Dear Senator Rand Paul,

The Atatürk Society of America was very displeased to learn about your comments suggesting carving out a homeland for the Kurdish people by seizing land from countries in the region including Turkey. As a Senator of the United States of America, you would for sure know that Turkey has been an ally of the United States since its inception in 1923 and a member of the NATO since 1952. The Republic of Turkey is a nation cemented on democratic and secular values by our Founding Father and first President, Kemal Atatürk whose famous words “Peace at Home, Peace in the World” still resonate globally to this day and whose statues have been erected in Australia, Chile, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Turkey, Venezuela and the United States.

Many US presidents have cherished the good relations between Turkey and United States throughout history up to and including President Barack Obama. President John F. Kennedy’s speech delivered in Nov. 1963 about Turkey and its founder, Atatürk still describes best the long-standing friendship between these two nations… (President John. F Kennedy’s Speech on the 25th Year of Ataturk’s Death.)

As a Senator of the United States, you would also know about the 5th Article of the NATO Pact which states that an attack on one ally is considered an attack on all Allies. Therefore, the US and other NATO countries are mandated to defend Turkey against a foreign attack for example one by the Kurds to attempt to annex a part of Southeastern Turkey. Since, Turkey would never give up any piece of its land willingly; any effort to obtain land from Turkey could only be in hostile terms and initiate a collective defense by the NATO. Your suggestion is clearly contrary to the spirit of the NATO Pact and very unfortunate considering the fact that a NATO member country’s government official has such ill wishes concerning fate of another NATO member country!

The Kurds that you so vehemently praise have been on the US State Department’s “Foreign Terrorist Organization” list as PKK or Kongra-Gel since 1997. This terrorist group has committed unspeakable atrocities and has the blood of nearly 30,000 Turks on its hands including women, children and babies. Furthermore, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Turkey has lent a helping hand to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees within its borders. This is the biggest humanitarian aid any nation has undertaken since the start of the Syrian crisis. One would expect you, a Senator so concerned about the well-being of the people of the Middle East to also know this fact and praise Turkey’s actions in the region instead of suggesting to steal away its land! Your comments against Turkey, a peaceful and benevolent nation is inarguably very unfair.

Ironically, your comments coincide with the 100. Anniversary of the Turkish victory of the Battle of the Dardanelles – Gallipoli, Turkey where Atatürk and the Turkish soldiers under his command defeated the invading British and the French Naval forces. Nearly 250,000 Turkish boys and men died at Gallipoli. This is a lesson from history which demonstrates the extent of sacrifice and bravery the Turkish nation would commit to protect its motherland.

As Atatürk Society of America, we respectfully demand a formal apology from you to all citizens of Turkey; American citizens of Turkish descent; and all American citizens who are friends of Turkey and are offended by your comments.

Board Members,
Atatürk Society of America