Iraqi Turkmen Solidarity Meeting in Ankara

February 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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National Conversations, Productive Dialogues at the Turkmen Solidarity Meeting

Cengiz Bayraktar-Gündoğdu-İzmit

03 February 2011, Thursday

ITF Turkey Representative, the distinguished Dr. Hicran Kazancı brings the Turkmen personalities living in Turkey under a single roof titled “Turkmen Solidarity Meeting”, shares the projects under the management of his representation, as well as new strategies and claims to be open to any and all forms of criticism. 
ITF Turkey Representative, the distinguished Dr. Hicran Kazancı brings the Turkmen personalities living in Turkey under a single roof titled “Turkmen Solidarity Meeting”, shares the projects under the management of his representation, as well as new strategies and claims to be open to any and all forms of criticism. Within the scope of this framework, Dr. Kazancı is holds the fourth in a series of Turkmen Solidarity Meetings in the Representation building on 28.01.2010.

I was present at the venue to report on the developments and the leading names that can be mentioned among the participants are Selahaddin Province Assembly Member Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu who was in Ankara, Province Assembly Secretary General Niyazi Mimaroğlu. Head of Turkmen Advisory Council Prof. Dr. Ümit Akkoyunlu. Lawyer, Researcher, Author Habip Hürmüzlü. Investigative writer Ziyat Köprülü, Dr. Ferit Müftü. Edip Kuşçu, Abdullah Bayraktar. Adil Selvi and of course ITF Turkey Representative Dr. Hicran Kazancı were present.

 Dr.Hicran Kazancı kept the opening speech short and said:  “First of all I would like to thank those of you who could attend this meeting; of course there are some friends who had prior engagements and thus were unable to participate in this meeting, I shall continue to invite those friends to the next meeting because I want to see them among us and benefit from their ideas.  Today we are having the fourth of our solidarity meetings; two of  the meetings were realized in Istanbul. The purpose of these meetings is rather than for you to hear me talk, is for us together bring forth any positive and negative criticisms and for us to try to create a permanent solution for such aspects. I declare that I am open to any criticism regarding the representation or ITF and leave the floor to you”.

       After this meaningful speech, the participants took the floor: the first subject to be undertaken was the Federation of Turkmen Associations which had been declared on 23rd December 2010. Dr. Ümit Akkoyunlu who spoke as the head of the enterprising mission said that they were endeavoring to hold a meeting similar to the one held on 23rd March 2002 and underlined that the philosophy of that meeting corresponded exactly to the philosophy of the meeting of 23rd December 2010.  Dr. Ümit thanked the heads of the Foundation and Associations at the end of the meeting for trusting him unanimously with the important mission of head of mission of enterprising federation, and that he would share the results of this work with Presidential Advisor the distinguished Erşat Hürmüzlü, the distinguished Foundation and Association heads who had spent great efforts in the organization of this meeting as well.

    A participant who wanted to express his opinions about the representation said that first of all it needed to be established what the mission and task of this representation was and added: “My personal opinion is that the mission of the representation is to present the Iraqi Turkmen Front in the state of Turkey and the other foreign mission here, introduce the Turkmen to the others, speak about their problems, make requests to the State of Turkey; if the Front cannot achieve certain elements in the Embassy of the United States in Iraq, the embassy of the U.K. or Iran then the Front here can compensate for those deficiencies. If there are elements in Turkey which we find insufficient, we can go to the mission and try to have those elements rectified; I think that is the task of a representation mission. But is it the duty of the representation to appoint a man to a certain post or provide a residence permit for someone? When such tasks are executed our people become confused. Actually since there is no other organization to take of such things, the Representation is seen as a gate for all issues”.

          As soon as Dr.Kazancı sat into the seat of representative, he changed the title of the official car to service vehicle and after listening patiently to the criticism he answered by saying: ” of course I am aware that the representation has important political duties and as such if you allow me I would like to reply to your comments. As you know, it was one or two months ago when we had our first solidarity meeting in Ankara and the previous one was held in Istanbul. I explained my projects in two parts. The first part dealt with having discussions with foreign missions, neighboring countries to Iraq in addition to United Nations security council fire permanent delegates. These are ongoing activities. I have received numerous telephone calls from the foreign diplomats in Ankara for an appointment; these are positive developments, just to give an example I have given an appointment for next Monday. The representative from the Red Cross, from the European Union call and we have conservations. I met with the deputy head of the crisis desk in Istanbul. At that meeting an important issue was put on the table, he said Erşat Salihli says these things in Baghdad, and when I provide the documentation he says it is the first time a Turkmen provides me with documentation. The second part consists of meeting with the media in Turkey and discussions with all parties with seats in the Grand National Assembly with the exception of BDP. Those are my projects which I explained at that time and which I shall continue to explain. I shall try to accomplish my mission with the cadre I have available to the best of my ability. The success of our activities shall be evident at the end of the process.  Of course a part of our Turkmen people might be unaware of what we do, however, as our activities result in positive conclusions and when our people learn of these activities we shall become a source of pride for our people and we can regain their positive thoughts about us. I am telling you here and now that the door of the Representation is wide open for all Turkmen citizens. If a Turkmen has any question marks inside his mind he is free to come and visit me and ask me to account for myself. I can occupy this post only with your support; only with your support can I endeavor to change anything.  What I mean to say is that all the proposals you have made are extremely significant and necessary action will be taken accordingly.

      Another participantsmentions the importance of establishing a Turkmen lobby firstly in Iraq as soon as possible and puts his wish regarding the establishment of the Federation of Turkmen Association into the following words: if there is a moral to be made from the Turkmen Front example then the self criticism would be that when the Front was established, it was misunderstood by the community. Today it is mentioned within the federation that there are some organization inside the front. But today the Front is a party, a political organization, my hope is that the future of the federation is not like this. 

     Of course I was one of those most inconvenienced by the past situation of the front so while the chance was available I immediately asked for permission to say: “I agree to this subject; the ambiguity of the Front has forced me to write two, three articles. I have asked many times the parties of the Front are leaving one by one but the Front is still the same Front. As if nothing happened, as if everything should be resolved by itself like during normal times, as if it is passing through its strongest periods…of course this is nothing short of kidding oneself. If someone with authority from the Front would step up and say yes we as ITF have established a party then the issue would be resolved by itself.  Starting with me, maybe many Turkmen accept ITF as a party and may even become a member “.   

         Another participant agreed that mistakes had been made during the establishment of the Front. The particular mistakes took form in an article of the internal regulation of the Front where it says “the Iraqi Turkmen Front is the sole legal organ of the Turkmen” which means that any party, organization, association outside the front is illegal and I think that is a huge mistake.

      Dr. Kazancı says that a handful of people feeding from a vested interest have brought the situation to this point; however, humans as well as states will make mistakes that is the norm. However, it is important to learn from mistakes made in the past.

        The distinguished Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu, Turkmen member of Selahaddin Province Assembly rushes to the aid of a participant who wants to know about the final situation of the Iraqi Turkmen Front and whether the general council will be held or not.

     Ali Bey answers as follows: First of all a status determination must be made. In spite of all its faults and misgivings, the Iraqi Turkmen Front has introduced itself to the whole of Iraq, the largest number  of Iraqi Turkmen in t he Iraqi Parliament are members of the Turkmen Front. It has been able to achieve targets in spite of severe pressure from strong powers. Now I feel it is the duty of all Turkmen who have participated in past activities to take part in the restructuring of the Iraqi Turkmen Front. The truth is that today the situation of the Iraqi Turkmen Front as an organization is far from perfect, unfortunately, internal conflicts and affiliated issues have had an impact on us. Our nation wants to put a stop to this. In February we have decided to have a meeting among us Iraqi Turkmen Front authorities and establish a commission. This commission will serve as a preliminary to the forthcoming congress. What kind of congress shall it be, shall it be an Iraqi Turkmen Front congress or a Turkmen congress, which parties should be involved, all these issues shall be discussed in detail and decided at the meeting; many important decisions shall come out of that meeting, I hope it will happen soon. I think that your and the esteemed brothers here is to contribute to the structuring works here or in Kirkuk. We are living in most dangerous times; as you know a government is being established in Iraq, deals are being made, confidential agreements with special conditions are being drawn…. They are all affiliated with us, with Turkmeneli. I am telling all this with a heavy heart.

.Participant:  who is going to organize this meeting, this commission, if the organization is carried out by the same people in the Front then nothing will change.

Ali Haşim: not only input from the Front shall suffice, also the thoughts and opinions of people working in the political areas in Iraq and of course yourselves shall be sought; I hope we shall be able to realize this.

At the end of the meeting, all the participants thanked Dr. Hicran Kazancı and made a couple of requests. The first request was to hold the monthly meetings on a more frequent basis with a more wide scale participation in time and the other request was to limit the subject of the meeting to one or two subjects.

   Dr. Hicran said that we have our meetings once per month, if need be, the meetings can be held in shorter intervals; he said that all issues put on the table had been noted and nothing would go ignored and be assessed with diligence.  Your determinations are correct, yes we have gaps and shall hopefully be able to minimize these. I leave the agenda of the next meeting to my brothers and thank you all for coming.

    While thanking Dr. Hicran Kazancı for this invitation, I stated that I wanted to have an interview with him to which he replied with pleasure. We made an appointment for the day after the meeting and had a good interview. I  shall publish the details of this interview shortly.  
Cengiz Bayraktar-Gündoğdu-İzmit


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