Turks, Kurds in Scotland eagerly awaiting independence referendum

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Members of the Turkish community in Edinburgh are eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s independence vote, with some expressing hope that Scottish independence may have positive repercussions for them.

One Turkish immigrant in the Scottish capital said the possible independence of Scotland may “create opportunities” for her community, while another Kurdish immigrant linked the issue to his hopes for an “independent Kurdistan.”

“If Scotland becomes independent, it means that new state institutions will have to formed, which would create more jobs. I believe it will be beneficial for myself and for the Turks who live in Scotland,” 23-year-old İlkim İlayda Kiraz said in an interview with Hürriyet on the eve of the independence referendum.

Kiraz, who is the founder of the Turkish Students’ Union at Edinburgh University, currently works as an intern at the Scottish Parliament. “I support Scottish independence. First of all, because I believe it will be more democratic and fair if the Scottish people are governed by the administrators that they elect,” she added.

Elsewhere in Edinburgh, Kurdish language banners reading “Independent Scotland, Independent Kurdistan” can be seen.

Hajad, a Kurdish student from Sheffield University who requested that his surname be withheld, hung such a banner in the garden of the National Museum in central Edinburgh.

“I came here for a vacation, not for the referendum. But we support Scotland’s struggle for independence. Scotland and Kurdistan face a similar political situation,” Hajad said.

“Maybe if Scots become independent people will understand our problems better and this decision may lay the ground for Kurdistan to be independent like Scotland,” he added.

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