“Oh Prime Minister, why are you making fun of us now?” ("Ey Başbakan, bizimle dalga geçmenin sırası mı şimdi?")
That was the title of an article in a news site that is supposed to be an alternative to mainstream media. What has the Prime Minister done? He has said that they'd be making Diyarbakır, the capital of the “Kurdish” region in Turkey into Toledo. That they'd be reconstructing Sur so that it would become like Toledo in Spain, a special place with its architectural structure, a place where everybody would like to see.
Even though I liked the article, it was too criticizing, and not in a constructive way. I have to say I agree with the PM. When I went to Diyarbakır a decade ago I had said “You have the longest walls in the world after the Chinese Wall and you don't do anything about it! If it was anyplace else, they'd put up a counter here as in Dubrovnik and collect 10-20 Euros at the entrance” and this is something I repeat time and again. Diyarbakır and Southeast Anatolia is a painful topic to me as a three times round-the-world traveller. What I wish to say is... Even though it may seem an impossible dream right now, I whole-heartedly wish Diyarbakır to have peace and to be a world-known city with not only its architecture but with its people, its cuisine, its culture and historical value.
If there was anybody interested in really doing something about the region, if people wished for progress, they wouldn't be mocking the Prime Minister for saying such a thing, BUT holding him to his word. Just start a campaign asking “When is Sur going to be a Toledo?” and start counting days. Make pressure. I don't know... Maybe I am too simplistic. But I feel what's right is right. And one should strive to make that right the reality instead of pumping up negative energy. One should try to come up with solutions, with ideas instead of just puking hatred and beating the other side with a stick.
John Paul II has said “We should be talking about not what divides us, but what unites us.”
Unfortunately, that's very much missing in Turkey and all around the world.