Turkish daily interviews Chechen president on assassinations, Arab Spring

Text of report by Turkish newspaper Star website on 30 December

[Interview with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov by Kemal Gumus in Grozny, date not given]

In an interview he granted to the daily Star, Chechen leader Kadyrov has stated that they "no longer want to fight," and that he would do his utmost in order not to allow actress Swank, who had expressed regret for having attended his birthday party, enter the country again.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov gave an interview to the daily Star in the capital city Grozny [Groznyy] and evaluated many controversial issues.

[Star] There are allegations that you are behind the assassinations of the Chechen opposition members in Turkey and other countries. Are you related to those assassinations in any way?

[Kadyrov] The terrorists in Turkey are both godless and evil. They kill our teachers at schools and our imams. Those people cause trouble both in Turkey and Chechnya with the money they collect in Turkey. Then they kill one another and kidnap people. I spoke with Abdullah Gul and Tayyip Erdogan and asked that the terrorists in Turkey be extradited but to no avail.

[Star] Did you not call upon them to come back to Chechnya, or can they go back?

[Kadyrov] They can come back whenever they want. When I came to power I pardoned 7,000 terrorists, including a person who later became vice president. He was the commander of the opposition here. I arrested him, then pardoned him, and now he is my assistant.

[Star] Do you not have any dreams of independence?

[Kadyrov] We do not want to fight any longer. We want our children to become scientists, football players, engineers, doctors, and artists. We want to wage our war on rings and not in battle fields.

[Star] Actress Hilary Swank who attended your birthday party later said that she regretted it. What do you think about that?

[Kadyrov] First of all, everyone can have regrets. That day was not only my birthday. It was also Grozny Day and Youth Day. Tens of thousands of people celebrated. After the celebrations nongovernmental organizations staged a protest, and then later said they regretted having done that. I will do my utmost not to allow Swank to come here again.

[Star] Is it true that you have regrets concerning those celebrations?

[Kadyrov] I have no regrets. Where did the Turkish media get this idea? I am afraid of the Turkish media.

[Star] What are your views about the social and public position of women in Chechnya?

[Kadyrov] When I came to power I declared a Chechen Women’s Day. There are no bans or enforcements against women. I am a Muslim and I call upon the Chechen women to live in accordance with the laws of Islam. Look at the streets, there are women who are covered and others dressed as Europeans.

[Star] Do you not think that there is contradiction between your call and the sex tapes on the Internet?

[Kadyrov] Those pictures were all photomontage. There is a person who looks very much like me on these images, his name is Hassan Zaliyez. I am no saint or angel, I am trying to improve myself and to live according to Islam.

[Star] The huge decorated pine trees in the courtyards of the public buildings are very eye-catching, in particular the one in the mosque’s courtyard that is as big as a minaret…

[Kadyrov] Is Jesus not your prophet as well? One does not have to be a Christian in order to celebrate his birth.

[Star] What do you think about the Arab spring?

[Kadyrov] I think it is a European operation. Look at the result in all cases, thousands of people are left homeless, hundreds have died. I would like Russia to intervene in these incidents in a serious manner.

Erdogan and Gul Are Great Assets

We are going to present our request to the Turkish Foreign Ministry as soon as possible. We would like to have Turkey open a representation here. Erdogan and Gul are great assets with their political, economic, and social policies.

Source: Star website, Istanbul, in Turkish 30 Dec 11

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