Iraqi Turkmen leader calls for support

September 25, 2014 at 10:16 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraqi Turkmen leader calls for support

ERSHAD SALIHI CALLING FOR SUPPORT

Arshad al-Salihi called for a safe zone to support the threatened minority.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Iraqi Turkmen Front President Arshad al-Salihi has said Western countries should provide weapons to Turkmen in Iraq.

Speaking at a meeting of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) in Ankara on Wednesday, where latest developments in Iraq and those facing Turkmen were discussed, al-Salihi said: “The West should also support us Turkmen with weapons, we are in need.”

Salihi said that the Turkmens’ lives and territory were in danger and stated that a “safe zone” should be provided for the threatened minority.

“All Turkmen, Shia or Sunni, have been exposed to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants’ attacks,” he said.

He also stated that Turkmen had seen the most casualties during ISIL militants’ attacks on the northern Iraqi province of Mosul.

‘Biggest target’

Al-Salihi said: “Three of our deputies are still in the hands of ISIL, who call us every day saying they will cut their heads off.”

“Turkmen are the biggest target and we are being ignored.”

Referring to the militants’ attacks on Tal Afar since June, he said: “About 300,000 Turkmen have been forced to migrate to different regions, mainly to the south of Iraq and most of them will probably not be able to return.”

He added Turkmen had not received any humanitarian aid, unlike other minorities such as Christian, Yazidi and Kurds.

The president said: “Humanitarian supplies came only from Turkey.”

“We distributed all the supplies from the Turkish Red Crescent to everyone – not looking at whether they were Turkmen, Yazidi or Kurd – but today we need equal help from the West.”

‘Starvation danger’

According to al-Salihi, Iraq’s new government has also ignored Turkmen.

Last week, Nahla Sallamah, a Turkmen MP in the Iraqi parliament, said more than 350,000 Turkmen asylum seekers were in danger of starvation because the government had failed to financially support them.

The chaos created by ISIL militants has displaced more than one million Iraqis from their homes.

The group has mainly targeted Shia Muslims, Turkmens, Yazidis and Christians.

The Iraqi army failed to halt a sudden offensive by ISIL in June, which led to the group taking control of large swathes of land in the country, including the province of Mosul in the north.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/145085/iraqi-turkmen-leader-calls-for-support

 

REPORT ON THE SITUATION OF DISPLACED TURKMEN FAMILIES IN IRAQ AFTER THE EVENTS OF MOSUL

September 20, 2014 at 12:11 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Turkmen refugees 8

 

Turkmen refugees 4

 

Turkmen ids 6

REPORT ON THE SITUATION OF DISPLACED TURKMEN FAMILIES IN IRAQ AFTER THE EVENTS OF MOSUL

THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ

BELADI CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

REPORT ON THE SITUATION OF DISPLACED TURKMEN FAMILIES

AFTER THE EVENTS OF MOSUL

JUNE 2014

LIVING CONDITIONS OF TURKMEN FAMILIES

01/08/2014

IN ENGLISHhttps://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bw0JXzUnszw8ZG1CN21icEZLME0/edit

IN ARABIC       https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bw0JXzUnszw8XzdlN2xPSmJzU0k/edit

 

SECTARIAN STRATEGIES, NATIONAL SETTINGS AND THE WAR ECONOMY IN SYRIA AND IRAQ

September 5, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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SECTARIAN STRATEGIES, NATIONAL SETTINGS AND THE WAR ECONOMY IN SYRIA AND IRAQ
Posted by Noria on juillet 16th, 2014
Adam BACZKO, Robin BEAUMONT, Arthur QUESNAY
Maps by Xavier HOUDOY
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http://www.noria-research.com/2014/07/16/sectarian-strategies-national-settings-and-the-war-economy-in-syria-and-iraq/

 

These maps were designed by Xavier Houdoy for Noria, with the support of the European Research Council-funded program WAFAW. They were based on data gathered by Adam Baczko, Robin Beaumont, Felix Legrand and Arthur Quesnay in Syria and Iraq during field trips of various length spanning from Summer 2013 to June 2014.
The meaning of the various dynamics at work in today’s Iraq and Syria lies in their interactions. This poses a twofold challenge to the cartographers: on the one hand, to represent complex processes; on the other hand, to consider the perceptions and interpretations of the readers during the conceptualisation stage. Thus, not only for the sake of clarity, but also as a matter of cautiousness regarding the use that could be made of this work, we have chosen to use a triptych, with one title and one general legend for our three maps, which we consider impossible to apprehend separately.
While maps are the most adequate tool for the representation of various situations and dynamics, such as strategies for the acquisition of territorial control, their limits also appear quite easily. How can we capture the very pragmatic and punctual nature of certain alliances that imply fluctuating intensity and scope in terms of time and space? How should we differentiate between their symbolic and political importance and their territorial weight? Is it even conceivable to show a “Shia axis” when, despite its undeniable relevance in some areas, it remains a cumbersome cliché, which largely denies fundamental nuances? Last but not least, how best to show the weakening of a State other than in terms of territorial losses?
As already pointed out by Bénédicte Tratnjek regarding an older piece on Syria, working on ongoing conflicts, where the situation evolves on a daily basis, means working without anything like perfectly consistent and comprehensive data, even though those were collected and cross-checked, as is the case here, by researchers on the field. In that sense, these maps aim at allowing local, national, and regional dynamics to appear without exaggerating the differences between the various groups, neither to homogenize them.
Any use of those maps without specific permission of Noria is strictly prohibited. Please contact info@noria-research.com for further information.

Regional alliances and transnational actors…

… local and national settings…

… and the war economy.

Legend

Executive Summary

This article intends only, in line with its short length, to offer areas of reflection and avenues for further exploration.
In order to understand the current conflictual situation in Syria and Iraq it is important to take three aspects into consideration: trans-national sectarianism, pragmatic alliances and state resilience.
In a context of weakening State power, Syrian and Iraqi regimes have actively used sectarianism, in conjunction with an unprecedented level of violence, as the response. This has in turn led to popular discontent and as a consequence sectarian, transnational conflict throughout the region. The internationalization process follows two trends: on the one hand, a process with States as the main actors; on the other hand, a process pertaining to the infra-state level, revolving around ethnic (between the Kurds), but most of all sectarian solidarities (namely between Sunnis and Shiites).
Nevertheless, these new dynamics co-exist within traditional dynamics of tension and civil war. Whether local economic partnerships or pragmatic alliances, such as between ISIL and the Syrian regime, they show that sectarianism and the conflict’s regionalization remain direct consequences of the regimes’ strategies.
Despite ISIL’s ability to remain a dominant player in the region and the threat posed by them, the States are likely to remain powerful players and the main organising system for the people in the region – the “Shia axis” being not much more than a collection of States. The future of the conflict therefore depends largely on the people.

Political stakeholders redefining identity

The civil war in Syria and the increasing violence in Iraq are the expression of revolutionary situations which should be seen as part of a continuation of the « Arab Spring. »
The quick and brutal political reconfigurations have been accompanied by a process of religious sectarianism; the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, now renamed the Islamic State (IS)) and the accompanying assault on Baghdad are some of the most recent manifestations.
This alignment of stakeholders along a Shi’ite-Sunni opposition line is the consequence of three interrelated elements. Firstly, the instrumentalisation of religious identities by the regimes of Nouri al-Maliki and Bashar al-Asad in order for them to remain in power. Secondly, religious recruitment organized by “identity entrepreneurs”; and lastly, with the weakening of the State, vulnerable societies in an increasingly violent environment, who are left with limited alternative routes.
However important the rise of this religious dimension might be, it is also accompanied by a set of interdependent factors, the analysis of which is essential to an understanding of this crisis: social transformations, political demands, exacerbations of identity differences and opportunism, in particular economic opportunism.
The current crisis might indeed suggest the rise of a transnational Sunni Arab axis that straddles Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, but the people of these three countries have very different historical trajectories. Even if the Syrian revolution was carried by a Sunni majority that had long been marginalised by a regime identified as Alawi, it was the result of multi-faith protest against authoritarian rule.In Iraq, the insurgency is the result of a Sunni minority marginalized by a new Shi’ite political elite following the 2003 U.S. invasion. The Sunni insurgencies in Iraq and Syria are therefore examples of two very different national configurations. In addition, the sponsorship of certain Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular, whilst presented as part of a religious solidarity are in fact above all the strategies of regional powers that seek to overthrow the Syrian and Iraqi allies against their Iranian competitor.
Similarly, the « Shia axis » is above all a political alliance between Iran, the Iraqi regime, some Iraqi Shi’ite groups, the Syrian regime and Hizbullah. Theologically, TwelverShi’ism and the Alawite religion have little in common, and the Shi’ite character of the alliance is primarily an external perception. Shi’ism gains a transnational dimension where it is instrumentalised by regimes in order to create popular militias and support, for example by calling for the defense of Shi’ite shrines in Samarra in Iraq and SayyidaZaynab in Syria. Beyond the very real ideological commitment of the militias, their continuation beyond their national boundaries depends above all on the logistical capacities of the military organizations to which they belong, and ultimately the resources provided by the States that sponsor them.
By over simplifying sectarian identities, a particularly malleable notion, religious division, in the context of civil war, is exacerbated. Different theological branches of Shi’ism in the region, from Alawism to Zaydism, with considerably different historical evolutions from the Twelver doctrine, are thus easily confused together within the context of civil war. The mediatisation of violence is a particularly effective weapon of differentiation for stakeholders such as the Islamic State and the Iraqi and Syrian regimes, whose strategy is based on increasing the denominational dimension of each of the opposing sides. The distribution in June 2014 by ISIL of images of hundreds of Shi’ites being executed, retouched to make them even more shocking can be analysed in the wake of the massacre carried out in Alawite villages in the province of Latakia in August 2013. The bombing in 2011 of Sunni neighborhoods by the Syrian regime had a similar objective. The political strategies put in place by the protagonists are what primarily creates identity opposition lines within the populations, and their implementation is possible only if they have access to the necessary resources.

Transversal logic and local alliances

Beyond the religious conflicts that run deeply through the crisis, the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars are each different, depending on temporary alliances and the various social, economic and political interests. The loss of Mosul by the Iraqi regime took place after many years of a gradual loss of control of the city by the Iraqi army. Radicalized social movements, a result of the repression of Baghdad, made the advance negotiations between ISIL, Baathist insurgents and local Islamists, possible. In the Syrian Jezireh, local alliances depend largely on historical factors that existed prior to the crisis. In Rabia, at the Iraqi-Syrian border, the PKK was joined in 2014 by local Arab fighters, to fight ISIL. These local fighters were from long-established tribes in the region. However, when the armed Kurdish group advanced to the border crossing Tall Amis, a hundred kilometres south, the local Arab population, descendants from settlers of the Baathist regime against the Kurds, joined ISIL in its stand off against the PKK. In Kirkuk, the presence of Shi’ite Turkmens militiamen is possible only as a result of the intented strategy of the Iraqi Kurds to weaken the central government, hence forcing those militias to work with them. In Syria and Iraq, the rise of Shi’ite militias depends on the collaborative relationship between armed groups, the regime and local populations.
The Syrian regime plays a key role in the economy of transnational war that is taking place in the Middle East. To resist the opposition, Bashar al-Asad delegated control of the Kurdish areas to the PKK from July 2012 and allowed ISIL to prosper whilst avoiding bombarding its positions.
The Syrian regime additionally bought crude oil for its refineries from the PKK and ISIL and sold the refined product back to ISIL, whilst refusing the same to the Syrian rebels. Damascus maintains an ambiguous relationship with the PKK and ISIL, who do not pose a direct threat; both groups can use Syria as a behind the lines base for their operations in Iraq and Turkey. It is only with ISIS’ offensive in Iraq and against Baghdad that the Syrian regime began their bombing, in order to appear to the outside world and the West as a key player in the fight against an entity whose strength it had significantly bolstered.
On the side of the Kurds, they are exploiting a historic opportunity with the weakening of the States to negotiate economic and political benefits from Baghdad, Damascus, and Ankara. Indeed, any political or military reconquest of Iraqi Sunni areas would require the support of KRG. The KRG is today in a strong position in its discussions on the positions open in government, the status of territories conquered since June 10 (the town of Kirkuk, and the northern provinces of Nineveh and Diyala) and the right to export directly to Turkey its oil. Similarly in Syria, the PKK is now in possession of territories in Afrin, Qobane and in the Jezireh to recruit and train men, in coordination with its Iraqi sanctuaries in the Qandil and Zab mountains.

The Resilience of a National Logic

If the weakening of states has made ​​the borders porous, the challenge to these borders, regularly announced, will likely remain unsuccessful.
Whilst the regimes and national balance is up-ended, the states themselves are not. National borders remain part of the framework of the demands of the majority of armed groups who define themselves primarily as nationalists and whose operations depend on local dynamics of mobilization. National insurgent movements in Syria since 2011 – now the Army of the Mujahideen (Jayshal-Mujahideen), the Syrian Revolutionary Front (Jabhatal-Thuâral-Sûrîyîn) and the Syrian Islamic Front (al-Jabha al-Islâmîyya al-sûrrîyya) – and in Iraq since 2004 – the Naqshbandi brotherhood (Jama’at al-Naqshbandîyya), the Companions of Islam (Ansar al-Islam), the Army of the Mujahideen (Jaysh al-Mujahideen) – are all fighting for national goals. In their current alliance with ISIL, they continue to follow their own agenda against the Syrian and Iraqi regimes, in direct opposition to those, transnational and religious, of the Islamic State. These movements are composed of nationals, with a nationalistic vision that aims to conquer Baghdad or Damascus.
Similarly, the involvement of Hizbullah alongside the Syrian regime and the influx of more than one million Syrian Sunnis into Lebanon has profoundly destabilised the country. If political relations are increasingly strained between the protagonists, with clashes multiplying – in Tripoli in particular – the fact that the country has not entered into the civil war confirms the salience of a largely national framework.
Paradoxically, the transnational configuration of the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts has underlined the differences between the two countries. The crisis is regionalized in terms of the number of countries involved, the importance of cross-border military and economic movements, but these resources all primarily support groups with national objectives. With the exception of the PKK and IS, all protagonists perceive the conquest of territory, or at least a redistribution of power, as the only solution. They do not imagine the creation of a new state with redrawn borders as a long-term solution but as a considerable territorial loss. This is even more the case since the areas that have a mixed population are still significant, especially in the cities, and do not allow for a redefined, clear division of the territory.
Even the Islamic State, despite its desire to create a genuine caliphate, has been forced to take into account the differences of each national situation, and to follow different strategies regarding the two countries. In Iraq, the movement aims to take Baghdad and overthrow the regime, while in Syria it does not attack the regime but maintains its grip on a territory which resources it uses. As such, in Syria IS controls the population directly and confronts the insurrection with whom it is competing for control of the territory. In Iraq, it joins forces with the insurgency whom it leaves to control the territory, in order to focus its efforts on the front against the Iraqi regime.

Conclusion

Religious division as a mode of government as used by Maliki and Asad, and as a strategy of sectarian identities for the Islamic State, reduces the potential for a compromise between national Sunni movements and the regimes in power.
In addition, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Qatar feed this line of division in their own struggle for regional leadership. Finally, the West has now politically disengaged, investing primarily on humanitarian issues and terrorism. This is the first crisis in the Middle East where Western countries do not play a decisive role in the course of events. Traumatized by the war in Iraq, caught in a difficult withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States now commits only limited resources and leaves the local protagonists and regimes free to follow their own strategy. And in this way, nothing prevents the rise of religious players who in the expression of their local, predatory logic, guarantee the continuation of civil war.

 

Translation by Louise ROSEN

 

Who, What and Where are Iraq’s Turkmen?

September 5, 2014 at 6:31 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Who, What and Where are Iraq’s Turkmen?
by BARBARA NIMRI AZIZ

Know your Yazidi. An anthropological sketch will assure support for US and Peshmarga military advances across Iraq, and sequester a competing other minority—Iraq’s Turkmen.

 

International concern in Iraq pivots around saving the Yazidi people. Christians seem to count too; the Shabak also merit some attention. One can only applaud humanitarian support for any threatened population. But why the total dismissal of their neighbors and fellow Iraqis, the Turkmen? They too are at grave risk. Augmenting Al-Mufti’s account from the ground is a report noting how, “While the European Parliament … officially acknowledges the situation faced by minorities in ISIS occupied Iraq, their resolution … [2014/2716(RSP)] made no specific mention of Iraqi Turkmen… among the worst affected”.

Yes, Iraqi Turkmen are among millions now terrorized by the insufferable ISIS. Turkmen’s expulsion is not new however. A review of their history over the past decade reveals a pattern of forced removal from cities and villages across north Iraq. Not by ISIS, by American allies: Iraqi Kurds.

Telafar, a majority Turkmen city of 200,000 was all but depopulated beginning in 2003 when Kurdish Peshmarga reportedly conducted massacres there; attacks targeting Turkmen continued thereafter. This coincided with a political campaign to absorb ancient Kirkuk City along with Ninevah and Diyala provinces by Kurdish authorities. In 2009 the parliament of Kurdistan voted on a constitution to claim these areas, extending Kurdish rule beyond Suleimaniya, Dohok and Irbil. Mass Kurdish migration into Turkmen homelands displaced Turkmen, creating new facts-on-the-ground. In 2011 the Peshmarga Kurdish militia occupied Kirkuk, ostensibly to protect local inhabitants.The Turkmen National Front has been struggling with little success to push back Kurdish takeovers. They’ve no militia of their own and support from Baghdad, always weak, has now collapsed.

International news and human rights agencies consistently disregarded Kurdish advances into Turkmen areas. Today too. Turkmen are being whited-out of the picture. Why? It appears to be part of a strategy to consolidate Kurdish claims over all the Turkmen homelands.

Kurds took command of Kirkuk a month ago, again “to save” the city, this time from ISIS. The Peshmarga militia is a major US ally; resupplied with heavy weapons, it’s now engaged with the US military to push ISIS out of Mosel.

We may find Kurdistan awarded full control over Ninevah and Diyala– provinces they have long coveted. Its illegitimate constitutional claim becomes a reality.

One does not seek to tarnish one people at the expense of another. But the current situation in northern Iraq suggests it’s more than a heroic drive to protect endangered civilians. Here is an opportunity to answer Kurdish territorial and political ambitions.

Iraq’s Turkmen are ancient inhabitants of Iraq. Estimates of their numbers vary from 1-3 million: possibly 13% of the population, Iraq’s third main ethnic group. Turkmen are well known as loyal Iraqi nationals, Shiia and Sunni. They speak Turkish and Arabic. They’ve used just means to hold onto their rights and their homeland. And they deserve to be heard and embraced. Even as observers, let’s not be manipulated by the divide-and-rule policies of others which have done so much harm across this land.

Barbara Nimri Aziz is a veteran anthropologist and journalist. Her latest book is Swimming up the Tigris: Real Life Encounters in Iraq (2007).

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/04/who-what-and-where-are-iraqs-turkmen/

 

EU ambassador to Iraq accuses European countries of purchasing oil from Islamic State

September 4, 2014 at 3:47 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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This is what I feared: The EU countries that provided arms to the Peshmerga forces to support their fight against the Islamic State did not coordinate amongst each other,” adding that “there are no guarantees until now to confirm or deny that the Islamic State or Kurdish terrorist organisations have not seized those weapons.”

EU ambassador to Iraq accuses European countries of purchasing oil from Islamic State

   

Jana Hybášková

 

The European Union Ambassador in Iraq, Jana Hybášková, has accused some European countries of purchasing oil from the Islamic State, or IS, Anadolu news agency reported.

Hybášková’s remarks came during a speech on Tuesday before the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, during which she refused to disclose the identities of those EU member states that fund the radical organisation by purchasing oil from it, despite pressing questions from several deputies who requested to know.

She said that tankers loaded with oil purchased from the Islamic State have arrived in several European countries across the region and demanded for the European Union to “exert pressure on Iran, Kurdistan and Turkey in order to stop this trade”.

Anadolu also quoted her as saying: “The EU countries that provided arms to the Peshmerga forces to support their fight against the Islamic State did not coordinate amongst each other,” adding that “there are no guarantees until now to confirm or deny that the Islamic State or Kurdish terrorist organisations have not seized those weapons.”

She stressed the need to develop an international legal framework led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or NATO, in order to defeat the Islamic State and warned European parliamentarians against supporting Kurdistan’s independence, saying that “such a move could cause a full collapse of the Middle East”.

- See more at: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/europe/13893-eu-ambassador-to-iraq-accuses-european-countries-of-purchasing-oil-from-islamic-state#sthash.bXUuOqA2.Q2kp0RA0.dpuf

 

700 ethnic Turkmen massacred in Iraq in July

August 29, 2014 at 2:36 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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700 ethnic Turkmen massacred in Iraq

700 ethnic Turkmen massacred in Iraq

UNICEF’s Iraq representative Marco Babille said 700 Turkmen civilians were killed by the Islamic State in July.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Militants belonging to the self-styled ‘Islamic State’ have massacred 700 Turkmen civilians, including women, children and the elderly, in a northern Iraqi village, a UNICEF official has reported.

Marco Babille, the United Nations children’s fund representative in Iraq, said on Tuesday that militants committed the atrocity in Beshir between July 11 and 12.

Speaking to Italian news agency ANSA, he said the information came from eye witnesses who had fled the village.

Across the area seized by IS in June, episodes of violence against children have quadrupled when compared to previous months, he added.

Babille voiced UNICEF’s concern for the safety of thousands of other predominantly Shiite Turkmen civilians besieged by IS forces in the town of Amirli, Salahuddin province.

Calling for a “humanitarian D-Day” for the 700,000 refugees estimated to have fled IS violence in northern Iraq, Babille said the international community should establish a “safe haven” protected by peace-keeping forces.

“There is too much prevarication by the international community. If there is no intervention we risk the disintegration of the Middle East and Europe… will pay the consequences.”

Women and children among massacred Iraqi Turkmen

August 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Women and children among massacred Iraqi Turkmen

27 August 2014

Extremists belonging to the Islamic State have massacred 700 Turkmen civilians, including women, children and the elderly, in a northern Iraqi village, a UNICEF official has reported.

Marco Babille, the United Nations children’s fund representative in Iraq, said on Tuesday that militants committed the atrocity in Beshir between July 11 and 12.

Speaking to Italian news agency ANSA, he said the information came from eye witnesses who had fled the village.

Across the area seized by IS in June, episodes of violence against children have quadrupled when compared to previous months, he added.

Babille voiced UNICEF’s concern for the safety of thousands of other predominantly Shiite Turkmen civilians besieged by IS forces in the town of Amirli, Salahuddin province.

Calling for a “humanitarian D-Day” for the 700,000 refugees estimated to have fled IS violence in northern Iraq, Babille said the international community should establish a “safe haven” protected by peace-keeping forces.

He also called for a “systematic air bridge from Europe” to help Iraqi Kurds, who he described as “the only bulwark of human rights” in Iraq, giving shelter to displaced people irrespective of ethnicity or faith.

Babille reported that 440,000 refugees had flooded into Iraq’s Kurdish region since IS’s June offensive, in addition to 250,000 Syrian refugees who have been in the region since August 2013.

“In all, Kurdistan is hosting 700,000 refugees with a population of less than 5 million,” he said.

“There is too much prevarication by the international community. If there is no intervention we risk the disintegration of the Middle East and Europe… will pay the consequences.”

27 August 2014

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/170899/women-and-children-among-massacred-iraqi-turkmen.html

 

Iraqi Turkmen in Danger, Rescue Amerli!

August 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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العربية في اسفل الرسالة

عربي

English

Iraqi Turkmen in Danger, Rescue Amerli!

August 26, 2014

More than 16.000 civilians are trapped in the area of Amerli, in Tuz Khormatoo District of Salahaddin Province. Daaesh (ISIS) fighters put Amerli under siege and threaten to enter at any moment. Iraqi civilians from the Turkmen minority are in urgent need of protection.

Urgent call by the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI)

Risks are increasing for the inhabitants of Amerli, besieged from all sides by the extremist fighters of DAAESH. Despite the resistance organized by people of the city and the security forces stationed there to stop the terrorist fighters, the risk that these will enter the city is concrete. If DAAESH enters Amerli, mass murder and enslavement of civilians are likely to happen, likewise in other areas inhabited by Iraqi minorities in the last weeks.

Amerli is part of Tuz Khormato District (90 km East of Tikrit) and has been experiencing a three-months long siege, since DAAESH militants started controlling large parts of Salahaddin Province, and after they took control of Mosul (405 km North of Baghdad) in June 2014. In Amerli, Iraqis from different backgrounds live together. The majority of them are from the Turkmen minority, a large section of them are Muslim and follow the Shia doctrine (Al-Madhab Al-Jaafari).

Institutions are aware about what is at stake there. A number of Iraqi politicians and journalists organized a pause of silence last week in the buildings of the Iraqi Parliament and called for the rescue of Amerli. Civil society campaigns are spreading through social networks, calling on the Iraqi government and the international community to provide protection for this city. As the third month of siege begins, fears of supply shortages of food, water, fuel, medical supplies and other essential items are increasing. The suffering of the city is intense also due to the large number of children who still live there: there could be up to 250 babies in need of milk and water. A number of children have been forced to carry arms to defend the city and are being exposed to high risks, due to the absence of protection.

According to “Tareeq Alshaab Newspaper”, the Rapporteur of the Iraqi House of Representatives, Mr. Niazi Oghlu, defined as “historical” the responsibility of the Iraqi Parliament and Government to protect the citizens of Tuz and Amerli. He asked them to instruct immediately an urgent military operation, in coordination with the Peshmerga forces, in order to save these citizens from death. Oghlu added that “the siege and attacks on the city led to the aggravation of the humanitarian situation and the death of children, women and elderly people” and urged for “stopping daily shelling by militants of DAAESH”. Oghlu was surprised by “the international and regional silence over the suffering of the Turkmen in this area, given the ethnic and sectarian cleansing that is taking place”.

In a press statement issued by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, the UN envoy for Iraq Mr. Mladenov confirmed that people are surviving in desperate conditions and urged “the Iraqi Government to do all it can to relieve the siege and to ensure that the residents receive lifesaving humanitarian assistance or are evacuated in a dignified manner”. Observers explain that the only way to get aid to the city now is by helicopters, which are arriving every day loaded with food and medical aid, but they say that this aid is not sufficient for the needs of people there.

The director of the District in which Amerli is located, Adel Shakour Al-Bayati, told “Al-Madaa Press” that the whole district is suffering due to the siege. Its effects began to show clearly on 15.000 people, many of whom are children and women, who are running out of white oil for cooking and food, electricity and drinking water. Al-Bayati called the international community to give attention to the steadfast Turkmen in Amerli, similarly to what they did with other minorities who are exposed to crimes by DAAESH, asserting that “the people of Amerli are ready to die, fighting for the day in which the siege will be lifted, without desecration of their land by terrorists”.

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative calls for the Iraqi government to provide urgent and effective protection for the besieged city, in coordination with local authorities, and not to put civilians at risk of direct military confrontation with the extremists. ICSSI demands immediate action by the international community to help the Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq in protecting the city of Amerli and Turkmen people in Iraq.

التركمان العراقيين في خطر ، انقذوا آمرلي

26  من شهر آب (اغسطس)2014

ما يزيد عن ستة عشر الف محاصر من المدنيين في ناحية امرلي التابعة لقضاء طوزخورماتو في محافظة صلاح الدين. داعش تحيط بالناحية وتهدد بدخولها في أي لحظة. المدنيون العراقيون من الاقلية التركمانية  بحاجة لحماية عاجلة.

مبادة التضامن مع المجتمع المدني العراقي (ICSSI)

تتعاظم المخاطر المحيطة بناحية آمرلي المحاصرة من كل الجهات بمقاتلين متطرفين من تنظيم داعش الارهابي. وبالرغم من مقاومة ابناء المدينة وقوة الامن المتواجدة هناك للمسلحين لغرض صدهم عن دخول المدينة لكن خطر دخول المدينة مايزال قائم. وفي حال تمكن المسلحين من دخول المدينة فمن المرجح حصول قتل جماعي واستعباد للمدنيين على غرار ماشهدته مناطق عراقية اخرى يسكنها الاقليات اثر دخول المتطرفين لها.

وناحية آمرلي جزء من في قضاء طوز خورماتو،(90 كم شرق تكريت)، وتشهد حصاراً منذ حوالي ثلاثة اشهرين، ومنذ ان  سيطر مسلحي داعش، على اجزاء كبيرة من محافظة صلاح الدين، وبعد أن استولوا بشكل كامل على مدينة الموصل (405 كم شمال بغداد) في العاشر من حزيران 2014ويسكن هذه المدينة الصغيرة عراقيين من خلفيات مختلفة و غالبيتهم من التركمان وهم اقلية يدين قسم كبير منهم بالديانة المسلمة ويتبعون المذهب الجعفري.

هذا وقد نظم عدد من السياسيين والصحفيين العراقيين الاسبوع الماضي وقفة داخل ابنية مجلس النواب العراقي وطالبوا فيها بانقاذ ناحية آمرلي.

كما تتزايد الحملات الاجتماعية عبر شبكات التواصل المجتمعي لمطالبة الحكومة العراقية والمجتمع الدولي بتوفير الحماية لهذه المدينة.  ومع دخول الحصار على هذه المدينة شهره الثالث، تزداد المخاوف ايضا من نقص الامدادات مثل الطعام والمياه ومواد الطاقة والمواد الطبية ومواد اساسية اخرى. ويزيد من معاناة المدينة وجود عدد كبير من الاطفال قد يصل الى 250 طفل بحاجة للحليب والمياه. كما حمل عدد من اطفال المدينة السلاح دفاع عن المدينة مما يهدد بتعرضهم لخطر كبير وذلك نتيجة لغياب الحماية الفاعلة.

ووفقا لصحيفة “طريق الشعب” فان  مقرر رئيس مجلس النواب العراقي السيد نيازي اوغلو حمل مجلس النواب والحكومة العراقية مسؤولية وصفها “بالتاريخية” تجاه مواطني الطوز، و آمرلي، وطلب منهم الإيعاز الفوري للقيام بعملية عسكرية عاجلة وبالتنسيق مع قوات البيشمركة من اجل انقاذ هؤلاء المواطنين من الوضع الخطير والموت المحقق. واضاف اوغلو ان “الحصار والهجمات على القضاء ادت الى تفاقم الوضع الانساني وموت الاطفال والنساء والشيوخ”، مطالبا بـ”ضرورة ابعاد القضاء عن مرمى القصف المدفعي اليومي من قبل مسلحي داعش”.واستغرب اوغلو “الصمت الدولي والإقليمي ازاء ما يتعرض له التركمان في القضاء خاصة عمليات التطهير العرقي والطائفي”.

وفي بيان صحفي صادر عن بعثة الأمم المتحدة لمساعدة العراق، أكد مبعوث الأمم المتحدة في العراق السيد ملادينوف أن الناس يعيشون في ظروف يائسة، مطالبا “الحكومة العراقية للقيام بكل ما في وسعها لتخفيف الحصار وضمان أن سكان تلقي المساعدة الإنسانية المنقذة للحياة أو يتم إجلاؤهم بطريقة كريمة “.

ويشير مراقبون لاوضاع المدينة بان الطريقة الوحيدة الان للوصول بالمساعدات للمدينة هي طائرات الهليكوبتر والتي تصل كل يومين محملة بالمساعدات الغذائية والطبية، ولكنهم يؤكدون ان هذه المساعدات لا تسد حاجة الموجودين هناك.

وصرح  مدير ناحية آمرلي، عادل شكور البياتي لوكالة “المدى برس ” ان الناحية تعاني من حصار بدأت آثاره تظهر بوضوح على 15 ألف نسمة من الأهالي بينهم الكثير من الأطفال والنساء، حيث نفد مخزون النفط الأبيض المستعمل في الطبخ، فضلاُ عن الغذاء، في ظل انعدام الكهرباء وماء الشرب”.وطالب البياتي، المجتمع الدولي بضرورة “الاهتمام بالتركمان.. الصامدين في آمرلي، على غرار ما فعلوا مع بعض المكونات الأخرى التي تعرضت لجرائم داعش”، مؤكداً أن “أهالي آمرلي أقسموا على الموت فيها أو فك الحصار من دون أن تدنس أرضهم بفلول الإرهابيين”.

وتطالب المبادرة الحكومة العراقية بتوفير حماية عاجلة ومناسبة للمدينة المحاصرة وبالتنسيق مع الجهات المحلية وعدم تعريض المدنيين لخطر المواجهة العسكرية المباشرة مع المتطرفين. وتطالب المجتمع الدولي بالتحرك العاجل لمساعدة الحكومة العراقية وحكومة اقليم كوردستان العراق لتوفير حماية لمدينة امرلي وللتركمان في العراق.

 

Visit Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative – مبادرة تضامن المجتمع at: http://icssi08.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Forgotten in Iraq: Besieged City of AMIRLI Faces Destruction by the Islamic State

August 25, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Forgotten in Iraq: Besieged City Faces Destruction by the Islamic State

By Christoph Reuter and Jacob Russell

Photo Gallery: An Iraqi City Under SiegePhotos
Jacob Russell/ DER SPIEGEL

The world took notice when the Yazidis needed help. But since June, a Turkmen city in northern Iraq has been under siege by the Islamic State. The death toll continues to mount but, thus far, the people of Amirli have been left to fight the IS on their own.

“Every day I receive about 100 patients. Every day there is shelling. Some of the injuries are very complicated, legs amputated, head wounds. But I don’t have the materials to provide serious treatment. There are cases where I have put patients on the helicopter alive and they die when they get to Baghdad.”

Dr. Khaldoun Mahmoud speaks extremely rapidly, and with good reason. There is only a single place remaining in the northern Iraqi town of Amirli where he still has a modicum of mobile phone reception: at the helicopter landing pad above the village. And with every call, he is risking his life. Fighters from the Islamic State (IS) have surrounded the town and are just one kilometer away.The jihadists are trying to cut off Amirli’s last link to the outside world and have set up their artillery within sight of the landing site. An Iraqi army helicopter still lands here twice a week, supplying the town with a minimum of supplies. On the way back, it ferries out the wounded. Without the flights, the people of Amirli would be left completely on their own and would likely quickly succumb to the ongoing siege.

“It’s like genocide” says Mahmoud. “Da’esh” — the Arabic abbreviation of the Islamic State — “attacks women, children, soldiers, they don’t differentiate between them. From one family that tried to escape, only two children came back alive. They were carrying the corpses of the rest of the family with them. People are dying from malnutrition; they are drinking dirty water and we have ulcers, bleeding and diarrhea.”

The doctor rapidly rattles off the cases he has seen. Like that of little Hussein: “He was hungry and asking me for food. I started to cry because he was so hungry and I gave him a little food. Two days later he was killed in a mortar attack. The mortar exploded above his father and afterwards we could only find pieces of him.”

He then laughs, a manic expression of desperation from a doctor responsible for 13,000 people. “Maybe I’ll go crazy if I don’t keep my sense of humor. I try to joke with the children I treat. People have to have the sense that someone is helping them. But sometimes I don’t have the skills to help people,” he laments. “I’m only a dentist.”

No One to Protect Them

In recent weeks, the fate of the tens of thousands of Yazidis from Sinjar has dominated global headlines as they sought to escape the IS. The US continues to fly airstrikes and has dropped supplies from the air. Even the German government intends to deliver weapons to the embattled Kurds in northern Iraq. But just 250 kilometers (155 miles) to the south, a similar catastrophe is brewing, and the response has been minimal.

There are no Yazidis in Amirli. Two-thirds of the town’s residents are Turkmen whose ancestors mostly came from areas that are part of present-day Turkey. They are Shiites and are thus seen by the Sunni fighters of the Islamic State as being worse than heretics. They are apostates of the true faith — a death sentence in the eyes of the jihadists. And the Turkmen have no allies in Iraq.

After IS took control of the Iraqi cities of Mosul, Tikrit and Hawijah with little resistance, they launched attacks on villages surrounding Amirli in mid-June. Well-equipped with materiel captured from weapons depots belonging to a number of Iraqi army divisions, they quickly overran several settlements in the area. By the middle of July, only Amirli was still holding out.

Around 400 militiamen, together with a few soldiers and policemen, are defending the city. Amirli native Mustafa al-Bayati, a colonel from the police force, is their commander. “The IS has tanks, dushkas (machine guns), Katyushas (rocket launchers) and they are too strong,” he says. “They attack from everywhere around Amirli: south, north, east and west. Day-by-day they come, more and more.”

On July 22, the IS cut off power to Amirli and severed water supplies two days later. All mobile phone towers have likewise been blown up or shot to pieces.

“At the beginning, people had something to eat,” says Mohammed Isma of the Iraqi Red Cross. Isma is from Amirli and is attempting to mobilize aid for the town from his base in Baghdad. “But two months is a long time and now it’s run out. One month ago, we finished everything.”

Dying of Starvation

Amirli, he says, was never well-off, but now the poorest families have nothing left. There are also pregnant women in the city — Dr. Mahmoud says there are 300 — along with the many wounded and the sick, he adds. “If nothing changes, it’s a maximum of three weeks before many people will begin dying of starvation.”

The only help for those trapped in Amirli comes from the air. Every two or three days, an old army helicopter from Baghdad lands with munitions, food and medicine, but it is never enough. Two weeks ago, Red Cross representative Isma joined one of the flights. When they landed, he says, the wounded with their families had “their arms stretched out like people drowning in water,” he recalls.

The whole time, Isma says, IS fighters were lobbing grenades at the landing site. But everyone wants to get out, which is why they expose themselves to the danger. “They say, ‘We’ll die anyway if we stay,'” Isma says. Seven patients were loaded onto the flight Isma was on. There wasn’t room for more.

Isma speaks in a calm voice when he tells his story, but he too is sick with worry. His parents, six sisters and a brother all remain trapped in Amirli. He could perhaps get them out with a helicopter. But people in Amirli know them and are aware of Isma’s job with the Red Cross. He worries that if people saw them being evacuated, the “would know the game is up” and that panic might break out.

It has been more than a month since the last known residents were able to escape the town on their own. “We left on foot,” carrying just a small bag, recalls Ali Abd al-Rida, who fled with 32 family members. They left in secret, not even daring to tell their friends and neighbors of their plans, worried that if too many people tried to escape on the discreet path leading past IS positions, the Islamists would be certain to discover them. Ali Abd al-Rida says that the IS discovered the path three days later and closed it off.

The elderly man and his family found their way to a refugee camp in Kirkuk, the closest large city to Amirli, figuring they would be safe there. But two weeks ago, a car bomb exploded next to a construction site of a mosque in the city where refugees, most of them from Amirli, had sought refuge. Twelve were killed and 50 more wounded.

Bullet Holes and RPG Craters

Abd al-Rida says that the jihadists tried to get the people of Amirli to surrender, promising through middlemen that a deal could be reached. “Send us Colonel Mustafa and Captain Hassan and we will open the road,” they offered, according to Abd al-Rida. “But people refused.”

Those best positioned to help the trapped people of Amirli are just 12 kilometers away. Here, on a hill overlooking the frontlines, the southernmost checkpoint belonging to the Kurdish peshmerga fighters is located. The exterior wall is pockmarked with bullet holes and a couple of RPG craters.

Inside, though, soldiers sit around lethargically in the sweltering heat. The commander isn’t here, says his deputy, Colonel Omid Abd al-Karim, adding that not much has happened since a big attack a month previously.

“It has been calm here since the last attack a month ago,” he says. The Iraqi army, he says, tried to save the people of Amirli not long ago. “Before they went, I told them it would not be successful, but they didn’t listen,” another officer says. An attack on the IS “would be easy with good weapons and air support, but we don’t have any,” Abd al-Karim says. The message is clear: Amirli is a problem, but not theirs.

As is so often the case in Iraq, there is a story behind the story, stretching far back into the past. Under Saddam Hussein, the Shiite Turkmen were tormented before being terrorized by al-Qaida. In 2007, four-and-a-half tons of explosives hidden under melons detonated in the market square, killing more than 150 people.

‘All of Us Are From Amirli’

Because the Iraqis didn’t protect them, the Turkmen from Amirli remained loyal to Turkey and Ankara was more than happy to act as their patrons and the Turkish government supported Turkmen parties in northern Iraq. But the alliance brought the Turkmen into conflict with the Kurds, whose help they now so badly need. They certainly can’t count on Turkey, which is currently staying out of the conflict out of fear for the lives of 49 Turkish hostages currently being held by the IS.

The result is that nobody feels responsible for the people of Amirli.

“It would be useful if the US conducted airstrikes here,” Kurdish party functionary Hassan Baram says in his office in Tuz Khormato, the last town before the front. “But I think they haven’t,” he adds, downplaying the seriousness of the situation in the city, “because nobody has been killed in Amirli and nobody is fleeing.”

Baram’s office has no windows, the result of a car bomb a couple of months ago, and the facade is threatening to collapse. “We have almost constant contact with Amirli. We want to go free them, but it’s not easy,” he says.The US too has recognized the precarious situation in Amirli. “We are aware of the dire conditions for the mainly Turkmen population in Amirli and the ongoing humanitarian crisis throughout northern and central Iraq,” reads the statement of a State Department official who asked not to be named. Both Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel have publicly discussed the possibility of a far-reaching operation against the IS, including airstrikes in Syria as well. But it could be some time before such an offensive becomes reality.

Last Thursday, Colonel Mustafa al-Bayati was once again waiting for the arrival of the next helicopter, well within range of the IS fighters. He says that almost half the force under his command is wounded and around 20 of them have died. “I don’t know how long we can protect Amirli,” he says. “But we’re going to fight until we die. It’s our town. I’m from Amirli. All of us are from Amirli.”

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-turkmen-city-of-amirli-in-iraq-under-siege-by-islamic-state-a-987955.html#ref=nl-international

 

Turkmens frustrated with being left to help themselves

August 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Turkmens frustrated with being left to help themselves

Turkmens frustrated with being left to help themselves

Iraqi Shiite Turkmen families, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, rest at a temporary shelter after arriving in Kanaan, Diyala province. (Photo: Reuters)

August 16, 2014, Saturday/ 18:55:23/ AYDIN ALBAYRAK / ANKARA

Turkey’s “indifference” toward the plight of Turkmens in Iraq — who have been driven away from their homes by the terrorist “Islamic State” (IS) — and the United Nations’ “international community” growing alarmed only when other minority groups face death threats in the country fully reveals how alone the Turkmens are in the war-torn country.

When hundreds of thousands of Turkmens had to flee the Iraqi towns they lived in after the IS attack in June, Turkey took no step to protect Turkmens against the move. Ankara only air-dropped and sent trucks of humanitarian aid to those Turkmens seeking refuge in the mountainous and desert areas.

The United Nations and the international community, led by the US, England and France, made no mention of the plight of Turkmens either, nor did they take any step to further protect the Turkmens.

Suphi Saatçi, a Kirkuk-born scholar of Mimar Sinan University acknowledged that Turkmens without a passport are not allowed into Turkey and recently described their situation in Iraq, saying they have no one but God to help them.

With difficulty making any sense of the Turkish government’s indifference toward the Turkmens, he added: “They are living under the harsh sun, without shade, food or water and are left to die right under our noses. We are overwhelmed.”
Although Turkey enjoys excellent relations with the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Turkmens — the only major ethnic group in Iraq which does not have a security force of its own — were not allowed to enter the Kurdish area in northern Iraq to reach the Turkish border. Those Turkmens who managed with much difficulty to arrive at the Turkish border were only allowed in if they had a passport.

It has been about two months since the Turkmens first had to flee their towns due to the IS threat and massacres, but Turkey has only recently acted — in cooperation with the KRG, which doesn’t appear to have a particularly friendly attitude toward Turkmens — to establish a campsite to host Turkmens around the KRG area near the Turkish border. The campsite has yet to be established for the Turkmens, though.

In sharp contrast, when about two weeks ago the Yazidi ethnic group came under IS attack in Sinjar, a town near the Syrian border in northern Iraq, Turkey — like the “international community” — almost immediately acted to establish, also in collaboration with the KRG, a campsite in the Kurdish area for the Yazidis.

The US, which made no mention of Turkmens being killed, immediately sent troops to help remove some Yazidis, a non-Muslim minority, out of the danger zone. The UN made several statements about the life-and-death struggle Yazidis are facing due to the IS threat.

The number of Turkmens who managed to have entered Turkey cannot be very large, as there have been no such reports about them in the Turkish media. But the number of Yazidis currently being hosted in Turkey is around 1,700, as Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said in the past week. In media reports, it is implied that Yazidis are also required to have a passport to be allowed into the country, but it is however noteworthy that, given nearly 2,000 Yazidis were allowed to enter Turkey, they may have found it easier to obtain passports in Iraq than the Turkmens. It seems that Turkmens are being given the cold shoulder by Turkey, though their situation is just as dire as the Yazidis.

“Whatever Yazidis lived through, that’s what Turkmens have also lived through over the past [two months]. But nobody brought the issue up at the time,” Mahir Nakip, an Ankara-based Turkmen scholar from Kirkuk, has told Sunday’s Zaman. “It’s not only Turkey we reproach, but the whole world,” added Nakip, who teaches at Çankaya University.

Another example that reveals Turkey’s relative “indifference” toward the Turkmens is the country’s sensitivity toward the plight of Palestinians in Gaza under the Israeli attack.

Turkey recently sent, thanks to the ongoing cease-fire, a plane to Gaza to bring wounded Palestinians to Turkey for treatment. The number of Palestinians treated in hospitals in Turkey is reportedly over 20, while reportedly no Turkmens have been taken to Turkey so far since the IS attacks. Some Turkmens, including children, are known to have died over the past two months due to the hard living conditions in the mountainous and desert-like areas. Hundreds of Turkmen also died during the IS attacks against the towns they lived in.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s attitude toward the Turkmens seems to be a determining factor in Turkey’s “somewhat indifferent” stance regarding the ethnic group. The prime minister, who demonstrated that he has the mindset of a political Islamist, said during a presidential election rally last month that Palestine is a national issue for Turkey. But he has never uttered such a remark about Turkmens.

Turkmens in Iraq are deeply disappointed — though in general they are modestly expressing their disappointment — by the government’s insensitivity to their plight. “We hope Turkey will display from now on as much interest as needed toward the Turkmens,” Riyaz Sarıkahya, a Kirkuk-based leader of the Turkmeneli Party, told Sunday’s Zaman.

“Turkey has not backed us politically. This is what saddens us most,” he added.

The Turkish government has tried to explain its inability to help Turkmens in a more substantial way by noting that 49 Turkish citizens from Turkey’s Mosul consulate have been held hostage by the IS since June. But the opposition maintains that it was the government’s fault that those at the consulate were captured by the IS.
The terrorist organization captured the 49 people, which include Consul General Öztürk Yılmaz, some women, children and 30 security guards from Turkey’s special forces.

“Unfortunately, I do not think the government has displayed toward the Turkmens of Tal Afar the [same] sensitivity it displayed towards Gaza. I can’t make any sense of this,” Mehmet Tütüncü, chairman of the İstanbul-based Iraqi Turks Culture and Mutual Aid Society (ITKYD), told Sunday’s Zaman.

Hundreds of Turkmens have been killed by the terrorists of the Islamic State in Iraq during its ongoing bloody campaign in the civil war-torn country since the terrorist organization captured Mosul in the first half of June. The organization, the members of which declare themselves to be Muslim, ruthlessly kills anyone whose religious practices differ from their version of Sunni Islam, like Shiite Muslims.

In July, Turkey declared a three-day period of mourning for Palestinian victims killed in the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip. Erdoğan, who did not even use the word terrorist to describe the IS, lashed out at Israel for its attack against Gaza, noting that nearly 600 people, more than 100 of whom are children, were killed in the attacks at the time.

In sharp contrast, Erdoğan has barely mentioned the plight of the Turkmens, at least more than 300,000 of whom had to leave the cities and villages in which they lived in Iraq. Hundreds of Turkmens are estimated to have been killed by the IS.

Members of opposition parties also harshly criticized the government during a discussion in Parliament in July for its lack of sensitivity toward the Turkmen’s hardship. Sinan Oğan, a deputy from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), lashed out at the government for not taking proper care of Turkmens in Iraq, noting that there are Turkmen children who have recently died of hunger. Oğan said: “Why is your government so hostile to [all that is connected with] Turks?”
Yusuf Halaçoğlu, deputy chairman of the MHP parliamentary group, in the same session of Parliament demanded: “You declare a three-day mourning period for Gaza, but why don’t you also declare a period of mourning for Turkmens?”

In a report that appeared in the Hürriyet Daily News in July, Eyat Suttu, a 35-year-old Turkmen of Tal Afar, said: “There is always someone to look after Kurds and Arabs in Iraq, but there is no one to look after the Turkmens.”

https://www.todayszaman.com/anasayfa_turkmens-frustrated-with-being-left-to-help-themselves_355877.html

 

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