Turkish FM apologizes to Kurdish singer Şivan Perwer for ‘wrong policies’
WASHINGTON – Hürriyet Daily News
AA photoForeign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said he apologized to legendary Kurdish musician Şivan Perwer for the “wrong policies” that had kept him away from Turkey, while speaking at the Brooking Institute in Washington Nov. 18.
“Saturday was a very emotional event in Diyarbakır. I was sitting next to Şivan on the bus. Not only as a minister but as an intellectual, as an equal citizen, I understand [him] and I empathize with him. I apologized because of all the wrong policies that had kept him away from his country. He is a son of this land. Wrong policies in the past kept him away,” said Davutoğlu.
He was referring to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rally held in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır over the weekend, which was attended by Perwer, who had been in exile in Europe for decades after controversially signing a song in Kurdish. His attendance at the event was his first time back on Turkish soil since 1976.
“Now the prime minister of this country is welcoming him [Perwer] in person and addressing him in his speech. [The prime minister addressed] not only him, but also Ahmet Kaya and others who die outside the country. [Perwer] lost his citizenship and his cassettes were banned. I told him that anytime he wanted to he could [apply for citizenship], and that he had the same rights as me in this country. Only with this mentality can we solve our problems,” said Davutoğlu.
He also added that a “third party” would not be necessary for the ongoing peace process. “The process is continuing, not as fast as we want, but it is an irreversible process,” the foreign minister said.