January 31, 2011 at 2:01 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment


Oğuzam, Türk menem
Yazar Ali Yaşar

Oğuzam, Türk menem… Bayatlardan Türkmenem…
Damarlarındaki asil kan, aslına çektiğin ırk menem…
Yaprağın asılı dallar, gövdeni taşıyan kök menem…
Yolunu gözleyen yar,  aşkınla çarpan ürek menem…
Can içre canan bilmişem gavim gardaş, nerdesen…

Yedi koldan, onaltı boydan gelmişem Orta Asyadan…
Yayından fırlayan ok, huduttan hududa atılan mızrak, deli taylar gibi dörtnala esmişem…
Az gitmişem, uz gitmişem,  dere tepe düz gitmişem…
Kuş uçmaz kervan geçmez dağları göçebe adımlarla gezmişem…
Irağı yakın, yurdumu ırak eylemişem…
Tırnaklarımla oymuşam tortu kayaları, kıraç toprakları gözyaşlarımla sulak etmişem…
Kızgın tohumlar serpmişem, emek vermişem, aşa getirmişem…
Türk illerine haber salmışam gavim gardaş nerdesen…

Continue Reading Oğuzam,Türkmenem…

Iraqis watch Egypt with irony

January 31, 2011 at 1:44 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

  Iraqis watch Egypt with irony

By BUSHRA JUHI and KIM GAMEL, Associated Press.

 Associated Press writers Hamid Ahmed in Baghdad and Yahya Barzanji in Sulaimaniyah contributed to this report.

Iraqis who have long suffered from high unemployment, poverty and endemic corruption — the catalysts of unrest spreading in the Arab world — called on their own government to take notice.

Many watched footage of riots and looting on the streets of Egypt, the region’s traditional powerhouse, with a sense of irony. The scenes brought back disturbing memories of similar mayhem in Iraq, but also feelings of admiration for an uprising that came from the streets rather than in the wake of a foreign invasion.

The demonstrations come as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki grapples with complaints that he has failed to provide basic services and security as he begins a new four-year term with a fragile coalition.”I wish similar demonstrations would take place in Iraq against the government,” said Najat Shaiyal, the 31-year-old owner of a tea stand in central Baghdad.

“The government does not provide jobs or services. We are still suffering from a lack of electricity,” he said, smoking a cigarette as he served customers in the mainly Shiite neighborhood of Karradah.

Analysts and many Iraqis said people in the war-weary country were not likely to take to the streets en masse.
But U.S. officials have warned that poor services, such as electricity and water, pose one of the greatest threats to Iraq’s shaky peace.

A report released Sunday by the U.S. reconstruction watchdog agency noted that Iraqi officials are trying improve the nation’s electricity grid with hopes of meeting power demands by 2010 but acknowledged that doing so would be costly and difficult.”The lack of perceived improvements in Iraq’s water, sewage, and electricity systems could lead to popular unrest more so than political or sectarian disagreements,” the special inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction found.

Shiite hard-liner Hakim al-Zamili warned that the events unfolding in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and even neighboring Jordan show that all rulers must eventually answer to their people, and that the lack of jobs and services could prove the tipping point.”Everything has an expiration date and the Arab regimes that neglected their people for decades have reached theirs,” he said. “These outdated regimes have offered nothing to their people.”

He urged restraint region-wide, noting the damage done by widespread looting and chaos after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.”The region is moving toward chaos, not stability,” he said. “Surely, what is happening in the Arab countries will expand to include Iraq if the Iraqi government fails to fulfill its promises and pledges given before the elections.”

Many Iraqis from Baghdad to the semiautonomous northern Kurdish region said they were inspired by the uprisings and prepared to join protests at home.”I wish the young people here would stage demonstrations and make an uprising — something that I would like to call the jobless revolution,” said Hazim Kadhim, a 27-year-old arts graduate who has been unemployed for four years.

Jameel Ahmed, a 40-year-old government employee in the former Sunni insurgent stronghold of Azamiyah, however, pointed out that Iraqis had been isolated for nearly three decades under Saddam’s iron-fisted rule. Widespread protests against a lack of electricity last summer also failed to take root.

“The Iraqis do not have the culture of change that other nations have,” he said. “Besides that, Iraqis have been through a lot of disasters and they won’t risk having more disasters by asking for change.”Al-Maliki has come under widespread criticism for the state of the country nearly eight years after Saddam’s ouster, and Iraqis remain bitter over months of political deadlock that followed an inconclusive March 7 election.

The prime minister seated a Cabinet on Dec. 21 but has not filled key security posts, including the defense, interior and national security ministries. Anger rose after a wave of bombings over the past two weeks that killed more than 200 people.Some battle-hardened Iraqis chuckled when state-run TV reported that the embassy in Cairo was calling on Iraqis in Egypt to be careful and providing them with a number to call in case of emergency.

In his first public comments on the situation, al-Maliki said the Egyptian government and other regimes need to give people space to express their views instead of punishing them.”The best way to do that is the return to democracy and real and honest elections and transparency,” he said in an excerpt of an interview with Iraqi state TV to be broadcast in full later Sunday.

Shiite cleric Sadriddin al-Gubbanchy called the string of uprisings an “Islamic Arab Revival” and urged the Iraqi government to appoint the new security ministers and improve services, according to the Ahlul Bayt News Agency.”The people’s silence does not reflect their satisfaction, and their patience shall end just as the patience of the Tunisian people did,” he said during Friday prayers in the holy city of Najaf.

Iraq water shortages raise ethnic tensions

January 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Iraq water shortages raise ethnic tensions

By Marwan Ibrahim

KIRKUK, Jan 29, 2011 (AFP)A worsening water shortage in Iraq is raising tensions in the multi-ethnic Kirkuk province, where Arab farmers accuse the Kurdistan region of ruining them by closing the valves to a dam in winter.

“We are harmed by the Kurds, and the officials responsible for Baghdad and Kirkuk will not lift a finger,” said Sheikh Khaled al-Mafraji, a leader of the Arab Political Council that groups mainly Sunni tribal leaders.

At the heart of the conflict is the Dukan dam, built in 1955 in Iraq’s northern autonomous region of Kurdistan, 75 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Kirkuk province.

Continue Reading Iraq water shortages raise ethnic tensions…

IRAQ: Erbil hosts a conference in support of Women

January 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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IRAQ: Erbil hosts a conference in support of Women

Alsumaira TV reports, “With the participation of Iraqi and foreign organizations and in the presence of Ambassadors to Iraq and officials from Kurdistan and Baghdad, Arbil hosted a conference on the role of women in building peace and reconciliation in Iraq. The conference criticized the political parties in Iraq and the central government over ‘marginalizing’ women in the new government.” The conference ends today, it was a two-day conference. It was an international conference. And it says a great deal about the English-speaking press, or rather, the lack of coverage does.


 see video:

Were this a business conference, there would be the financial press covering it as well as write ups in the general press. Were it on cholera or any of the illnesses that so frequently plague Iraq, the health press would cover it and the general press would do a few write ups. Were it on ‘security,’ the entire press would be ga-ga over it ‘reporting’ with advertising copy. But when the conference deals with women, where’s the press?

Continue Reading IRAQ: Erbil hosts a conference in support of Women…

Now is the time for an Australian inquiry into the Iraq War

January 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Now is the time for an Australian inquiry into the Iraq War

Chris Doran

 The Iraq Inquiry is taking place in London. It is the latest examination by the British into the Iraq War. The US has not provided even one solid investigation. Nor has Australia. Those three countries were the primary players/criminals in the illegal war. Chris Doran (On Line Opinion) argues for an inquiry to take place in Australia:


Continue Reading Now is the time for an Australian inquiry into the Iraq War…

The Province That Stood Up For Itself

January 29, 2011 at 11:11 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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The Province That Stood Up For Itself

January 26, 2011

Officials in Kirkuk decided to cut the electricity supply to the national grid to protest the lack of power in the oil rich city for more than 20 hours every day.

Abdulrahman Mustafa, Governor of Kirkuk said, “Kirkuk has cut the electricity that is generated in the province from the national grid, and has decided to supply Kirkuk province alone until the Ministry of Electricity responds to our needs”.

Supply to the national grid was cut in the presence of the commanders of police and Peshmerga after the first decision of its kind agreed between the residents of this multi-ethnic city. It was approved by the representatives of the Turkoman, Arab and Kurd groups, Monday 17th January.

Hasan Torhan, Turkoman member of the provincial council, said in a joint press conference, that all the members were agreed on this issue:

“We might have political differences, but we unite to provide services for our province. What prompted us to make this decision is the stance of the people of Altun Kopri (town) who strongly protested the lack of electricity and threatened to burn down the governorate building if they do not get their fair share of electricity.

“Let the government in Baghdad be informed that the world has become a small village and that what took place in Tunisia has reached a small town in Kirkuk (province) and can spread to every city in Iraq. We used to get four hours of electricity in a day, and now we have almost 14.

“The Ministry of Electricity has double standards regarding distribution of power to the provinces. We have in our possession documents that show that while the residents of KIrkuk get four hours per day, some other provinces get 10 hours or more. We contacted the deputy minister and the deputy Prime minister for energy, but they gave us nothing but empty promises.

“This is why we made a decision that will force the government to respond to our demands. And this is what happened: As soon as the electricity supply was cut, PM al Maliki sent a delegation from the ministry, and we will discuss with them the matter of justice for Kirkuk in power supply.

“Kirkuk is not the only province suffering from discrimination in this matter. The situation is the same in Mosul, some areas of Baghdad and some other provinces”.

Razkar Ali Hama Jan, Head of the Kirkuk Provincial Council:

“It is shameful for some officials to adopt discriminative and favouratist treatment with the provinces. They inmplement one policy in Kirkuk, Salahuddin (Sunni majority), and even some neighbourhoods of Baghdad, that has increased the suffering of their residents in comparison with the mid and southern (Shiite majority) provinces. The provincial council will file a formal complaint against the ministry for unjust distribution of electricity theough the national grid”.

After hearing all this, I just had to check. How much truth was there in these allegations of discrimination according to sect, so I spoke to our stringers in the provinces and asked for official electricity figures – And this is what I got:

Province                Hours of power in 24 hours            Population

Wasit                         10 – 12                                    Shiite majority

Amara                        10 – 12                                     Shiite majority

Basra                         10 – 12                                     Shiite majority 

Thi Qar                      12                                           Shiite majority

Muthanna                   12                                            Shiite majority

Babil                          12                                           Shiite majority

Diwaniyah                   12                                           Shiite majority

Diyala                        8                                               Mixed

Nineveh                     2 – 4                                       Sunni Majority

Kirkuk                        4                                            Sunni majority

Anbar                         4 – 5                                       Sunni majority


My neighbourhood      4

Although these are not all the provinces, the pattern is clear. Even I was surprised.

And Diyala is funny – Truely mixed!

Demand for electricity in Iraq today is estimated to be around 12 – 14 mw, and supply is just over 6 mw. Experts say that Iraq is not likely to be in a position to supply that much power before 2014.                


Iraq’s Housing Program Isn’t Panning Out

January 29, 2011 at 10:06 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Iraq’s Housing Program Isn’t Panning Out

(Agence France Presse)
According to the Iraqi government and outside experts Iraq needs between 2-3 million new houses in the coming years. That’s largely due to a 3% annual population growth rate, and the hundreds of thousands of people displaced during the civil war. The problem is that Iraq doesn’t have the money to pay for that many units, and was hoping that with improved security, foreign investment would begin flowing into the country and help to meet this need. In early 2010 the National Investment Commission said it wanted bidders on 1 million new houses worth $50 billion. Since then the government has made several claims about contracts being signed, but nothing much has actually materialized.

By the 3rd quarter of 2010 Iraq claimed that it had signed deals with 35 international firms to build 1 million housing units, but little of that panned out. The government said companies had agreed to construct 244,000 units in Baghdad, 100,000 in Mosul, and 80,000 in Basra, amongst others. In May, after a meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, authorities announced that Jordan’s Amwaj International would invest $238 million in houses and hotels. Nothing has happened since then. In September, the National Investment Commission told the media that it had closed deals with two United Arab Emirates construction companies for $66 billion. Since then, no contracts have been signed. In November, the Investment Commission proclaimed that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with a South Korean company for 500,000 housing units. The Korean company later denied that story. All of these examples highlight the bad habit that Baghdad has fallen into lately. It is increasingly releasing statements about deals being signed, development plans moving forward, etc., but then months later nothing becomes of them.

Continue Reading Iraq’s Housing Program Isn’t Panning Out…

UNHCR: Iraqi refugees in “critical need”

January 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

UNHCR: Iraqi refugees in “critical need”

UNHCR said that some 190,000 Iraqi refugees are in dire need of assistance

AFP , Wednesday 26 Jan 2011

The head of the UN’s refugee agency on Wednesday appealed for 280 million dollars to help some 190,000 Iraqi refugees, the majority of them in Lebanon and Syria.

Continue Reading UNHCR: Iraqi refugees in “critical need”…

Maliki and the Kurds: An Apparent Fudge on Oil Exports, by Reidar Visser

January 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Maliki and the Kurds: An Apparent Fudge on Oil Exports

Posted by Reidar Visser on Thursday, 27 January 2011 15:10

Among the first moves of the new Maliki government has been an agreement with the Kurdistan regional authorities (KRG) to resume oil exports from fields in Kurdistan operated by foreign companies that have cut separate deals with the KRG previously. Exports are supposed to start as early as 1 February.

So far, relatively few details about the agreed arrangements have been revealed. Baghdad has reportedly agreed to lower the minimum export requirement for Kurdistan in the annual budget to 100,000 barrels per day (it was originally 150,000 bpd, which the Kurds found somewhat steep), and unlike the previous attempt at starting export in the summer of 2009, Baghdad will this time pay a “contribution” (musahama) towards covering the expenses of the foreign companies that operate in Kurdistan. So far, the exact size of the payment has not been specified, but according to Asim Jihad of the Iraqi oil ministry it will be paid to the Kurdish regional authorities rather than directly to the foreign companies, and there are certain “barter” elements to the deal as well, including improvements to the refining capacity and electricity supply of Kurdistan plus provision of oil for the local market in Kurdistan.

Thus in legal terms, it seems as if the stalemate regarding the contract status of the foreign companies is continuing as before. The Kurds are reluctant to formally submit the contracts to Baghdad for approval since that would mean not only potential challenges to the contract terms but also cession of what the Kurds believe is their sovereign right to conclude such deals with third parties. Baghdad, for its part, is reluctant to pay the companies that operate in Kurdistan directly according to the contract terms, since that would mean recognising the right of federal authorities to sign deals with foreign companies without coordinating with Baghdad – which in turn would mean that not only federal regions but in fact every governorate across Iraq could do the same thing. Since federal regions and governorates have exactly the same residual rights under article 115 of the constitution, it would be potentially suicidal for the central government to admit a residual power to sign contracts for so-called “future fields” without coordination with Baghdad. Under this kind of permissive scenario, Basra, Maysan and Anbar would suddenly negotiate with foreign companies without reference to Baghdad. It seems far more likely that Baghdad is aiming for a restrictive interpretation of article 112, second, that would require coordination with the oil ministry for all future deals as part of the national “strategic policy” on oil – and instead will opt for for temporary, horse-trading solutions of the kind now agreed with the Kurds in the short term while it is working on boosting its own export capacity, which will still take some years.

Thus unlike what happened in 2009, money will this time be paid from Baghdad to Kurdistan, and presumably the Kurds will then pay the operating companies. The problem for the Kurds is that as long as the contracts are not submitted for review (as opposed to just making them public), Baghdad will continue to pay Arbil with reference to its own assessment of reasonable costs rather than in accordance with the lucrative terms of the contracts. Whether this in the long run is actually good enough for the Kurds – and not least their foreign partners – remains to be seen. Clearly, the foreign companies that operate in Kurdistan are not there in order to do non-profit work forever, and the Kurds will be under pressure to pay them more generously instead of simply compensating them for expenses. Other potential hitches regarding the new arrangements relate to parliamentary oversight: Presumably the compensation payments are to be specified in the annexes to the 2011 budget to be debated in February, and presumably the payments due to be transferred to the Kurdish ministry for natural resources as part of the deal will be subject to parliamentary debate in the Kurdish regional assembly as well, where the PUK and Gorran have a history of asking critical questions about the KDP-led oil policy.

Nonetheless, this deal represents an interesting move for the new Maliki government, where a key question since December 2010 has been whether Maliki will lean more towards the Kurds or Iraqiyya in hammering out his policies. Based on the latest move by Maliki to attach the independent commissions to the government, one can start wondering whether he actually has a viable grand strategy at all. He can afford to alienate either the Kurds or Iraqiyya, but not both at the same time. This holds true for the oil sector as well.


Ominous Tokens In Strained Iran-Iraq Relations: Are Conflicting Interests On Water Supply Heralding a New Crisis?

January 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Ominous Tokens In Strained Iran-Iraq Relations: Are Conflicting Interests On Water Supply Heralding a New Crisis?

David Leupold, ORSAM Middle East Research Assistant

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize the seriousness of this issue, referring to a U.N. report published in 2003, stating that 30 of 37 water conflicts within the last 50 years took stage in the Middle East, thus competition in the field of water supply among countries of this region is regarded as a precarious circumstance and raises worries about military conflicts, which could arise from it. 19 Hereby it is important to note that endeavors of Iran to maintain its water supply has not only strained its relations with Iraq, but also most recently with Afghanistan. In fact, the works on the rehabilitation of the Kajaki dam powerhouse, initiated by ISAF forces in 2007, was faced with stern concern by Iranian officials as it controls the water flow to Iran.

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