Russia frowns at Turkey's initiative to name park after Chechen terrorist

Russia has notified Turkey that it did not approve its move to name a park in a Turkish city after the first president of the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Dzhokhar Dudayev, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, TASS reports.

"To put it mildly, we do not approve naming a park in Turkey after Dudayev. We have transmitted out point of view on the matter via diplomatic channels," Peskov said.

Peskov also noted that the Kremlin found the incident painful for Chechnya and said that he could understand the emotional reaction that followed from Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov earlier said that the decision of the Turkish authorities to immortalise the name of the terrorist who committed crimes in Russia could negatively affect relations between Russia and Turkey.

The park named after Dzhokhar Dudayev was opened in the Turkish city of Kerfez in the north-west of the country. A monument to Dudayev was unveiled in the park too. According to Kadyrov, such actions look extremely cynical and do not correspond to the image of Turkey as Russia's friendly nation.

Chechnya's Kadyrov pledges to respond to Turkey

The head of Chechnya threatened to respond to the Turkish authorities in a similar way.

"For example, in this case, it would be quite logical on our part to perpetuate the name of the founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, Abdullah Ocalan, in Grozny (capital of Chechnya — ed.), who is serving a life sentence in a prison in Turkey," he said.

In addition, Kadyrov called on the Russian Foreign Ministry to pay special attention to the situation and take preemptive diplomatic measures against such manifestations.

During the ceremony to open the park in Turkey, representatives of the local authorities called Dudayev a symbol of the struggle for freedom.

The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the actions of the Turkish side, having recalled that Moscow's position regarding the installation of monuments to terrorists remained unchanged and principled, RIA Novosti reports.

Dzhokhar Dudayev was elected president of Checheno-Ingushetia in 1991. With his first decree, he proclaimed the independence of the self-proclaimed republic. Russian special services had organized a number of operations to eliminate Dudayev. In 1996, Dudayev was killed in a missile strike near Grozny.

A number of other countries have also named various places after Dudayev. Most of those countries are known for their anti-Russian stance and policies:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina named a street after Dudayev in Gorazde;
  • Estonia has a Dudayev Suite in the Barclay Hotel in Tartu. There is also a wall memorial plaque outside;
  • Georgia has a street named after Dzhokhar Dudayev in its capital, Tbilisi;
  • Latvia has a streets in its capital, Riga, named after Dudayev;
  • Lithuania has Dzhokhar Dudayev Square in its capital, Vilnius;
  • Poland has a Dzhokhar Dudayev roundabout in Warsaw;
  • Turkey has named a number of streets, squares and parks after Dudayev;
  • Ukraine has a street named after Dudayev in the city of Lviv.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team, Editor: Dmitry Sudakov