Turkish FM's speech to Kirkuk's Turkmen
Kirkuk has a special place in
our heart says Ahmet Davutoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visits the disputed northern Iraqi
city of Kirkuk, on August 2, 2012, during a rare
visit by a high-ranking Turkish official to the
city. His visit comes a day after Davutoglu visited
Kurdistan and met Kurdistan president, Massoud
Barzani, for talks that focused on the conflict in
Syria, and at a time of notably cool relations
between Baghdad and Ankara.
Photo: Getty Images.
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August 4, 2012
KIRKUK, Iraq's border with Kurdistan region,
— On Thursday Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu paid an unannounced
to the multiethnic and oil-rich city of Kirkuk.
It was a controversial visit that upset Iraqi
authorities, among them Foreign Minister Hoshyar
Zebari and officials from Prime Minister Nuri
Maliki’s State of Law Parliamentary bloc.
On his visit Davutoglu met with the city’s Turkmen
community as well as leaders of the Turkmen Front.
Davutoglu’s speech to
Kirkuk’s Turkmen community published by
“After 75 years I am come to Kirkuk as the first
Turkish Foreign Minister,” Davutoglu said. “You
waited for us too long, but I promise you won’t wait
for us that long in the future.”
The Turkmen crowd responded to the foreign
minister’s words by cheering, “Welcome Davutolgu,”
“Before I came here I listened to the great master
[singer and poet] Abdulwahid Guzelioglu,” Davutoglu
continued as he repeated a line from one of his
poems. “The mountain learned perseverance from me.
Iron chains couldn’t tie me down, but Kirkuk tied me
Hearing the poem, the crowd cheered, “Kirkuk is
Turkmen and will remain Turkmen.”
“Kirkuk is as important to us as it is to a Kirkuki
singer,” said the foreign minister.
“Iraq is a close friend of Turkey,” he said. “Iraqi
people are our brothers: Turkmen, Assyrians, Kurds
and Arabs. All Iraqis are dearer to us than life.
Whenever a tragedy or a sad news happens in Iraq our
heart breaks. When a terrorist attack takes place in
Kirkuk and our Kirkuki brothers come to harm,
believe me that our hearts are set on a fire that
nothing can put it out.
If you live in happiness and peace, we too in Turkey
will be happy. If a thorn pricks your fingers, we in
Turkey will feel your pain.
I have always wanted to come to Kirkuk, but couldn’t
do so because of circumstances. I met with Turkish
prime minister and decided to come to Kirkuk
unannounced. God willing, I will come back and we
will meet again. I bring to you the greetings of the
president, the prime minister, the government and
the people of Turkey.
Kirkuk has a special place in our heart. I met with
members of Kirkuk provincial council and told them
that Kirkuk is one of our ancient cities. Kirkuk is
a city where Turkmen,www.ekurd.net
Kurds and Assyrians live peacefully together. Maybe
there are people who would want to spread sedition
and break up your brotherhood, but you stand
together against those people and keep Kirkuk as the
city of coexistence and peace.
The Turkmen are natives of Kirkuk and will never be
erased. Kirkuk is Kirkuk with all its communities.
No one can do them injustice. The genuine Turkmen
culture in Kirkuk not only has benefited Kirkuk
itself and Iraq, it also has benefited Turkey.
Kirkuk is always in our thoughts and we grew up as
children hearing stories of Kirkuk. Coming to Kirkuk
has always been in our hearts.
At the provincial council today we reached many
decisions. With God’s help, Turkey will do its best
to help reconstruction and security in Kirkuk.
Kirkuk is the symbol of unity and integrity in Iraq.
If peace prevails in Kirkuk, peace and stability
will prevail in Iraq. If there is peace and
stability in Iraq, the Middle East will also see
peace and stability.
God has granted Kirkuk many gifts and natural
resources is one of them. This city must be rebuilt
with those resources. Not only in Iraq, but in the
entire world Kirkuk should become an example of
wealth and prosperity. To meet that end, Turkey will
always help Kirkuk. We will be at Kirkuk’s service.”
At this point, a Turkmen resident attending the
speech stood up and shouted, “They are annihilating
the Turkmen in Kirkuk. Help us!”
In response, the Turkish foreign minister said, “No,
be sure that such a thing won’t happen. Kirkuk won’t
be without Turkmen and won’t live without them.”
“In the fields of economy and culture we will spare
no effort to help Kirkuk. I asked Mr Najmaldin
[governor of Kirkuk] and other friends to give me a
white sheet and I would sign on it to do for Kirkuk
whatever necessary to achieve peace.
Today we decided to make Konya city in Turkey and
Kirkuk sister cities. I am a Turkmen of Konya and
for that reason I feel your pain very well.
Wherever there is a Turkmen, we have felt
responsible towards them and protected them and we
will always do so. At the same time, Turkey feels
responsible to all humanity. Where in the world a
nation is in pain, Turkey will feel obliged to help.
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