.

Şanlıurfa-born Perwer is one of the most popular artists who sings in Kurdish, and has spent the last 37 years outside Turkey. The 58-year-old folk singer fled Turkey due to political pressure in 1976, after which his return was frequently a hot topic for debate.

The occasion will also be a rare performance from Tatlıses, who has not played a concert since surviving a gunshot incident in 2011.