Release scribes, Yemeni Nobel winner urges Turkish PM
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Yemeni Nobel winner Karman is set to get a Turkish citizenship.Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakkul Karman has called on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to release journalists currently detained in the country’s jails.
“It is new information for me that there are journalists in prison in Turkey. They must release all the journalists. I’m calling on Mr. Erdoğan: If there are any journalists in prison, I call for them to be released now. Turkey is a democratic country and we take it as a role model. I am sure Mr. Erdoğan and his Cabinet will trust freedom of expression rights,” Karman told a conference at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul yesterday.
Karman, who is set to become a Turkish citizen upon Erdoğan’s order, also said: “If I continue talking they are going to take my citizenship certificate back! But any country that attacks rights to freedom of expression is wrong.”
Karman said Turkey was a role model for Muslim countries because of its democracy, diversity and economy. “I am proud to be a citizen of this country. I will be good citizen of this country.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu expressed hopes of granting citizenship to Karman on March 17.
Yemenis to be treated in Turkey
Karman said Erdoğan had promised her in a recent meeting that Turkey would provide treatment for people injured in Yemen’s uprising against the rule of ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
“There will be 50 people coming to Turkey from Yemen for treatment this week. He also told me that there would be three hospitals built in Yemen by Turkey,” Karman said.
Karman said Turkey had a big responsibility to support the Syrian people and protect them against the violence of the Bashar al-Assad regime.
“If Turkey goes ahead and supports the Syrian people, they won’t need support from the international community,” Karman said.
She also criticized the international community for staying silent on the Syria issue.
“The Syrian people succeeded when they decided to go out onto the streets. Women and men, all the youth, they have paid a lot of blood for their freedom. Any nation that decides to struggle like the Syrians will succeed, but there is a big obstacle in front of the Syrian revolution. Until now we haven’t heard [about] any serious action or sanctions from the international community,” Karman said.
Touching on Yemen, she said the new generation there knew what it wanted, and was ready to fight for it.
“We are the new generation struggling for our freedom. We know that this is a new world and the future is ours. We know the dictatorships were the reason for instability and for the walls built around the world. And as women, they built walls around us because they are afraid of us,” she said.
Karman said the revolution in Yemen started before Tunisia, but was in fact against corruption, rather than specifically against the regime.
“However, we have many goals [to attain before] we reach civil modernity. We know very well what kind of country we want,” she said.
Karman won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts regarding women’s security and women’s rights in Yemen.