ITF EU Representative Dr Hassan Aydinli was invited to the HRWF Conference ‘In Prison for their Religion or Beliefs’ at the EU Parliament in Brussels

May 28, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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ITF EU Representative Dr Hassan Aydinli was invited to the HRWF Conference ‘In Prison for their Religion or Beliefs’ at the EU Parliament in Brussels

Dr. Hassan Aydinli, ITF EU Representative and Ms. Merry Fitzgerald, Europe-Turkmen Friendships were invited by Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) and EPP Group at the EU Parliament to the Conference ‘In Prison for their Religion or Beliefs’.

Brussels, 26th May 2015

Prof. Alan Murray, Chair of the European Network on Religion & Belief (ENORB)
Dr. Hassan Aydinli and Mrs. Merry Fitzgerald

The Conference was hosted by MEP Laslo TOKES,
the Moderator was his assistant Ms. Zsuzsa FERENCZY.

Mr. Willy FAUTRE, Executive Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers presented the FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF (FoRB) ANNUAL REPORT 2014: ‘IN PRISON FOR THEIR RELIGION OR BELIEFS’ and the ‘FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF & BLASPHEMY PRISONERS LIST 2014′ 
A report about 20 countries with religion or belief prisoners along with policy recommendations for the European Union specific to each country. 

In his speech Mr. Willy FAUTRE gave the Reasons for Imprisonment in these countries and he reminded the participants that FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF(FoRB) is a universal human right guaranteed by Article 18 of the UN International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

In 2013, the European Union adopted the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Human Rights Without Frontiers International was involved in the drafting process along with religious communities and other civil society organisations. The Guidelines are an important reference tool for EU institutions in third countries for identifying FoRB violations and assisting citizens who have been discriminated against on the basis of their religion or beliefs. The Guidelines also set out the actions and measures that the EU can take at multilateral-fora, regional and bi-lateral levels with regard to countries which fail to respect FoRB.

The purpose of this report is to highlight those states which imprison people for practices that are protected by Article 18 of the ICCPR and Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The report also makes policy recommendations to the EU and other international institutions which are in a position to put pressure on the relevant countries to better respect and uphold FoRB.

Dr. Mark BARWICK of HRWF made a presentation about the Targeted Groups.

Mr. Alfiaz VAIYA Project Manager of HRWF and Mr. Jean-Bernard BOLVIN of European External Action Service made FoRB recommendations.

Four members of the EU parliament attended the conference.

The presentations were followed by Questions and Answers and by a Cocktail during which the participants had the opportunity to continue exchanging  views. Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative spoke with Mr. Jean-Bernard BOLVIN, Policy Officer, Human Rights and Multilateral Diplomacy – European External Action Service, with Prof. Alan MURRAY, Chair of the European Network on Religion & Belief (ENORB) and with several other participants belonging to human rights associations.

Iraqi refugees arrive in southwest Turkey

May 19, 2015 at 9:21 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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18 May 2015

Iraqi refugees arrive in southwest Turkey

Dozens of Iraqi refugees arrived in Turkey on Monday, having travelled through Syria for more than two weeks. A group of 64 Iraqis were welcomed by Turkish troops in the southeastern province of Hatay before they were ferried to hospital in Yayladagi for medical checks.

Abdul Samet, from Iraq’s northern Mosul province, arrived in Turkey with his wife and two children. He said they had crossed Syria to escape attacks by Daesh extremists in Iraq.

“We cannot directly come to the Turkish border as it is dangerous,” he told Anadolu Agency. “We set out for Turkey via Syria to save our lives. We walked most of the road with our children, suffering from thirst and hunger, and now we do not know what to do.”

Mohamed Ali, an Iraqi Turkmen, said he decided to come to Turkey to save his life. The Turkmen ethnic group are among those targeted by Daesh militants.

Another Turkmen, a doctor who asked not to be named, said they reached the border by vehicle and foot. “We tried many times to reach Turkey via Iraq but failed,” he said.

Locals in Yayladagi provided food and water for the refugees.

Northern and western parts of Iraq have been gripped by insecurity since June 2014 when Daesh seized large chunks of land and declared a caliphate.

 

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/185817/iraqi-refugees-arrive-in-southwest-turkey.html

 

UNPO Calls for Immediate Investigation into Attack on Iraqi Turkmen Academic

May 10, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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dr ABBAS TAQI

Photo above: Prof. Dr. Abbas TAQI, Rector of the University of Kirkuk (Turkmen).

May 8, 2015

UNPO Calls for Immediate Investigation into Attack on Iraqi Turkmen Academic

On 4 May 2015, at the University of Kirkuk, a number of armed students arbitrarily attacked the office of the University’s newly appointed President, Dr Abbas Taqi, a prominent academic of Turkmen origin. Dr Taqi was reportedly threatened by the armed men and forced to sign a letter of resignation. The local Government of Kirkuk has turned a blind eye to the incident and no intervention by local security forces has been reported. Instead, official sources claim that Dr Taqi’s resignation was voluntary.

Dr Taqi had been appointed as the President of the University of Kirkuk only two weeks prior to the attack by the Iraqi Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr Hussain Al-Shahristani. When announced in the Iraqi Parliament, his appointment caused reactions among MPs who did not consider favourable the idea of having an ethnic Turkmen oversee higher education in the disputed area of Kirkuk. However, convinced that this was not a wilful decision to step down, Minister Al-Shahristani has announced in a written statement that Dr Taqi will continue with his academic assignment as the Head of the University.

While the advance of the so called ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq has had devastating consequences for the Iraqi Turkmen, with Turkmen towns and villages being occupied and the majority of the population displaced, the recent attack on Dr Taqi ought to be seen in light of the marginalisation and discrimination the Turkmen of Iraq have been enduring for years. The emergence of ISIS and its rapid growth has prompted large scale international action, including military and humanitarian support, but the plight of the Iraqi Turkmen has been left underreported. The failure on part of both Kurdish and Iraqi federal authorities to protect Kirkuk’s population has allowed for a dramatic demographic change in the already disputed area, which in turn has caused further tensions, as exemplified through the recent attack on Dr Taqi.

While strongly condemning the attack on Dr Taqi, UNPO calls for an immediate and credible investigation into the incident, as well as into any allegations claiming it may not have been an autonomous initiative of a few violent students. By highlighting this, UNPO strives to draw much needed attention to the ongoing and rapidly increasing tensions in Iraq, and wishes to stress that whereas defeating ISIS represents a crucial short term priority, planning for what comes next is of utmost importance, as tensions between Iraq’s ethnic components, segregation, and discrimination remain serious problems, which – if unaddressed – risk escalating into further violence.

Please find the statement attached.

Dr Hassan Aydinli, ITF EU Representative’s comment re: U.S. draft bill to arm Kurdish peshmergas and Sunni militias

May 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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HASSAN AYDINLI

Very pertinent comment by Dr HASSAN AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative, regarding the U.S. draft bill to arm exclusively the Kurdish peshmerga militias and the Sunni militias in Iraq  :

The US Administration must know once and for all,  that the geography of IRAQ as country and the unity of its people composed of Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians, Chaldeans,Yezidis, Shabaks, Saabi and Mandeans ARE NOT FOR SALE in front of their Congress!

The US Congress Armed Services Committee’s proposed bill to allocate 720 million dollars aid to Iraq with outrageous conditions is an insult to the dignity of the Iraqi People.

The Iraqi people’s message to the US Administration is a clear cut message : U.S., keep your proposed 720 million dollars so-called ‘aid’,  but start paying your OVERDUE WAR DAMAGE BILL TO IRAQ (since 20th March 2003) which amounts to at least ONE TRILLION US DOLLARS.”

Hassan Tawfiq Aydinli.

NEW YORK – The United Nations has expressed concern that a $612 billion defense bill now before the US Congress will further militarizing the situation in Iraq by arming “non-state” groups, namely the Sunni Arabs and Kurds.
The draft bill, which was approved 60-2 in the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, calls for at least 25 percent of the total US aid to Iraqi forces be allocated to the Kurdish Peshmerga, Sunni tribal militias and a force to be formed called the Iraqi Sunni National Guard. The bill is expected to be voted on in the House of Representatives the week of May 12.

Kurdistan Democratic Party Attempts To Maintain Control Over Yazidis In Iraq’s Ninewa

April 24, 2015 at 12:29 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Kurdistan Democratic Party Attempts To Maintain Control Over Yazidis In Iraq’s Ninewa

At the start of April 2015 the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) arrested Haider Sesho, the head of the Sinjar Protection Unit (HPS). The official reason for his detention was that he created an illegal militia that was not under peshmerga control. Further statements by Kurdish officials including President Massoud Barzani showed that the KDP was also concerned that Sesho was working with Baghdad rather than it. Sinjar remains largely under Islamic State (IS) control, and the HPS was one of the few groups in the area fighting them. The KDP’s actions showed that it was more interested in controlling the politics of the area than facing the insurgents.

On April 5, peshmerga from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) arrested Sinjar Protection Unit (HPS) leader Haider Sesho. Sesho had created his own armed unit to confront the Islamic State in Ninewa’s Sinjar district. The KDP told him he could only set up the HPS if it was under its control, and was given a two month deadline to join the peshmerga. Instead Sesho went to Baghdad to ask for assistance and allegedly asked to be registered as part of the Hashd al-Shaabi, Popular Mobilization Units. Sesho has a reported 3,000 armed men under his command. As one peshmerga commander told Bas News, the KDP took Sesho’s move towards Baghdad as a threat. He went on to say that the peshmerga were the only ones that should be providing security in Sinjar. Similarly, President Massoud Barzani’s office issued a statement attacking Sesho’s relationship with the Hashd, stating that no flag but the Kurdish one was allowed in Sinjar, and that only the peshmerga were allowed in area. The reference to the flag was the fact that Sesho and others had been flying Yazidi flags in Sinjar.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Yazidis protested Sesho’s detention. The PUK condemned the arrest, and there was said to have been a political deal with the KDP to get him released, but that has not happened. Several Yazidi members of the peshmerga reportedly left their units in protest as well.

The Sesho incident was part of a larger crackdown by the KDP against Yazidi activists in Sinjar. Several people have been arrested and others left Iraq because they were critical of the KDP, demanded the right to fly the Yazidi flag, and were denied arms by the KRG.

In August 2014, the Islamic State attacked the Sinjar region of Ninewa. The KDP, which ran the administration abandoned the area without putting up a fight or telling locals. Before that Yazidis had asked the KDP for arms to protect themselves from any impending threat from insurgents, but were denied. What happened afterward has been well documented as the IS went from village to village, separating the men and executing them, while taking the women and children away to be made into slaves or forcing them into marriages with its fighters. That in part explains the bad relations between Sesho and the KDP.

The KDP claims the Sinjar district as part of the disputed territories, and had long been trying to co-opt the Yazidi community there as part of its plans to annex the area. Sesho going to Baghdad was seen as a threat to the KDP’s long term plans to re-establish its control over the territory and the Yazidi. If they were able to find another patron they would not have to rely upon the KDP. Bringing in the central government might also lead it to claim administrative power over Sinjar. The KDP has responded with a carrot and stick approach. It has offered weapons to the Yazidi, but only as part of its peshmerga. Those that do not comply have been arrested or driven off. Ironically this isn’t coming after Sinjar has been freed. Only Mount Sinjar is not under IS control, and that was largely due to the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG). Otherwise the KRG has talked about liberating the rest of the district, but has done little about it so far. Its main priority seems to be re-establishing its paternalistic control over the Yazidis rather than confronting the insurgency.

UPDATE
Sesho was released April 13. He apparently gave into KDP pressure during his arrest and said that his men would work with the Peshmerga Ministry and no longer seek assistance from Baghdad.

SOURCES

Bas News, “Haider Shasho Released and Joins Peshmerga,” 4/13/15
– “KRG: Haider Shasho Wanted to Create “Illegitimate Militia Group” in Sinjar,” 4/7/15

eKurd, “Death threats against Kurdish Yazidi activists in Iraqi Kurdistan,” 4/6/15

– “Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief – April 8, 2015,” 4/8/15
– “Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief – April 13, 2015,” 4/13/15

– “Kurdistan president: No independent Yazidi unit nor flag will be accepted,” 4/9/15

Ezidi Press, “Breaking news: HPS Supreme Commander Haydar Sesho arrested,” 4/6/15

Hawrami, Karzan Sabah, “Yazidi Commander: Haider Shasho Received “Huge Sum of Money” From Baghdad,” Bas News, 4/8/15

Millet, “KDP to Release Kidnapped PUK Official & German Source Reveals KDP Worried About Information Leak,” 4/8/15

 http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.nl/2015/04/kurdistan-democratic-party-attempts-to.html

THE TRAGEDY OF THE TURKMENS OF BEŞİR (BASHEER) IN KIRKUK PROVINCE – IRAQ

March 27, 2015 at 3:20 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF THE DELEGATION FOR RELATIONS WITH IRAQ IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT.

 

THE TRAGEDY  OF THE TURKMENS OF BEŞİR (BASHEER) IN KIRKUK PROVINCE – IRAQ

TWO GENOCIDES  HAVE BEEN COMMITTED AGAINST THEM IN THE PAST 28 YEARS 

            THE FIRST ONE IN APRIL 1986 AND THE SECOND ONE IN JUNE 2014.

By Dr. Hassan Aydinli,

Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative

Brussels, 25th March 2015.

 map-of-turkmenli with Beshir

 Notes:

1- Above is the map where the sub-district of BEŞIR (Basheer or Bashir in Arabic) is indicated.

2-The area in green on the map is where the Turkmens have settled in Iraq 1000 years ago.

BEŞIR (Basheer) is the name of a large Turkmen agricultural sub-district situated 25 km south west of Kirkuk whose name has become famous as a symbol of the Turkmens’ sufferings in Iraq after it was mentioned in the Preamble of the new Iraqi Constitution in 2005, along with the names of the Arab sub-district Al-Dujail and of the Kurdish sub-district Halabja, whose populations have suffered the most in Iraq under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.

 

Indeed, the ordeals of the Turkmens of BEŞIR (Basheer) under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein from 1980 up to 2003 have been acknowledged by the legislators and the authors of the new Iraqi constitution as ‘crimes of ethnic cleansing, racial oppression and massacres amounting to genocide, committed against the Turkmens of Basheer’.

 

HISTORY:

 

The history of BEŞIR as a Turkmen agricultural settlement in the north of Iraq goes back to more than 1000 years and its first recorded history goes back to 1556, it is mentioned in the Ottoman registers (Dafter Tahrir of Kirkuk N° 111 of the year 1556 AC) dating back to the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and kept in the Turkish Archives in Ankara.

According to these registers there were 89 Turkmen families and 9 bachelors living in BEŞIR in 1556, all of them farmers who had been issued official deeds (certificates) registered in their names.

After WWI, when the new Iraqi state (the Kingdom of Iraq) was established the deeds and property certificates issued during the Ottoman era were renewed in 1936 and registered as deeds being issued by the Iraqi state.

The property ownership situation in Iraq remained unchanged until 14th July 1958 when the Monarchy was overthrown by a coup d’état and the Republic of Iraq was declared.

First genocide: Land confiscation, ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination

During the early years of the Republic the Iraqi Communist Party and their Kurdish leftist allies became predominant and they influenced the political and social orientation of the regime. The government issued many new laws, among them the ‘agrarian law’ which limited the land ownership to a maximum of 2.000 donums (500 hectares) per family.

Many hectares of land were taken from Turkmen families in BEŞIR to be distributed to landless Iraqis such as the Arab nomads and poor Kurds, to help them to settle around BEŞIR.

Furthermore in 1968, when the Baath party came to power in Iraq by a military coup, it embarked in a policy of arabization of the Turkmen region in Kirkuk Province, they issued new laws limiting the property ownership to 200 donums (50 hectares) per family (law number 117 of 1970) and more agricultural lands belonging to the Turkmen families living in BEŞIR and in the other Turkmen villages around Kirkuk were confiscated.

From 1970 to 1980 the Revolutionary Command Council of the Baath regime issued several decisions by which they confiscated lands belonging to Turkmens, supposedly for the purpose of general public interest (protection of oil fields, enlargement of the military installations, new air base, etc.), i.e. Decision Number 369 of 1975, Decision Number 824 of 1976, Decision Number 949 of 1977, Decision 1065 of 1978 etc… This is how 1.300.000 Donums (325.000 hectares) of agricultural land belonging to Turkmens of Kirkuk were confiscated (as indicated in the letter from the Judicial Adviser of the Ministry of Agriculture in Kirkuk to the Minister of Agriculture Ref 16784 dated 25/11/2010).

All these confiscated Turkmen lands have been registered as ‘lands belonging to the Iraqi state’ in the names of:  the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Local Administration.

In 1982 after the start of the Iraq-Iran war, and despite the enrolment of several hundreds of Turkmens from BEŞIR in the army to fight against the Iranians, the Iraqi security forces arrested hundreds of intellectuals from BEŞIR, accusing them of being opponents to the Baath party and affiliated to the forbidden Al-Dawa Party (Shi’a).

In 1984, after summary judgements by a revolutionary court,  93 intellectuals of BEŞIR were sentenced to capital punishment and were hanged  and 71 were sentenced to life imprisonment in Abu Ghraib prison, among them young boys  aged 16 and elderly men over 60.

In 1986 while the young men of BEŞIR, were still fighting on the front in the war against Iran, the Baath regime, not satisfied with the above mentioned unjust punishments of innocent Turkmens of BEŞIR, ordered the expulsion of their families, giving them 48 hours to pack their personal effects and leave their homes. They were forcibly moved to some communal compounds which had been built in a rush to serve as ‘transitional accommodation’ on the road to Tikrit. Their houses were razed to the ground and their agricultural lands were confiscated and were given to Sunni Arabs supporting the Baath regime, in application of a policy designed to arabize Turkmen towns and villages in Kirkuk province.

Each of these Arab families were given 10.000 Iraqi Dinars in cash (equivalent of 33.000 USD) as incentive to build their house on Turkmen lands, while the unfortunate Turkmens were displaced without any valid reason or any legal justification and without receiving any compensation.

After a year spent in the communal compounds the Turkmen families from BEŞIR were dispersed to cities throughout Iraq: Nasseriyah, Diyala, Diwania, Kut and Erbil, without being provided with housing and without being compensated for the loss of their livelihoods, houses and agricultural lands.

From being landowners and farmers since centuries in Iraq, the Turkmens of BEŞIR became refugees in their own country and were left completely destitute.

Meanwhile the Baath regime had arabized the name of the village calling it “Al-Bashir” instead of BEŞIR.

After the regime change in April 2003, when the U.S. military occupied the north of Iraq they did not take control of the area around BEŞIR and the Arabs which had been installed there by the Baath regime remained in the area.  The original Turkmen inhabitants of BEŞIR came with tents and camped near the village, demanding the departure of the Arab settlers, they wanted to recuperate their agricultural lands and be compensated for the loss of their properties and loss of earnings since 1986.

A Turkmen NGO built 100 houses for the families of the martyrs, which became the nucleus of the new reconstructed sub-district of BEŞIR and little by little other Turkmen families returned and built their houses there.

In July 2003 the newly returned Turkmens from BEŞIR wanted to remove the Arab settlers by force, the U.S. occupation authorities intervened, they led and controlled a “mediation” in September 2003, but this mediation did not resolve the property dispute, it was only a ‘short-term agreement’ which allowed the Arabs who had settled in BEŞIR to stay on the land for the Winter agricultural season on a ‘non-renewable basis’, it granted them the Winter harvest. The requirement was that they would leave BEŞIR within one year of the signing of the ‘agreement’. After this one year period the Turkmens would be allowed to return on their ancestral lands.

Unfortunately, the Arab settlers did not respect this ‘agreement’ and they refused to leave BEŞIR, despite the new Iraqi government’s offer to give them a sum of money to help them return to the region they came from. To make things worse, they built more and more houses on Turkmen lands.

On 15th January 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority issued Regulation Number 8, authorizing the Governing Council of Iraq to establish the Iraqi Property Claims Commission. Soon after its creation, the Commission created Tribunals to look at the claims presented by the Iraqis who had been unjustly dispossessed.

The Turkmens of BEŞIR followed the procedures set up by the Commission and in early 2005 they introduced 1.150 claims to the Tribunals set up by the Property Claims Commission in Kirkuk for their confiscated agricultural lands situated in BEŞIR which had been registered in their names in the official old Cadastral Sector of BEŞIR (Sector numbers 36, 38, 45, 46, 47 and 48).

In July 2005 the Tribunals examined these 1.150 claims introduced by the Turkmens of BEŞIR, they found them receivable and justified and they ordered the return of all the agricultural lands to their original owners.

Notwithstanding the decisions of the Tribunals being in favour of the Turkmens of BEŞIR, only 350 of the 1.150 claims have been finalized to-date. This shows that the discrimination against the Turkmens continues in Iraq, despite the regime change and despite a special decree (number 59 / 2088) on 3rd October 2005 from the President of the Republic ordering the central and local authorities in Iraq to execute the decisions of the Tribunals of the Property Claims Commission swiftly and without any further delay.

Regrettably, the Iraqi Ministers of Finance and of Local Administration, under the pressure of the Sunni Arab political parties, have appealed the decisions of the Tribunals for the remaining 800 claims,  arguing that they need these lands supposedly ‘for general public interest’. Consequently, the cases are still pending and the Arab settlers are still living around BEŞIR and exploiting Turkmen agricultural lands.

In 2006, under the government of Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafary, the actual Prime Minister, Dr. Haidar Al-Ibadi, who was his adviser and was nominated the President of a Committee to investigate the Crimes committed against the people of BEŞIR (under the Baath regime) had asked (on 5th February 2006 in a letter ref.MRW/12/2006) the Governor of Kirkuk, Abdurrahman Mustafa, to update him about the progress of the local authorities of Kirkuk in helping the people of  BEŞIR  to recuperate their lands and to return to their homes.  He asked the Governor to send him a report about the problems still faced by the people of BEŞIR.

On 30th March 2006, the Iraqi Council of Ministers decided to reconstruct the sub-district of BEŞIR and it allocated 43 Billion Iraqi Dinars (about 32 Million USD) for this project and ordered the Finance Ministry (in a letter dated 2nd April 2006 ref. 8/1/5/4423) to allocate 14 Billion Iraqi Dinars to the Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing for the year 2006 to start the reconstruction.

Today, twelve years after the removal of the Baath regime and nine years after the decision of the Iraqi Council of Minister to reconstruct Bashir and despite the budget allocated in 2006 for its reconstruction, not a single house has been built by the Iraqi Government for the Turkmens of BEŞIR, the only realization by the Iraqi Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing and by the Governorate of Kirkuk is a publicity board at the entrance of Taza (near BEŞIR) announcing the ‘Project for the Reconstruction of BEŞIR’.

Second genocide: mass killings, rapes, ethnic cleansing and looting by ISIS terrorist groups

To make things worse for the Turkmens of BEŞIR, the Arab settlers who remained around BEŞIR welcomed the ISIS terrorists when these came to area and they supported them in the attacks on BEŞIR which started on 14th June 2014. BEŞIR inhabitants resisted ISIS attack during 3 days with their small weapons and only little ammunition. Unfortunately, because they did not get any help from the Iraqi forces or from the Kurdish peshmerga, they could not stop the invasion and occupation of BEŞIR by ISIS terrorists.

ISIS occupied BEŞIR on 17th June 2014 and expulsed its entire Turkmen population composed of about 1.500 families, totalising about 10.000 people. ISIS terrorists looted all the homes and properties.  A few days after they had occupied BEŞIR, they published some videos on their websites, showing the demolition of schools, offices, mosques, religious shrines and the library. To terrorize and humiliate the Turkmens, ISIS published photos of their unfortunate victims, some had been beheaded and their bodies had been left in the open to be eaten by wild animals, and some others had been tied to lamp posts.

ISIS has committed war crimes and ethnic cleansing in BEŞIR. During the first three days of their attack they killed 36 unarmed Turkmens. They kidnapped women and children, tortured, raped and savagely killed some of them.

 

A few days after the occupation of BEŞIR, a group of Turkmen volunteers composed of youths from other Turkmen localities (Taza, Tisin, Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk) came to help the people of BEŞIR, together they tried to dislodge ISIS terrorists. Unfortunately they failed, 21 were killed and many of them were injured by ISIS snipers positioned in strategic points in and around BEŞIR, armed with heavy long range machine guns. Their task was made difficult because ISIS had already planted explosive devices on the roads leading to BEŞIR and booby trapped buildings and houses in BEŞIR.

On 18th March 2015, a Turkmen unit of the ‘Peoples’ Mobilisation to fight against ISIS’ (Hashd al-Shaabi) tried again to liberate BEŞIR, unfortunately they too failed,  because ISIS terrorists had time to reinforce their positions in and around BEŞIR, positioning many more snipers with long range machine guns in all the strategic high positions. The Turkmen unit managed to reach the Police Station but they were forced to withdraw after suffering many casualties (5 killed and 9 gravely injured).

It is clear that the Turkmen unit of the ‘Peoples’ Mobilisation to fight against ISIS’ with its present day capacity and weapons cannot liberate BEŞIR without reinforcement and support from the Iraqi and/or International Coalition air forces. Unfortunately, to-date, neither has come to their help.

During the 23rd March 2015 Meeting of the Iraqi Council of Ministers in Baghdad, it has been decided that the peoples who have suffered from ISIS terrorist attacks in the north of Iraq, i.e. the Christians, the Turkmens, the Yezidis, the Kurds and the Shabaks, exposing them to mass killings and to internally displacement, are victims of ethnic cleansing, amounting to genocides. Concerning the Turkmens, the Council of Ministers has specified that the Turkmens of TEL AFAR and the Turkmens of BEŞIR, have been victims of genocide by ISIS terrorist groups.

Thus, this is the second genocide committed against the Turkmens of BEŞIR in less than 28 years.

Therefore, we Turkmens of Iraq, call upon the Delegation for Relations with Iraq of the EU Parliament, to support our case and endorse the Turkmen demands stated in the Common Declaration of the indigenous non-ruling peoples of Iraq, (which we presented to the EU Parliament on 19th November 2014) and advocate our requests with the European Parliament, the EEAS, the European Commission and the EU Council.

The Iraqi Turkmens request the following help and support from the European Union authorities:

  • Provide humanitarian aid directly to the remaining 250.000 displaced Turkmens.
  • Provide military training and military equipment directly to the Turkmen units in order to enable them to liberate the sub-district of BEŞIR, the district of TEL AFER and the Turkmen villages around MOSUL which are still occupied by ISIS.
  • Provide material aid to rebuild the homes, properties and infrastructure damaged or destroyed by ISIS terrorist groups in the Turkmen region after it has been liberated.
  • Assist and support the Turkmens in their negotiations with the Iraqi Central Government and the KRG concerning their request for TEL AFAR and TUZHUMATU to be upgraded to the status of Governorates in Iraq.
  • Assist and support the Turkmens in their negotiations with the Iraqi Central Government and the KRG in order to achieve a special status for Kirkuk, whereby the power will be shared equally between the Turkmens, Arabs and Kurds (32% for each of the three main ethnic communities and 4% for the Christian minority of Kirkuk).
  • Assist the Turkmens in their negotiations with the Iraqi Central Government to obtain their fair share of power within the Central Government and their fair share from the Iraqi budget.

Thank you for your understanding and your support.

Recent Articles about the Iraqi Turkmens

March 26, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

BESHIR LIBERATORSI

Iraqi  Turkmen Front discusses the political situation and the Suffering of the Displaced in the Kurdistan Region.

http://tnanews.net/en/news.php?id=460

**

Iraqi Turkmens demand armed force of their own ahead of Mosul offensive against ISIL

http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_iraqi-turkmens-demand-armed-force-of-their-own-ahead-of-mosul-offensive-against-isil_375106.html

**

Mass grave of 16 Turkmen fighters killed by ISIS found near Kirkuk

http://www.aa.com.tr/en/world/478649–16-turkmen-bodies-found-in-mass-grave-near-kirkuk-iraq

http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iraq/15032015

 Turkmen paramilitary fighters and Shiite militias have discovered a mass grave with 16 Turkmen bodies south of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, during an operation to retake control of the Turkmen village of Bashir from ISIL militants.

According to information from security forces in the region, mines on the roads have slowed down the progress of the operation, which was launched three days ago.
Yilmaz Najjar, head of the Badr Brigades, told that they are working to open a new path as the roads are full of mines.
“A mass grave was found with 16 bodies. The bodies were identified by security forces who found their identity cards. They are Turkmens,” Najjar said.
Najjar added that the “operation team is waiting for support… When it comes we will launch a major offensive operation and take control of Bashir in the next 24 hours.”

***

ISIS ABDUCTED 200 TURKMEN IRAQI WOMEN

http://tnanews.net/en/news.php?id=268

http://www.silkroadreporters.com/2015/03/16/isil-abducted-200-turkmen-iraqi-women/

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/17393-official-200-iraqi-turkmen-women-abducted-by-isis

***

 DISPLACED TURKMEN CRISIS ON THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

GENEVA

elham abbas geneva

please see: http://tnanews.net/en/news.php?id=482

Clustered ID (Cont’d): SR right to food and on adequate housing – 17th Meeting, 28th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Clustered Interactive dialogue Item 3:
– Special Rapporteur on the right to food A/HRC/28/65
and
– Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living A/HRC/28/62
– 17th Plenary Meeting 28th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council.

Video:

Speaking for the Iraqi Turkmens: Dr. Elham Abbas – Al Khoei Foundation.   PLEASE SEE No 15 

http://webtv.un.org/watch/clustered-id-contd-sr-right-to-food-and-on-adequate-housing-17th-meeting-28th-regular-session-human-rights-council/4100879131001#full-text

  ***

Turkish military starts training missions in Iraq, Syria

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-military-starts-training-missions-in-iraq-syria.aspx?PageID=238&NID=79721&NewsCatID=352

 

 

THE TURKMENS OF IRAQ

March 23, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

TÜRKMENELI

THE TURKMENS OF IRAQ

The Turkmen region in Iraq ‘TURKMENELI’ (indicated in blue on the map) in 1921,  before the ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and demographic changes which have taken place since then.

In Iraq the Turkmens are around 3 million (population of Iraq: est. 33 million). Turkmens are the third largest ethnic component in Iraq, their first recorded existence as ‘Turks’ in Iraq was in 632 AD.

The Turkmens are a Turkic people, they are the descendants of the Turkish OĞUZ tribes originating in Central Asia. They arrived in Iraq (Mesopotamia) in successive waves and settled there 1.400 years ago. They built principalities/states (Atabegs) and ruled over several regions in Iraq, Syria and Iran for several centuries. Turkmen communities rose to prominence as administrators, merchants and politicians during the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad and under the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish era began in the Middle East in 1055 when the Caliph of Baghdad declared the Seljuk commander Tughrul Beg as a “Sultan”.

In Iraq the Turkmens established 6 states: The Seljuks, the Atabegs of Mosul, Erbil and Kirkuk, the Ilkhans, the Jalairids, the Qara Qoyunlu, the Aq Qoyunlu, they ruled Iraq during 453 years.

The Turkmen region in Iraq, called TURKMENELI, lies between the Kurdish region in the northeast and the Arab region in the southwest. It stretches from Tel Afar in the northwest of Iraq at the Syrian border, through Mosul, Erbil, Altun Kopru, Kirkuk, Taza Kurmatu, Daquq, Tuz Khurmatu, Kifri, Khanaquin, Badra and Al-Aziziya southeast of Baghdad close to the Iranian border. The largest concentration of Turkmens lives in the city of Kirkuk, which they consider as their capital city and main cultural centre. There is also a large number of Turkmens in Baghdad.

Before WWI the majority of Turkmens were living in the cities, where they had businesses and shops. They had a high number of intellectuals and lived a peaceful and prosperous life. However, since the beginning of the Iraqi State in 1921, Turkmens were treated as second class citizens, their basic human rights were denied and their political leaders and intellectuals were massacred. As a consequence, they were no longer able to develop and they became the poorest ethnic group in Iraq, they were no longer able to defend themselves and their human rights adequately.

.           Minimizing the Turkmen presence in Iraq

During the Ottoman era, Iraq was administratively divided in three provinces: Baghdad, Mosul and Basra. “Mosul Province” (“Mosul Vilayat”) covered the entire north of Iraq (the present six governorates of Ninewah, Erbil, Suleymaniya, Dohuk, Salaheddin and Kirkuk).

During WWI, the British occupied Basra and Baghdad provinces and the southern part of the Mosul Province. A cease fire was declared on October 30th 1918. However, despite the cease fire the British army occupied the city of Mosul on 11th November 1918 which created the “Dispute of Mosul” between Turkey and Britain which lasted for 8 years.

The British wanted to detach Mosul Province from Turkey for economic and geopolitical reasons – essentially to control the oil reserves of Kirkuk – in order to facilitate the separation, they minimized the Turkmen presence there. Exhausted by 11 years of continuous wars since 1911, Turkey opted for peace and good relations with the west, relinquishing it’s claim on the Mosul province at the Ankara Treaty of June 5, 1926. Mosul has been officially incorporated into Iraq since then. From that date on the problems of the Turkmens intensified.  The successive Iraqi governments continued marginalizing the Turkmens, on the suspicion that they might support Turkey in case Turkey claimed back Mosul. Although Turkmens were loyal Iraqi citizens who had always resisted foreign interference in Iraq they were barred from high and sensitive government positions. They were discriminated and subjected to assimilation policies.

The last reliable census in Iraq was held in 1957 under the Monarchy, according to this census, the Turkmen population was 567.000 when the entire Iraqi population was 6 million. This means that Turkmens represented about 9% of the Iraqi population.

In 1958 the Monarchy was overthrown and Iraq was ruled by the military with the support of the Iraqi Communist party, which included a large number of Kurds within its ranks. A new constitution was issued in which Kurds were declared as ‘partners of the Arabs’, whereas the Turkmens were not mentioned. The Kurdish leader Barzani was brought back from his exile in Russia and he claimed the oil rich Kirkuk to be the capital of his proposed ‘autonomous Kurdistan’. This was rejected by both Turkmens and Arabs.

As Kurds persisted in claiming that Kirkuk was a Kurdish city, tensions rose between the original inhabitants of Kirkuk, the Turkmens, and the Kurdish newcomers to the city. On 14th July 1959 a massacre of the Turkmens took place in Kirkuk, it lasted three days during which the leaders and intellectuals of the Turkmen community were arrested and savagely murdered by the Kurdish militia and Communist party members.

In 1963 the military regime was toppled in another coup d’état, led this time by the Arab Nationalists and Baath party. In the following census the number of Turkmens was minimized in the official records and their population was recorded as 2%. Under the Arab Nationalist Baath party (1963-2003) application of double standards continued and on 24th January 1970 Turkmens were granted ‘cultural rights’, while the Kurds were given ‘autonomy’ in 3 northern provinces on March 11, 1970 and the Turkmen city of Erbil was made their capital. All those major concessions were given without asking the Turkmens. Turkmen as a nationality was removed from the official census forms. Turkmens had to choose between either becoming Arabs or Kurds. They had to declare “change of nationality” to Arabic in order to get jobs. Real estate sales were banned amongst the Turkmens. Sale could only be done to Arabs. The use of the Turkish language was banned in public and government offices. Publications in Turkish were forbidden.

Demographic changes in Turkmeneli

Turkmeneli is a region which contains fertile agricultural lands and also large oil and gas reserves. In order to weaken the Turkmen presence several demographic changes took place in the Turkmen region in the north of Iraq.

After WWI Iraq fell under British Mandate, the British immediately started to develop the oil industry in and around Kirkuk. This necessitated a large work force and a great number of Assyrians, Kurds and Arabs were brought to Kerkuk from other provinces to work in the oil industry. This was the beginning of important demographic changes in the Turkmen region and especially in Kerkuk province.

Other demographic changes took place under the Arabization policy of the Baath regime in the 1980s which installed tens of  thousands of Arab families in Kirkuk city and Kirkuk Province giving them financial incentives, jobs and agricultural lands. Several Turkmen villages were totally destroyed and their inhabitants were forcedly displaced, their agricultural lands were confiscated thus they became homeless and without any resources. The agricultural lands belonging to Turkmens were given to Arabs from neighbouring regions by the government. Today, Turkmens are still waiting to receive compensation for their losses and have still not recuperated their properties and agricultural lands.

The largest demographic change happened in Kirkuk and surrounding Turkmen towns under U.S. occupation in 2003 when the Kurdish leaders Messrs. Barzani and Talabani brought over 600.000 Kurds from other areas in Iraq and even from neighbouring countries to be settled in the city. On 10th April 2003, the US forces authorized the Kurdish militias to advance far beyond their “Autonomous Region” established in the three governorates in the north-east of Iraq (Duhok, Erbil and Suleymaniya) and  to invade and occupy the other governorates of the north of Iraq (Kirkuk, Mosul, Salaheddin and Diyala) where the majority of Iraqi Turkmens live. When they entered Kirkuk the Kurdish Peshmerga immediately occupied all the official buildings, they put fire to the land registry office and destroyed the records and state archives.

Today there is ongoing pressure by Kurdish and Arab authorities to shift the Turkmen population to different areas to continue the demographic change. Numerous incidents of encroachment and seizure of government and private Turkmen land by Kurdish families have been reported. These Kurdish families receive financial assistance from the Kurdish Regional Government to build houses on these Turkmen lands. In almost all Turkmen regions, from Tel Afar to Khanaqin and particularly in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, the demographic structure was changed with the intention to gain ground for Kurdish authorities.

Since June 2014 many Turkmen cities and villages have been attacked by ISIL, 350.000 Turkmens had to flee leaving everything behind and many were tortured and killed. Neither the Iraqi army which was supposed to protect them nor the Kurdish Peshmerga forces which were stationed nearby came to their help. One of the Turkmen cities, AMIRLI, was besieged by ISIS and its inhabitants heroically resisted for 72 days, but contrary to the city of KOBANI in Syria, this was hardly reported in the western media and it did not get the attention of the western politicians, decision makers and humanitarian organizations. Since June 2014 thousands of internally displaced Turkmens have sought refuge in the Kurdish Region, but many were turned away by the Peshmerga because they are Turkmens. Others were put in transit camps where they live under dire conditions, many babies have died. Thousands of Turkmen families were taken to the south of Iraq where they were given shelter in schools and Husseyniyas (Shiite mosques). To-date, the internally displaced Turkmens have received hardly any help from the Iraqi government, to survive they can only rely on humanitarian help from some Turkish NGOs and the generosity of other Turkmens.

Today, the fate of the Turkmens looks very bleak, their very survival in Iraq is threatened. Therefore, Turkmens are calling on the European Union and the U.S. to help them to obtain  their local autonomy,  self-administration and their self-defence forces in cooperation both with the Iraqi Central Government and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government.

Turkmens also ask the EU and US to work together with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to realise a special status for Kirkuk Province.

These demands are also those of the Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians and  the Yezidis in Iraq.

Therefore, the Turkmens, the Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians and the Yezidis have united themselves to work towards a common future in which each of their peoples are recognised as part of their country and will be able to preserve the existence of their ethnic, cultural and religious identities. Their aim is to maintain and contribute to the rich diversity of their country.

On 19th November 2014, the Iraqi Turkmen Front, the European Syriac Union and the Federation of Yezidi Associations will be signing a Common Declaration calling for the restoration of human rights to the non-ruling indigenous peoples of Iraq. This event which is organised in co-operation with the Christian Political Foundation for Europe will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels and will be hosted by MEP Branislav Skripek.

Prepared by:

Dr. Hassan T. Aydinli, ITF representative to EU

Merry Fitzgerald – Europe-Turkmens of Iraq Friendship Association

19th November, 2014.

Notes:

-Regarding grabbing of Turkmen lands in Iraq under the Baath regime:  after 2003 the Turkmens had access for the first time to the Iraqi Government’s official documents, the Iraqi Turkmen Front  has gathered  the official decrees regarding confiscation of lands belonging to the Turkmens in three books (in Arabic) entitled:

“Turkmanity of Kirkuk  in Iraqi and international references and Documents”

“Iraqi Turkmens Suffering in Iraqi Official Documents  1968-2003” (2 volumes).

PLEASE SEE:

Presentation first Common Declaration of the Yezidi, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Turkmen Peoples of Iraq at the European Parliament in Brussels on 19 November 2014:

http://turkmenfriendship.blogspot.be/2014/11/presentation-first-common-declaration.html

Declaration of the Turkmen, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Yazidi people of Iraq at the European Parliament in Brussels:

http://turkmenfriendship.blogspot.be/2014/11/declaration-of-turkmen-chaldean-syriac.html

Iraklı Türkmenler, Kaldaniler, Süryaniler, Asuriler ve Kürt Yezidilerin ortak bildirgesi. Hükmi varlığı olmayan kadim Irak halklarına insan haklarının düzeltilmesi için çağırı:

http://turkmenfriendship.blogspot.be/2014/11/irakl-turkmenler-kaldaniler-suryaniler.html

Türkmeneli’nden .. Türk’ün dilinden: TÜRKMENLER YENİDEN AVRUPA PARLAMENTOSUNDA:

http://turkmenfriendship.blogspot.be/2014/11/turkmenelinden-turkun-dilinden.html

DISPLACED TURKMEN CRISIS ON THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS ANNUAL CONFERENCE (video)

March 17, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags:

DISPLACED TURKMEN CRISIS ON THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

GENEVA

elham abbas geneva

please see: http://tnanews.net/en/news.php?id=482

Clustered ID (Cont’d): SR right to food and on adequate housing – 17th Meeting, 28th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Clustered Interactive dialogue Item 3:
– Special Rapporteur on the right to food A/HRC/28/65
and
– Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living A/HRC/28/62
– 17th Plenary Meeting 28th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council.

Video:

Speaking for the Iraqi Turkmens: Dr. Elham Abbas – Al Khoei Foundation.   PLEASE SEE No 15 

http://webtv.un.org/watch/clustered-id-contd-sr-right-to-food-and-on-adequate-housing-17th-meeting-28th-regular-session-human-rights-council/4100879131001#full-text

LAHIB JADDO, Iraqi Turkmen artist’s photobook

March 15, 2015 at 7:47 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Lahib Jaddo Wish

Lahib Jaddo and her family

IRAQI TURKMEN ARTIST LAHIB JADDO’S PHOTOBOOK

please click on the link below

http://www.blurb.fr/books/2742129-lahib-jaddo

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