ABD Başkan Yardımcısı Joe Biden, 6. Atlantik Konseyi Enerji ve Ekonomi Zirvesi'nin kapanış oturumunun ardından Denge ve Denetleme Ağı Temsilcileri ile bir araya geldi. Grand Tarabya Oteli'nde gerçekleşen basına kapalı görüşme yaklaşık 1,5 saat sürdü. Toplantıdan sonra Denge ve Denetleme Ağı Temsilcileri adına Kafkas Dernekleri Federasyonu (Kaffed) temsilcisi Av.Hasan Seymen basına görüşme ile ilgili bilgi verdi. Davetin Biden'dan geldiğini söyleyin Seymen, "Biden'e bugüne kadar ne söylediysek, ne söyleyeceksek aynısını söyledik. Güçlü bir denetleme sistemi sayesinde hukukun üstünlüğüne dayanan çoğulcu bir Türkiye'de bir arada yaşamak istiyoruz. Hedef ve ideallerimizi paylaştık. Değişiklik önerilerimizi anlattık." diye konuştu.
Toplantıya Denge ve Denetleme Ağı üyeleri Marmara Grubu Vakfı adına Müjgan Suver; Başkent Kadın Platformu adına Berrin Sönmez; Kafkas Dernekleri Federasyonu adına Hasan Seymen; Kaos GL Derneği adına Murat Köylü; Türkiye Sakatlar Derneği adına Turan Hançerli; Türk Kadınlar Birliği adına Sevna Somuncuoğlu; DİTAM / Dicle Toplumsal Araştırmalar Merkezi adına Mehmet Kaya; İstanbul Politikalar Merkezi adına Fuat Keyman; İnternet Medya ve Bilişim Federasyonu adına Süleyman Basa; TOBB Kadın Girişimciler Kurulu Adıyaman Şubesi adına Kevser Selda Tandoğan Demirel katıldı. ABD heyetinde ise Joe Biden (ABD Başkan Yardımcısı), Victoria Nuland (Müşteşar), Michael Carpenter (Başkan Yardımcısı Danışmanı), Colin Kahl (Başkan Yardımcısı Danışmanı), Charles F. Hunter (ABD Türkiye Başkonsolosu) ve John Bass (ABD Türkiye Büyükelçisi) yer aldı.
Denge ve Denetleme Ağı toplumun farklı kesimlerini temsil eden, evrensel hak ve özgürlüklerin garanti altına alınması için net bir güçler ayrılığı ile güçlü bir denge ve denetleme sisteminin gerekliliğini savunan 185 sivil toplum örgütünün oluşturduğu bir yapı. Kaffed Denge ve Denetleme Ağı'nın çalışmalarına aktif olarak katılıyor. Denge ve Denetleme Ağı'nın dört sözcüsünden biri Kaffed temsilcisi Av. Hasan Seymen.
Toplantıdan sonra ABD heyetine, Kaffed'i tanıtan ve Kaffed'in çeşitli platformlarda takipçisi olduğu demokratik talepleri özetleyen bir metin de verildi. Metni okuyucularımızın bilgisine sunuyoruz.
Federation of Caucasian Associations in Turkey (Kaffed)
The Circassians are an indigenous people of the Caucasus region, where they have lived since time immemorial. They speak a unique language with a distinctive phonology, encompassing all sounds known to man.
The Circassians have protected their country and freedom against the relentless onslaught of various aggressors throughout their history. Having never been conquered, they managed to preserve their ancient culture until the time of the Russian invasion, which began in the 18th century. They resisted fiercely, for more than a century, against the gigantic Tsarist Empire without an organized army and without any significant external support. Ultimately, however, this freedom-loving nation was deported en masse to foreign lands following the conquest of their homeland in the mid-19th century.
The deportation of the Circassian people was among the largest exoduses of modern times. Almost 90 percent of the population was deported to the Ottoman lands and a third of them perished during the exodus from disease and starvation. Those who survived were dispersed to various regions and countries. As a result of this ethnic cleansing, most Circassians now live in Turkey.
The number of Circassians in Turkey is estimated to be around 6-7 million. This estimate is based on the number of Circassians who migrated to the Ottoman Empire. About one million Circassians survived after the exodus to the Ottoman Empire, and the share of the Circassians in the Ottoman Muslim population in 1893 was estimated to be around 8-10 percent. If the proportion of Circassians remained the same in Anatolia, there would be about 6-7 million Circassians in Turkey (Turkey’s current population is about 72 million). This figure could be taken as the upper bound for the Circassian population.
The Diaspora Circassians are currently organized around cultural associations and foundations to protect and develop their unique language and culture. There are about 80 active Circassian associations in Turkey. Most of these associations (56 of them) have joined together under the Federation of the Caucasian Associations (Kaffed). Kaffed member associations are all located in regions with significant Circassian populations.
Kaffed is also the founding member of the World Circassian Association (WCA). The WCA is a member of the Unrepresented Peoples and Nations Association (UNPO).
Kaffed is an active member of the Checks and Balances Network and supports the process of democratization and the rule of law in Turkey.
In order to protect and promote their identity and culture for future generations, Circassians living in Turkey demand the following 8 principles are affirmed by all institutions of the Turkish Republic:
1. A new constitution: A civilian and contemporary constitution that protects fundamental human rights should be adopted. Legislation that restricts the rights of citizens to use their language and to exercise their religion and culture should be repealed. All international conventions that guarantee human rights, including linguistic and cultural rights, should be ratified and implemented unreservedly.
2. Identity and cultural rights: All restrictions imposed on the expression and recognition of the Circassian identity should be eliminated, and the Circassians, as a people and as a culture, should be recognized. The Circassians should be completely free to give their names to their children and to their settlements. Circassian villages should be given their original names. The State should fight against discrimination and all types of racism. All discriminatory material, whether on the grounds of language, religion, ethnicity or gender, as well as statements promoting hatred, should be removed from the textbooks used in schools.
3. Native language education: The State should not only allow its citizens to use their native languages, but should also support the use of their languages. The Circassian language should be taught as an elective course at all levels of education, including primary education. Higher education institutions should establish undergraduate and graduate programs to teach and study the Circassian language.
4. Broadcasting in the Circassian language: The State should establish public TV and radio channels to provide broadcasting in the Circassian language 24 hours a day. The State should financially support private TV and radio stations broadcasting in the Circassian language.
5. Supporting NGOs: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that help to protect and develop Circassian culture should be supported.
6. Recognition of the right of return: 21 May should be recognized as the day of the genocide and expulsion of the Circassian people. The Circassians' right of return to their homeland should be recognized. Turkey and the Russian Federation should sign an agreement to grant dual citizenship to Circassians living in Turkey, and to allow the transfer of pension and social security benefits of those who would like to return to their homeland.
7. Strengthening the links with the Northern Caucasian Republics: Turkey should strengthen its economic and cultural ties with the Northern Caucasian Republics, especially with the Adygea, Karacahi Cherkess and Kabardino Balkar republics, assist Circassians who return to and/or establish businesses and provide scholarships and financial assistance to students who attend the universities in these regions.
8. Recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Abkhazia and South Ossetia should be recognized as independent states. The isolation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia should be ended. Ferry links between Trabzon and Sukhum and flights between Istanbul and Sukhum should be introduced.