‘It is not possible to delete Muslim Turkish identity from the Balkans’

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The President for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) Mr. Abdullah Eren said; “Balkans are one of the most important geographies where Muslim Turks impressed their seals”.

A remembrance program was organized in Kocaeli University by YTB and Association of Balkan Turks Culture and Solidarity within the scope of “30th Year Remembrance Program of Bulgaria’s Forced Migration of the Year 1989”, for the purpose of not forgetting what had been lived by nearly 350 thousand people who had escaped from the assimilation policy applied on Turks by Bulgaria in between the years 1984-1989.

In the speech of YTB President Mr. Eren, he recorded that he was originally West Thracian and that Balkans came up to be a place visited frequently by the representatives of non-governmental organizations and politicians in the last couple of years.

Mentioning that there was a close interest in Balkan geography, Mr. Eren stated that Balkan Turkishness was suffering, however that, he did not have a character to tell the sufferings of Balkan people continuously and to complain about their troubles.

Sharing information related to the forced migration, Mr. Eren used the following expressions: “The Balkans is one of the most important geographies where Muslim Turks impressed their seals and that seal still preserves its presence all across the Balkans with Ottoman arts, at the first side. It is not possible to delete the Muslim Turkish identity from the Balkan geography today. Balkanic people is suffering, distressed and Balkanic people is migration people at the same time.”

– “As a State of the Republic of Turkey, we are posterity of a great civilization”

Reminding that YTB was established in the prime ministry period of the President of the Republic Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the year 2010, President Eren then gave information related to the studies of YTB and said the following:

“As a State of the Republic of Turkey, we are posterity of a great civilization. There are our cognates, relative communities in so many geographies now who were inherited to us. As YTB, we try to take care of our citizens, who had migrated to Europe, Germany being in the first place, one-to-one. Of course, besides that, our cognates and relative communities are so important. We take special care of our cognates, communities speaking Turkish, Turkmens and we produce projects related to them and, of course, we open a separate bracket for Balkanian Turkishness. Why? Look, there are some geographies and we see that when our nation’s presence in those geographies, the presence of Turkish people fails for Turkey surely, both Turkey and Anatolian geography live problems. Balkanians are one of those places and today, unfortunately, although the problems are not so much as those were in the previous years, the world is not the world in the past and the world is not the world of 1989s, however, it still continues in different complexion.”

Mr. Eren used the following words, “Turkey is a very great country and it is not Turkey of 80s, 90s. Our Esteemed President was in USA last week. Our Esteemed President made mention of the injustice, iniquity, unlawfulness loudly by spelling them all out, in that hall where all leaders of the world were present. The most basic right of the world, people even try to restrict the freedom of religion and conscience, the presences of Muslims in Myanmar are even not recognized.”

– “We will establish a migration museum in Kocaeli”

Governor of Kocaeli, Mr. Hüseyin Aksoy also pointed out that people has some irrevocable basic rights and freedoms from birth, wherever they live in the world and recorded that there are some international universal rules for the use of those basic rights and freedoms.

Governor Aksoy, who transmitted that those rules should be used equally in all over the world, continued to his speech as follows: “There are people also in Samsun where is one of my previous places of duty, who were coming with exchange. There was a request from us in those days and that was a wish for establishing a migration museum. We built a migration museum by restored a historical building. It still continues its activities now. There is a similar request here. I hope within the course of the process that we would put this migration museum into practice in Kocaeli in cooperation with our non-governmental organizations here. We should do that and we should make young generations know well and understand what people had lived in the past.”

– “Anatolian Agency opened its archives to us”

Bal-Turk General Vice President and project coordinator Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ayhan Orhan gave information related to the project and thanked to TRT and Anatolian Agency who opened photograph archives of those years to the association.

After the speeches, the documentary telling the story of the migration was watched and Mrs. Fatma Ozturk, who lost her 18 months baby in Forced Migration of 1989 talked about what she had lived in those days.

Afterwards, protocol members visited photograph exhibition.

A great number of invitees joined the program together with AK Party Kocaeli Deputy Mr. İlyas Seker, Kocaeli Metropolitan Mayor Deputy Mr. Yasar Cakmak, Provincial Immigration Authority Manager Mr. Mehmet Erkoc, Balkanian Turks Culture and Solidarity Association Vice President Mrs. Rusen Ozcan.

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