Moscow – “I do not approve the name change of villages and small cities. These new names aren’t used anyway,” said the Turkish Interior Minister Beşir Atalay Friday in a visit to Russia reports CNN Türk.
According to Atalay the names can only be changed after a decision of the government. “After this a referendum should be held in this city or village, but the majority of the inhabitants must approve it, and after this the local authorities and government can approve the name change.”
Atalay says this is both for a change of names from Turkish to non-Turkish dialects or from Turkish to Turkish. “But I do not agree with the changes, from my opinion it’s the best way the names stay this way,” Beşir Atalay said.
Earlier the AKP-government promised to change village and city names to their original names, as part of the reform project of the Turkish government. There were also discussions this week, if the city Tunceli should get its original name Dersim back, after remarks of CHP General Secretary Onur Oymen approving the massacres committed in this town in 1938 (Photo: CNN Türk).