Kurdistan Region Presidency / BARZANIS SPEECH IN DIYARBAKIR

17-11-2013 – DIYARBAKIR, Turkey’s Kurdish region,— At the invitation of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani paid a historic visit to Diyarbakir, Turkey, Saturday. After his arrival in the city, the President delivered a speech to a gathering in which he reiterated his stance for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey.

The gathering was attended by Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayip Erdogan and a number of other Turkish officials. President Barzani’s trip to Diyarbakir, described by Turkish Prime Minister and by President Barzani as “historic,” was a step forward towards further solidifying the relations between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey.

Below is the transcript of the speech released by Kurdistan presidency:

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

I am pleased to be amongst you in this beloved city, Diyarbakir. I would like to warmly thank Prime Minister Erdogan for his invitation. To me, this is a historic visit, I am carrying with me, the greetings of Kurdistan to Turkey, the greetings of Erbil to the oh-so dear Diyarbakir.

Ladies and gentlemen, today is indeed a historic day; it is a day when we begin to create coexistence and accepting each other. The milestone of that principle came on the day when Mr. Erdogan came to Diyarbakir and said that the day of denying the Kurds is no longer here. To me as a Kurd, that was a pleasant day that a leader has emerged in Turkey who is taking Turkey on the right path, on the path of brotherhood.

Ladies and gentlemen, the people of the Middle East ought to co-exist and live peacefully with one another while accepting each other. Because with that coexistence, we can make our countries more prosperous. We’ve tried war and none of us benefited from it. The blood of a Kurdish youth should not be shed by a Turkish youngster and the blood of a Turkish youth should not be shed by a Kurdish youngster. The foundation of the peace process has been started, thanks to Mr. Erdogan for initiating the peace process, and so my call for all my Kurdish and Turkish brothers is to support this peace process. The struggle for peace is indeed challenging and that struggle can only be pursued by brave men.

So I hereby announce that we, both Kurds and Turks, are with this peace process and we support it. It has been my wish for close to two decades to be in Diyarbakir and to speak to you in this manner and this day is clearly the result of peace and brotherhood. Finally I would like to reiterate that I am very pleased to be amongst you today. I wish you success and prosperity. And now I would like to say something in Turkish, even though I don’t know Turkish, long live the brotherhood of Kurds and Turks, long live liberty, long live peace.