SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga on Sunday responded to the Turkish minister of defense who denied the existence of Kurdistan in Iraq.
“The speech of Turkey’s defense minister Hulusi Akar is surprising,” the ministry of Peshmerga said in a statement.
“To us, it is a question that a person in an official position of the state allows himself to deny a historical, demographic and geographical reality, which he himself is not convinced of.”
In a meeting of Turkish parliament last week, Akar denied the existence of Kurdistan.
“There is no Kurdistan in Turkey or elsewhere,” he said in response to a lawmaker of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who asked Akar about the alleged use of chemical weapons against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region.
“Why are you saying this? Doesn’t Iraqi Kurdistan exist?” HDP lawmaker Garo Paylan asked Akar during the parliament’s session.
“No,” Akar responded to Paylan.
The ministry of Peshmerga further said Akar had visited Kurdistan in the past, questioning him if he can “tell us where he had gone and what the name of the place is?”
“If this gentleman has any doubts about the existence of Kurdistan’s geography, let him take a look at the documents and history of Ottoman Empire, then he will know whether Kurdistan exists or not,” the ministry stated.
“The mentality of denying a nation and its geography has always been the source of problems, and will not reach any result.”
Akar’s denial of the existence of Kurdistan comes as he had already paid a visit to the Kurdistan Region in January and held talks with senior Kurdish officials.