Kurdistan: Capital Amed Celebrates Newroz
Slight rain during the day did not dampen the mood of the people, as once again the Kurdish New Year and National Day became a celebration of Kurdistan and its people in a country where restrictions on Kurdish culture remain. Thousands of flags of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) were waved by those in attendance, in addition to many flags used by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to represent the confederation program as well as Kurdistan flags and posters of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. A giant Kurdistan flag was displayed at one point, as well as a banner bearing the flags of Turkey, the Kurdistan confederation, and the European Union.
Musicians playing included Koma Sevin from Mahabad, Koma Azad from Amed, Koma Car Newa from Europe, and Ilkay Akkaya and Edip Akbayram from Istanbul. Iraqi President and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Secretary General Jalal Talabani sent a letter to Amed Mayor Osman Baydemir thanking him for the invitation to the festival, stating that “political work” prevents him from attending the event but he hopes to come to Amed in the future. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) also sent a letter to the mayor for Newroz, and many guests from Iraqi Kurdistan were present for the festivities, as well as members of the European Parliament. A number of Turkish and European journalists also attended the celebration.