Tags: ITC Erbil office
Iraqi Turkmen Front’s (ITC) representative office was reopened in Irbil after six years.
Aydin Maruf Selim, member of executive board of ITC, said that they attached a great importance to Irbil politically and culturally, stating that ITC was founded in Irbil in 1995.
The HQ of the ITC was moved to Kirkuk in 2003 with the U.S. occupation in Iraq and ITC’s Irbil office was closed due to domestic issues in 2005, he said.
During that period, relations with Iraq and the north of Iraq were not good, but the current relations were pleasing, he said.
Selim said that they were glad with ITC new administration’s decision on reopening of the office in Irbil, as there was a great number of Turkmens in the region.
Selim said that they were supported by Kurdish authorities in their initiatives for reopening of the office.
ITC supported relations between Turkey and Iraq, he said.
Selim said that Turkey could be an important guarantor between Turkmens and Kurds, stating that they attached a great importance to Turkey’s role in the region.
Tags: Corruption in Iraq
Kirkuk bombing and State of Law bombs in an attempt to reject an ICR report
Reuters reports a Kirkuk bombing has claimed 2 lives and left at least thirty-six injured. DPA notes it was a car bombing and that at least 3 are dead with over sixty injured.
Meanwhile Patrick Cockburn (Independent) observes:
The Iraqi government is seeking to silence critics who accuse it of rampant corruption by removing officials who try to prosecute racketeers and intimidating politicians and journalists who support them.
This month alone it has forced the head of its anti-corruption watchdog to resign. And a prominent Iraqi journalist, who had been threatened for leading anti-government protests, was shot dead in his home in Baghdad.
There is growing anger that the ruling elite is stealing or embezzling much of the country’s $2bn (£1.3bn) a week in oil revenues, depleting funding for electricity, water, health care, housing, education and even rubbish collection.
Tuesday’s snapshot included, “The International Crisis Group has released a new Middle East report which, in the section on Iraq, ‘examines the steady erosion of the credibility of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government resulting from the failure to safeaguard institutions against corruption and abuse.’ The Iraq section can be found here (that’s not PDF, for anyone worried), ‘Failing Oversight: Iraq’s Unchecked Government.’ Corruption is common place in Iraq, the report notes [. . .]” Al Mada attempts to get reactions from Iraqi political blocs. State of Law mumbles a great deal but Abdul Salam al-Maliki keeps calling it a UN report — it’s not a UN report. He also complains about the ‘long’ recommendations. Six recommendations for the government of Iraq are too many? Has he even read the report? Here’s what taxed an al-Maliki:
To the Government of Iraq and to the Council of Representatives:
1. Strengthen the anti-corruption framework to allow for greater and more effective cooperation and coordination between the various state institutions involved in combating corruption, specifically by:
a) allowing all anti-corruption and audit officials to refer criminal matters directly to the courts;
b) guaranteeing the independence of the Inspectors General from government ministers, in particular by providing that ministers and the prime minister play no role in inspectors’ recruitment and dismissal;
c) formalising cooperation between oversight agencies by requiring them, notably the Inspectors General, to adopt standard operating procedures;
d) increasing each oversight institution’s training budget to develop skills necessary to carry out auditing and investigatory missions independently of other institutions; and
e) passing effective witness protection legislation and ensuring public access to government information.
2. Pass political party legislation requiring parties to display financial transparency and publish detailed annual accounts, including all sources of income and expenditures.
3. Reform the Council of Representatives’ bylaws, including by removing administrative matters from the speaker’s prerogatives, facilitating the formulation of legislative bills and accelerating the lawmaking process.
4. Streamline the legislative process by:
a) clarifying and strengthening the working relationship between institutions involved in the preparation of new legislation;
b) clarifying each institution’s role; and
c) establishing clear lines of communication between these institutions.
5. Reform the Council of Representatives’ oversight function to focus on policy implementation through the questioning of senior technocrats and administrative officers rather than politicians.
6. Enact a law that would prevent the head of the Higher Judicial Council from occupying the position of chief justice, and protect the Supreme Court’s independence by forbidding any political interference.
Tags: Infrastructure map of Iraq's provinces, Turan Mufti
Turan MÜFTÜ, State Minister responsible for Provinces, announced that an infrastructure map of all Iraq’s provinces would be established
State Minister responsible for provinces Turan MÜFTÜ stated that drawing of the infrastructure and investment maps had started. These maps will enable correct implementation of the investments to be made in provinces, support the technical and scientific development of the infrastructure and provide steering.
Thus the infrastructure of Iraq’s province will reach the level of developed countries with scientific and beautiful structures which have been achieved with correct methods. In addition, these maps will encourage both local and foreign investors to invest in the provinces.
Dr. Müftü requested that all those involved cooperate with ministries and their employees in order to incept this project which will benefit the Iraqi nation and is considered to be a national project.
The High Commission for Coordination has undersigned many decisions to develop the provinces and a technical commission has been established in order to follow-up projects which have been cut during implementation. The commission has determined that very few of the projects have been completed and has presented a reported the situation to the council of ministers in a report.
Tags: Turkmen meeting
yayınlanan bildiriyi basına okuyan Irak Türkmen Cephesi Başkanı ve Türkmen Milletvekili Erşet Salihi, siyasi kitlelerin Kerkük üzerinde siyasi pazarlık yapmamaları gerektiğini belirterek Kerkük’ü barut fıçısına benzetti. Parlamento başkanı tarafından görevlendirilen komisyonun Kerkük’e gelmemesinin arkasında siyasi oyunların bulunduğunu belirtten Salihi, Kerkük üzerinde siyasi pazarlıkların vahim sonuçlara yol açacağı uyarısında bulundu.
Türkmen Milletvekili Erşet Salihi konuşmasında, Kekrük’ün Irak’ın birlik yolundaki anahtarı olduğunu belirterek dini merciler, siyasi ve şahsiyetlerin Cumhurbaşkanlığı, Başbaklanlık ve Parlamento’ya baskı yaparak Türkmenlerin katledilmesine engel olunmasını istedi.
Salihi soruşturma komoisyonun Kerkük’e gelmemesi ve isteklerin gözardı edilmesi durumunda Türkmenlerin haklarını demokratik yollarla aramaya devam edeceklerini belirterek gösteri yapılacağı uyarsında bulundu.
Türkmen Milletvekili Abbas Beyatlı da, Kerkük’teki Türkmenlerin güvenliği konusunda tedirgin olduklarını ve Türkmenlerin güvenliği kendilerini birinci derecede ilgilendirdiğini belirti. Beyatlı, Parlamento’da Kekrük için özel bir oturum yapılması gerektiğini açıkladı.
Türkmen Milletvekili Nebil Harbo, açıklamalarda bulunarak gelişmeler hakkında bilgi verdi.
Bu arada Türkmenlerin taleplerine Parlamento’daki Kürt listesinden destek geldi.
Kürt Listesinden Kerkük milletvekili Halit Şivani basın açıklamalarında bulunarak Türkmen Milletvekillerinin Kerkük’e soruştuırma ve gerçekleri ortaya çıkrma komisyonun gelmesine destek verdiklerini söyledi. konuşmasında Kerkük’teki olayların kentin güneyindeki Havice ilçesinden gelen gruplar tarafından düzenlendiğini ileri sürdü. Kürt milletvekili Halit Şivani, Parlamento komisyonun Kekrük’e gelmesiyle birlikte gerçeklerin gün ışığına çıkarılacağına inandıklarını söyledi.
Tags: Corruption in Iraq, Intl Crisis Group Report
Baghdad/Washington/Brussels | 26 Sep 2011
Spreading corruption threatens to undermine the significant progress Iraq has made toward reducing violence and strengthening state institutions.
Failing Oversight: Iraq’s Unchecked Government , the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the steady erosion of the credibility of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government resulting from the failure to safeguard institutions against corruption and abuse. This, along with the related problems of service delivery, constitutes a serious threat to the legitimacy of state institutions and is giving strong ammunition to Maliki’s critics.
“The revolutions that have spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa since December have given new impetus and a sense of urgency to the call for better governance in Iraq”, warns Joost Hiltermann, Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Program Director. “To bolster its faltering legitimacy, Maliki’s government will have to launch a vigorous anti-corruption campaign, improve service delivery and create checks and balances in the state system”.
As violence spread following the 2003 U.S. invasion, and in an environment of escalating kidnappings, explosions and assassinations, public services were thoroughly devastated, and Iraq witnessed an explosive and alarming rise in corruption. Longstanding projects were abandoned overnight, and judges and parliamentarians were targeted. Oversight agencies, which should have been less exposed to risk because of their lack of direct contact with the general population, were forced to roll back their operations, leaving state institutions without effective safeguards against corruption or abuse. As a result, state output declined dramatically for a number of years, even as the annual budget steadily increased due to elevated oil prices. The state’s paralysis contributed to the proliferation of graft, nepotism and other criminal activity throughout the bureaucracy.
In order to strengthen its credibility, the government and the Council of Representatives should develop an anti-corruption framework that will allow for greater and more effective cooperation and coordination between the various state institutions. Likewise, reforms of the Council of Representatives, the most important body in the new oversight framework, have to facilitate the formulation of legislative bills and accelerate the lawmaking process. In addition, political parties’ independence should be reinforced by introducing binding financial transparency legislation. The U.S. and other members of the international community should encourage these changes and offer immediate and direct support, while publicly expressing disapproval of the government’s resistance to long-overdue legislation designed to repair the damage caused to state institutions since 2003.
“Until these and other actions are taken, the government will continue to operate virtually unchecked, bringing with it the type of chronic abuse, rampant corruption and growing authoritarianism that is the inevitable result of failing oversight”, says Robert Malley, Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa Program Director. “The types of reform Iraqis are demanding are achievable, but they require unity of vision and good faith – qualities desperately lacking today”.
Tags: Shooting of protesters in Iraqi Kurdistan
HEVIDAR AHMED – RUDAW – SULAIMANI, Iraqi Kurdistan — A court has issued arrest warrants for nine individuals, including two high-ranking officials, wanted for their alleged involvement in the shootings of protesters and for burning down a satellite news channel, Nalia. A source at the Sulaimani public prosecutor’s office, however, said police are refusing to arrest the officials. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “Two of the wanted people are high-ranking officials and the police can’t arrest them, while the other seven have disappeared and the police can’t find them.”
Tags: Mustafa Akyol, PKK terrorism
Friday, September 23, 2011 – HURRIYET – MUSTAFA AKYOL –
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, the terrorist organization which is motivated by a bizarre blend of Kurdish nationalism and Stalinist Marxism, has gone totally mad. Since last August, their “guerillas” have been killing Turkish soldiers and policemen almost every other day. Two of their recent victims include a policeman shot while playing football and his wife who was just watching her husband. They have also killed four women who were driving to a friends’ reunion, as well as three bystanders, who fell victim to their recent bombing in Ankara. What’s worse, the “Kurdistan Freedom Falcons,” a sub-group within the PKK that the organization created in 2003 to commit its uglier crimes, proudly declared that it will freely “target civilians” from now on. “Turkey’s big cities,” they announced, “will be our main battle ground.”
It is a pity that we came to this point, especially after the Turkish government initiated a “Kurdish opening” in 2009 and sought a political settlement with the PKK. The audio tapes of the meetings between the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency, or MİT, Hakan Fidan, and three PKK representatives in Europe, which were “leaked” a few weeks ago to the Turkish media, show how much effort the government has shown. (These tapes were treated as a scandal by the opposition parties, in a how-dare-you-speak-to-the-terrorists demagoguery. But I regarded them as the evidence of a commendable effort by the Turkish authorities to solve the “Kurdish issue” peacefully.)
In fact, why the PKK escalated its violence at a time when Turkey became most progressive on the Kurdish issue is a curious question. We even know that “the state,” as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan put it, had been in fruitful negotiation with the PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan, until two months ago. But then, for no apparent reason, the PKK began to attack again, only to provoke Turkey to hit back by bombing the organization’s headquarters in the Kandil Mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan.
There are various theories in Turkey on why the PKK is so trigger-happy. Some, including me, think that the organization is simply too fanatic and ambitious, and is more interested in reaping huge benefits for itself, rather than merely make progress on Kurdish rights. Others believe that there are factions within the organization, some of which are manipulated by outside forces – such as “the deep state,” or Syria or Israel, countries which dislike Turkey these days for different reasons.
Tags: Oil law
EXCLUSIVE-Iraq alters oil law draft to erode Kurdish powers
Fri Sep 23, 2011
*Draft law to give Baghdad more control over oil
*Kurds promise political battle
* Law would create Iraqi National Oil Co.
By Ahmed Rasheed
Sept 23 (Reuters) – Iraq’s leadership has changed the draft of a long awaited
oil and gas law in a way that would give central government more control over
the country’s vast crude reserves and provoke a clash with the semi-autonomous
The law, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, would give Baghdad more power to
manage and develop the OPEC member’s petroleum resources, the world’s fourth
Tags: Ibn Khaldun Scholarship
ATTENTION IRAQIS WHO WANT MASTERS DEGREES:
Humanities and Social Sciences. Arts, Economics and Law are also included in the range of eligible subjects, provided they can be studied in a Master’s degree program. Students who wish to pursue other subjects, such as Engineering, Information Science, Medicine and Natural Science, are not eligible for funding through this programme.
The Ibn Khaldun Scholarship
The DAAD has established the Ibn Khaldun Scholarship
Programme with the aim of promoting Iraqi Humanities and Social Sciences. Arts,
Economics and Law are also included in the range of eligible subjects, provided
they can be studied in a Master’s degree program. Students who wish to pursue
other subjects, such as Engineering, Information Science, Medicine and Natural
Science, are not eligible for funding through this programme.
Ibn Khaldun scholars select a Master’s degree program at a
German university of their choice. The scholarship covers tuition fees, a
travel allowance, a monthly stipend, health insurance and other benefits. The
language of instruction may be German, English, or both. However,
the DAAD cannot guarantee admission.
The scholars are provided with university preparatory courses
and German language training up to twelve months prior to enrolment.
Tags: Erşet Salihi, Turhan Müftü, Turkmens visit Al-Maliki
BAĞDAT’TA ÖZEL GÖRÜŞME
Üst düzey bir Türkmen heyeti başbakan Nuri El Maliki ile bir araya geldi.Ziyaretçi heyet Irak Türkmen Cephesi başkanı ve Türkmen Milletvekili Erşet Salihi başkanlık etti. İllerden sorumlu Devlet bakanı Turhan Müftü ve İçişleri Bakanlığı Vakili Aydın Halit heyette yer aldı. Görüşmenin temel ve tek gündemi Kerkük’te Türkmen insanlarına karşı öldürme ve kaçırma olayları.
Kerkük’te cereyan edenhadiseler Bağdat gündemine taşındı.
Irak Türkmen Cephesi başkanı Erşet Salihi başkanlığında üst düzey bir Türkmen heyeti başbakan Nuri El Maliki ile bir araya geldi. Ziyaretçi heyette illerden sorumlu Devlet bakanı Turhan Müftü ve İçişleri Bakanlığı Vakili Aydın Halit yer aldı.Görüşmenin temel ve tek gündemi Kerkük’te Türkmen insanlarına karşı öldürme ve kaçırma olayları.
Türkmeneli televizyonuna konuşan Irak Türkmen Cehesi başkanı Erşet Salihi,görüşmenin çok iyi ve düzeyli geçtiğini,Kerkük’te Türkmen doktoru Yıldırım Demirci’nin şehit edilmesine karşı Türkmen milletinin göstermiş olduğu tepkinin çok büyük olduğunu belirtti. Salihi Türkmen Türkmen milletinin Kerkük’te vermiş olduğu tepkiden büyük memnuniyet duyduğunu,bir milletin haklarını elde etmesi için bu tür demokrasi yollara başvurması gerekiyor.
Salihi ayrıca,Türkmen milleti bugün çok önemil ve güçlü bir pozisyonda olduğunu gerektiği zaman başbakan, Cumhurbaşkanı ve devletin üst düzey mercileriyle görüşme imtiyazına sahip olduğunu söyledi.
Görüşmeye katılan İllerden sorumlu Devlet bakanı Turhan Müftü Türkmeneli televizyonuna yaptığı açıklamada, başbakan Maliki ile yapılan görüşmenin çok olumlu geçtiğini, başbakanın son olaylardan haberdar olduğunu ve Türkmen milletinin yanında olduğunu söylediğini ifade etti. Müfü ayrıca,Türkmen milleti bu tür olaylara karşı göğüs gerecek güçte olduğunu dolaysıyla bu olaylarıdan dolayı hiç kimsenin endişeye kapılmaması gerektiğini söyledi.