Erdoğan reiterates denial of Kurdish problem in Turkey
KARS – Anadolu Agency
AA photoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeated his recent claim that there is no Kurdish problem in Turkey, simply stating that not recognizing identities is the problem.
“I repeat here one more time: Turkey does not have a Kurdish problem. Like every section of society in Turkey, our Kurdish brothers also have problems. There is a problem of not recognizing identities,” Erdoğan said on March 17, during a speech at the opening ceremony of a technical vocational high school named after Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev in the northeastern province of Kars.
“There is a problem of not respecting beliefs. There is a problem of being underdeveloped, neglected and despised,” he also said, adding that over the last 12 years the government has tried to find solutions to the problems of all ethnic and religious minorities.
Erdoğan claimed that today nobody was under threat or pressure due to their origins, beliefs, clothing preferences, lifestyle, ideas and mentions.
“Are there any deficiencies? Of course there are, but the [deficiencies] are diminishing every day,” he said.
The president harked back to the rhetoric of several years ago on March 15, claiming that Turkey did “not have any Kurdish problem” and arguing that Kurds have equal rights with the rest of the country.
In response to his controversial words, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş described his remarks as a “political maneuver” ahead of the general election.
“If there is no Kurdish question, why is the peace process still continuing?” Demirtaş had asked, speaking to reporters on March 16.