Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu paid
an unannounced visit to the city of Kirkuk.
During his visit Davutoğlu met with the city’s
Turkmen community as well as leaders of the
Rudaw published Davutoğlu’s speech to Kirkuk’s
“After 75 years I have come to Kirkuk as the first
Turkish Foreign Minister,” Davutoğlu said.
“You waited for us too long, but I promise
you won’t wait for us that long in the future.”
“Kirkuk has a special place in our heart.”
The Turkmen crowd responded to the foreign
minister’s words by cheering, “Welcome Davutoğlu,”
“Before I came here I listened to the great master
[singer and poet] ” Abdulvahid Küzecioğlu Davutoğlu
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 down.”
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: Turkmens, 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 Turkmens, 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 Turkmens are natives of Kirkuk and will never
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.
“Kirkuk is always in our thoughts and we grew
up as children hearing stories of Kirkuk.”
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 Turkmens 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.