What has been the most important aspect of KRG President Masud Barzani’s trip to Turkey? Discussions about trade? Talks centred on security issues? Economic integration?
For me, the most important and most interesting has been the language component and some of the other symbolism at the meetings and press conferences.
Not only did Davutoğlu address President Barzani as Kak Masud, but also each other’s remarks were translated to and from Kurdish and Turkish (Zaman Online: Davutoğlu’nun sözleri de Kürtçeye çevrildi. Kaynaklar, Dışişleri Bakanlığı’ndaki bir basın toplantısında ilk kez Kürtçe konuşulduğunu aktardı). ‘Kak’ is a Kurdish honorific used when addressing other men, respectful yet implying a certain warmth.
When Barzani met with Davutoğlu and later with Erdoğan, there was always a Turkish flag. No other flag. Apparently the Kurdish delegation wanted both the Iraqi flag and the Kurdish flag to stand alongside the Turkish one. The Turks said no way.
After his meeting with Barzani, Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of the BDP, was asked about the ‘missing’ Kurdish flag. His response was ‘I don’t know whether it has been done on purpose or not, but all diplomatic means should have been implemented.’