Former Kurdish mayor meets Pope, seeks prayers for the resolution of Kurdish question
A former Kurdish mayor from Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir province met with Pope Francis in the Vatican and asked for prayers for a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question in the Middle East.
Abdullah Demirbas, who has served as the mayor of Diyarbakir's historic Sur district for two terms and who currently resides in Europe due to political charges against him, told the spiritual leader of Catholic Christians that “the Kurdish people have endured various sufferings throughout the history in order to protect their identity and culture, “which were their God-given rights.”
Demirbas presented Pope Francis with a gift, a carpet made in Iran featuring a motif of Kurdish women, along with a letter accompanied by a copy of the famous Kurdish writer and thinker Ahmedê Xanî's work "Mem û Zin," written in the 18th century. The letter contained the following statements:
"Just as Jesus Christ accepted crucifixion to spread the mission bestowed upon him by God, the Kurdish people have also endured various sufferings to protect their identity and culture.”
Demirbas also mentioned the massacres committed by the Islamic State (ISIS) which targeted religious minority women and girls, abducted them to other regions of the world, and subjected them to various atrocities, particularly the Yazidi women and girls.
“This atrocity, which is one of the greatest atrocities in the history of humanity, was stopped thanks to the resilience of the peoples and faiths demanding peace and democracy in Iraq and Syria. The resistance shown in Northeast Syria in particular has made a significant contribution to stopping ISIS. Your involvement in the development of dialogue channels and culture of tolerance in the preservation of beliefs and identities would be a great beacon of hope for us.”