Prime Minister Addresses Turkish Roma Gathering

Thousands of Roma gathered in Istanbul from all corners of Turkey. PM Erdogan gave a rousing speech in which he said that he had grown up among them in the streets of Kasimpasha, the gritty Istanbul neighborhood of his youth, where he knew they had been called derogatory names, gypsies. He cited a Roma saying, “However dark the color of the fruit, the riper it is,” to make his point that it is inhumane and unconscionable to  shun people because of their race. That Turkish soil has never witnessed racism or allowed antisemitism.  Then there was music and dancing… (click here, in Turkish, here in English. Photos from Radikal)

I couldn’t help but wonder what the Roma from Sulukule or Selendi were thinking. The Selendi Roma, who had recently been violently driven from their homes, held up banners at the event saying their children wouldn’t forget.

5 Responses to “Prime Minister Addresses Turkish Roma Gathering”

  1. Kibariye said:

    “Sen adam gibi adamsin, anam benim!”


  2. Hurriyet reported that at one point during the proceedings, the crowd turned and booed and hissed and such at a group of Romani women holding a banner saying (roughly) ‘we have a right to free education and we will get it’….

  3. Meliz, I don’t know where but I read that those people got the usual treatment (ie cops and manhandling, possibly informal detainment).

  4. Meliz, if you are still interested, here you go:

  5. Thanks for the link…am curious (personally and ‘professionally’) to see how this ‘acilim’ relationship develops- to see the myriad small and big ways this Roma acilim will differ from the Kurdish acilim, as a different kind of conversation between minority community and state/mainstream public.

    has anyone heard any MHP responses to the AK-cozying-up?

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