Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s candidate for the Diyarbakir mayor seat said the territory Kurds live in Turkey is called Kurdistan, commenting on the ongoing political debate Hurriyetdailynews.
"I wouldn't hesitate to call every territory where Kurds live Kurdistan. I myself am Kurdish as well and I live there," AKP candidate Galip Ensarioglu said late Dec. 3, during an aired interview by the daily broadcaster CNN-Türk.
However the nominee, who is preparing to run for the post during March 2014 local elections, asserted his remarks are not aimed to imply the necessity of the existence of a sovereign Kurdistan state.
"The phrase 'Turkish Kurdistan' might be interpreted differently. Connotations that the four parts [where Kurds live - in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria] will unite in the future and a sovereign state will be established are intentionally provoked by some people. But the name of the territory where Kurds live in Turkey is Kurdistan," he stressed.
He said Iraq and Iran constitutionally define the territories where their Kurdish citizens live in as Kurdistan and there is no problem with that.
Current Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir has used the phrase "Turkish Kurdistan" on the same TV program.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan used the term "Kurdistan" to define the territory during a joint rally with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani Nov. 16, in apparent defiance against criticism from ultranationalists to his approach and language.