ANKARA: Erdogan: Kurdish Citizens In Turkey Are Not Minority,

Cihan News, Turkey
June 28 2004

Erdogan: Kurdish Citizens In Turkey Are Not Minority, But One Part Of
The Whole

ISTANBUL (CIHAN) – Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said
on Monday that Kurdish citizens in Turkey are not minorities but are
one element of the whole.

Attending the Youth Summit in Istanbul, Erdogan said that as NATO and
the European Union (EU) extend east, Turkey’s geographical distance
is less significant and it plays a more important role. Expressing
the increased importance of Turkey, Erdogan stated that Turkey can
help with its experience that comes from the past and its effort to
engage with the west.

Erdogan noted that, “Turkey is important to the security of Europe.
NATO has fulfilled its mission to provide security and to struggle
against to terror and Turkey is working its align itself in the
direction of this target”.

Responding to a the question concerning the status of Kurdish people
in Turkey, Erdogan said that, “Our Kurdish citizens in Turkey are not
a minority but are one element of the whole. All elements contribute
to the integrity of Turkey. I am from the Black Sea region but my
wife is from the eastern Turkish city of Siirt where the Kurdish
citizens predominate”.

Erdogan said that they have worked to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria
since November 3, 2003 and have completed a large part of the
reforms. The implementation of these reforms has now been started.

Erdogan also evaluated relations with Armenia saying that, “Turkey
aims to be a country that has no problems with its neighbors, but the
problems between Turkey and Armenia result from Armenia’s attitude.
Armenia has problems with Azerbaijan even though it is occupies part
of Azerbaijan. We want to improve relations with Armenia but Armenia
is a fractious country and the Armenian administration has a
difficult attitude. We cannot say why Armenia will not attend NATO
Summit in Istanbul, but the assertion of an Armenian genocide cannot
be accepted”.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress