January 29, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

An Interview With Iraq Body Count

 Posted in Musings On Iraq

The U.K.-based Iraq Body Count (IBC) is the premier organization for tracking deaths and violence in Iraq. Since its founding in 2002, it has kept a running count of the casualties caused by the Iraq War, which is constantly updated. Its work has also been included in various studies, and is a constant reminder of the costs of the conflict there. This is an interview with two members of IBC, Hamit Dardagan and Josh Dougherty.
1. What was the impetus for creating Iraq Body Count (IBC), and what year did it start?
The principal impetus for starting IBC in late 2002 was to ensure that the deaths of civilians in the forthcoming war would stay firmly in public view, remain a prominent part of debate and discussion about the war, and be considered soberly and appropriately. More specifically, it was to ensure that the cumulative number of reported civilian deaths would become an accessible part of the public record.
A notable, but not untypical, example of discussion detached from any pertinent data was Tony Blair’s eve-of-war statement to the U.K. Parliament that “[Saddam Hussein] will be responsible for many, many more deaths even in one year than we will be in any conflict.” This might or might not have been true according to the best evidence available at the time, but to make a quantitative claim without so much as mentioning any relevant data is surely unacceptable, and all the more so when so much is at stake for those affected. Indeed, our data proved Blair’s unsupported claim to have been simply false. More civilians were killed in just the first two months of the war in 2003 than were killed by Saddam Hussein’s government in the year before, or indeed for many years before. One would have to go back at least to the early 1990s to find any plausible evidence for deaths on a similar or greater scale. Blair’s claim went mostly unquestioned, but, given that it dealt with an essentially numerical question was of the sort that would not have been permissible for a politician to make without closer examination if it had been about, say, taxation.

فيديو: عشرات النواب يقفون الى جانب ارشد الصالحي في القائه بيان الكتلة التركمانية والمجلس يقف اجلالا ولقراءة الفاتحة على ارواح الشهداء التركمان والكتل النيابية تساند مطاليب التركمان

January 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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فيديو: عشرات النواب يقفون الى جانب ارشد الصالحي في القائه بيان الكتلة التركمانية والمجلس يقف اجلالا ولقراءة الفاتحة على ارواح الشهداء التركمان والكتل النيابية تساند مطاليب التركمان

مطالب التركمان في مجلس النواب التي تلقى دعما من الكتل النيابية
1 . الاسراع في تشريع قانون حقوق التركمان والذي صوت على تشريعه مجلس النواب في 28 تموز 2012
2 . حث الحكومة المركزية والمحلية في كركوك و صلاح الدين من اعادة التوازن الامني حسب المادة 9 من الدستور.
3 . في ظل وجود قوات الحكومة الاتحادية وفي ظل وجود قوات البيشمركة حوالي هذه المدن فينبغي ان يشكل لواءين من الشرطة الاتحادية من الشعب التركماني ومن مكونات هذه المناطق ليتسنى لهم حماية المناطق التركمانية.
4 . اشراك التركمان في المحادثات التي تجري بين حكومة الاقليم والحكومة الاتحادية في البحث عن مخرج امني في المناطق التي فيها اختلافات امنية.
5 . تعيين وكيل وزير للداخلية لشؤون الشرطة والذي من حصة القومية التركمانية.
6 . تعيين ضباط ومنتسبين في جهازي المخابرات والامن الوطني من التركمان.
7 . ومن خلال هذا المنبر فأننا نطالب الحكومة وأجهزتها الامنية عقد مؤتمرا في اقرب فرصة ليتسنى لنا نحن كممثلين عن التركمان اعطاء المفاهيم الواضحة وعن عمليات التطهير العرقي والطائفي ومحاولات التهجير القسري وتأثير هذه الممارسات على الحفاظ على وحدة العراق ارضا وشعبا.


Hassan Aydinli met with MEP Struan Stevenson and William Spencer at the EU Parliament in Brussels

January 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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William Sppencer at IDMeeting 24 01 13 011

 William SPENCER, Executive Director, Institute for International Law and Human Rights and  Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative

William Sppencer at IDMeeting 24 01 13 004

Struan STEVENSON, Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with Iraq and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative.

William Sppencer at IDMeeting 24 01 13 006


Hassan Aydinli met with MEP Struan Stevenson and William Spencer at the EU Parliament in Brussels

The Delegation for Relations with Iraq Meeting took place at the EU Parliament in Brussels on 24th January 2013

The object of the Meeting was the Preparation for the 5th Interparliamentary meeting EP-Iraqi CoR. Situation of the country, logistics and practical arrangements.

The guest speaker was Mr. William SPENCER, Executive Director, Institute for International Law and Human Rights. The Meeting was attended by Mrs. Sybille RIEDER, EEAS INTCEN and Mr. Charles STUART, EEAS Security Directorate.

MEP Ms. Ana GOMEZ attended the first half of the meeting.

The Chair, MEP Struan STEVENSON, opened the Meeting by saying that he deplored the continued assassinations and lack of security in Iraq. He also deplored the fact that although Iraq now has a huge income from its massive oil production, the access to electricity, running water and sewage remains very limited.  Baghdad is considered to be the second dirtiest city in the world.

MEP Struan STEVENSON announced that the EU Mission to Iraq would take place from 11th to 15th February 2013.

The Members of the EU Delegation will arrive in Baghdad from Vienna on Sunday 10th February where they will hold meetings until Wednesday 13th February. They will be staying at the Rasheed Hotel and all the meetings will take place in the Green Zone for security reasons.

From Wednesday 13th February to Friday 15th February they will be in Erbil to meet with the KRG officials and members of the Civil society.

They will leave Iraq on Friday 15th February 2013.

Mr. Zana KURDA from the Iraqi Embassy said that the Kurdish Peshmerga have offered to take care of the security of the delegation.

MEP Struan Stevenson said that the Delegation would like to visit Kirkuk to meet with the Kirkuk representatives and that they will have to travel by helicopter. MEP Ana GOMEZ intervened to say that this would be a waste of time for the delegation and she advised for the meetings to take place in Erbil.

The Chair then gave the floor to Mr. William SPENCER.

William SPENCER said that the Institute for International Law and Human Rights is a Civil Society NGO,  which has worked in Baghdad since 2005, where they established the H.R. Commission. He said they have offices in Brussels, Baghdad and Washington D.C.

He said that the number of attacks have not changed significantly since 2009 in Iraq, that Baghdad and Ninewah remain the most violent.

William SPENCER said that there is great dynamism in construction in Baghdad. He said that the Kurds are now present all over the ‘disputed territories’. He mentioned that in Ninewah people  complain that the oil money goes to Erbil. He said that Al-Qaeda terrorists enter in Iraq from the Syrian border.

William SPENCER said that life remains a struggle for ordinary Iraqis and that there is government corruption. He added that Maliki and Barzani want to appear strong before the Provincial elections which are due to take place in April 2013 and the General Elections foreseen in January 2014.

William SPENCER recommended that the Members of the EU Delegation reach out to various groups outside the green zone when they are in Baghdad.

Dr. Hassan AYDINLI spoke with the Chairman MEP Struan Stevenson regarding  MEP Ana GOMEZ’s advice against the delegation going to Kirkuk to meet with Kirkuk representatives and her recommendation to hold the meetings in Erbil instead. Hassan AYDINLI told MEP Struan Stevenson  that if the EU delegation does not go to Kirkuk to meet with the Kirkuk representatives it is preferable to hold the meetings with them in Baghdad rather than in Erbil.

ITF EU Representative spoke with Mr. William SPENCER about the situation of the Turkmens who are caught between the Arabs and the Kurds. He said that the tensions between Arabs and Kurds have increased since the creation of the Dijla forces, and that when the Dijla and Peshmerga  confront each other in the Turkmen Region it is the Turkmens who get killed.

The Turkmens are caught between hammer and anvil and the recent attacks on their leaders and intellectuals in Tuz Khurmatu  show that the unarmed Turkmens continue to be targeted and that they are victims of ethnic cleansing.

Mr. Spencer said he was aware of the Turkmens’ plight and that the Turkmens and the minorities who are not armed are at risk in Iraq.

Dr. Hassan Aydinli informed Mr. Spencer  that the Central government in Baghdad remains deaf to the Turkmens’ repeated demands to grant the Turkmens their right to defend themselves and form law enforcement units of each locality from the local Turkmens and provide them with financial support and proper training.

He asked Mr. Spencer to be the voice of the Turkmens at the international level and to mention the Turkmens’ plight in the publications of his NGO, the Institute for International Law and Human Rights.



January 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Get the facts right New York Times!

TUZ KHURMATU is not ‘in the Kurdish north’!

TUZ KHURMATU is an Iraqi Turkmen city,  it is situated inTURKMENELI, which is the Turkmen region of Iraq.
The Turkmen region extends from TELAFER city in the north-west of Iraq (West of Mosul and close to the Syrian border) to MENDELI city (East of Baghdad close to the Iranian border).Turkmeneli which means “Turkmens’ land” is the region of Iraq which separates the Arab region from the Kurdish region.

TUZ KHURMATU is a Turkmen name.

The original inhabitants of TUZ KHURMATU are Turkmens.
All the victims in this latest attack are Turkmens.

TUZ KHURMATU was NOT included in the ‘safe haven‘ that the U.S. created in 1991 to protect the Kurds.  How come that in 2013 you are considering it as belonging to the “Kurdish north”?


Below is the NY Times article:

Bombing at a Funeral in Northern Iraq Kills at Least 35

Ako Rasheed/Reuters
A man wounded by a suicide bomber in Tuz Khurmato district in northern Iraq was treated at a hospital in Kirkuk.


Published: January 23, 2013

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A crowded tent full of Turkmen mourners in northern Iraq was transformed into a mass killing ground on Wednesday by a suicide bombing that left at least 35 people dead and 117 wounded, regional officials and tribal leaders said, calling it a genocidal attack meant to further stoke the already-inflamed sectarian tensions in the country.

Both the dead and wounded victims included a number of high-ranking regional dignitaries, military officers, professors and religious men among the Turkmen population of the Tuz Khurmato district in Salahuddin Province, an area in the Kurdish north also claimed by Arabs and Turkmens. It came a day after an extended outbreak of sectarian shootings and bombings in the country that killed at least 24 Iraqis.

Mourners at the Imam Ali mosque had been paying their respects to a Turkmen employee of the Ministry of Health who had been killed in the mayhem the day before, the brother-in-law of a deputy in the Iraqi Turkmen Front, a political party. They had packed into a funeral tent for the ceremony when the suicide bomber, apparently masquerading as one of the aggrieved, blew himself up.
Turkmen leaders were outraged.
“We demand to have international forces to secure us, for the Turkmens and our areas,” said Faid Alla, the head of a Turkmen tribe. “We are being targeted, and our existence in Iraq is very dangerous, and we are under genocide. The central government is doing nothing for us.”
Tuz Khurmato, south of Kirkuk in an oil-rich area, was the site two months ago of a sectarian-tinged confrontation over disputed territory between forces loyal to the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government, which has its own armed forces.


January 24, 2013 at 12:26 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment



 Health Directorate staff Ahmet Salah Asker, a close relative of Deputy Head of Iraqi Turkmen Front  and member of the Selahattin Province Assembly Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu lost his life in an armed attack executed by unidentified assailants in the Tuzhurmatu district of Selahattin province.

This was followed by an attack targeting the assembly of condolence established on behalf of Martyr Ahmet Salah Asker in which the Honorary President of ITF Sadettin Ergeç, Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu and Head of Kirkuk District Assembly Münir Kafili who were in attendance were slightly injured.

As the Iraqi Turkmen Front Turkey Representation we abhor the malicious attack targeting the assembly of condolence set up on behalf of Ahmet Salah Asker. May our martyr rest in peace and God give his family, relatives and the Turkmen nation patience and condolence and may those who were injured in the condolence assembly get well soon.

The young Ahmet Salah Asker was hailed with bullets in the middle of the street on his way home from work. This saddening event and the attack targeting the condolence assembly once again showed that the Turkmen community which is completely defenseless has no guarantee of life. Once again together with these incidents it is revealed clearly that the administration who controls the security forces in the country is at fault. We anticipate that the administration will prevent acts of terror and detain those responsible for the attack against the assembly of condolence and put them in front of justice as soon as possible.

Iraq suicide bomb at Shiite mosque kills 42

January 24, 2013 at 12:04 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Iraq suicide bomb at Shiite mosque kills 42

SAMARRA, Iraq – Agence France-Presse


REUTERS/Ako Rasheed

REUTERS/Ako Rasheed

A suicide bomb at a funeral in a Shiite mosque in north Iraq killed at least 42 people on Wednesday, the latest in a spate of deadly violence amid a political crisis engulfing the country.

The attack, which also left 75 people wounded, struck at the Sayid al-Shuhada mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometres north of Baghdad, and targeted the funeral of a relative of a politician who was killed a day earlier.

No group claimed responsibility, but Sunni militants often launch attacks in a bid to destabilise the government and push Iraq back towards the sectarian violence that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.

Niyazi Moamer Oghlu, the secretary general of the provincial council of Salaheddin, which surrounds Tuz Khurmatu, put the toll from the attack at 42 dead and 75 wounded.

“Corpses are on the ground of the Husseiniyah (Shiite mosque),” said Shallal Abdul, mayor of Tuz Khurmatu, which lies 175 kilometres (110 miles) north of Baghdad. “The suicide bomber managed to enter and blow himself up in the middle of the mourners.” Among the wounded were officials and tribal leaders, including Ali Hashem Mukhtar, the deputy chief of the Iraqi Turkman Front and a provincial councillor in Salaheddin, which surrounds Tuz Khurmatu.

The funeral had been for Mukhtar’s brother-in-law, who was shot dead in Tuz on Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday’s suicide bomb came after a wave of attacks in and around Baghdad and in northern Iraq killed 26 people and wounded dozens more, shattering a relative calm after a spate of deadly violence last week.

The unrest comes amid a political crisis that has pitted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against several of his erstwhile government partners and with more than four weeks of anti-government protests in Sunni majority areas hardening opposition against the Shiite leader’s rule.



January 23, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Tuz Khurmatu



23rd January 2013



Health Directorate staff Ahmet Salah Asker, a close relative of Deputy Head of Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) and member of the Selahattin Province Assembly Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu lost his life in an armed attack executed by unidentified assailants in the Tuzhurmatu district of Selahattin province.


Ahmet Salah Asker who was born in 1978 was hailed by a storm of bullets in the middle of a street on his way home after work. Asker’s body and head were hit with bullets and he lost his life on the spot. Asker’s body was taken to Tuzhurmatu Hospital and later to the Kirkuk Forensic Medicine Morgue. Asker’s house was also the target of a bomb attack on the 1st of January 2013 and greatly damaged. Two days before his death (the 20th of January 2013) Asker spoke on a television channel indicating that the Turkmen in Tuzhurmatu were defenseless and constantly the victims of attacks and demanded that the government establish an armed forces for the Turkmen.

Deputy Head of ITF Ali Haşim Muhtaroğlu, member of the Executive Board of the ITF and Head of the Kirkuk Province Assembly Hasan Turan and ITF Spokesman and member of Kirkuk Province Assembly Ali Mehdi went to Kirkuk State Hospital for the body.

Head of the Kirkuk Province Assembly Hasan Turan said that the government did not listen to the Turkmen and demanded that a serious investigation be made about the incident. Turan said:

“Unfortunately there is no end to the incidents. Turkmen are always being targeted. All parties are silent and wait and watch the massacre of the Turkmen. We have hundreds of statements. Unfortunately we have not received any significant help from the government. The government should deputize a serious commission. Not like the other commissions.”
ITF Spokesman Ali Mehdi demanded that a Turkmen force be established and that the Turkish world support the Iraqi Turkmen. Mehdi voiced his reaction by saying, “There is no government in Iraq. Every day the Turkmen people are targeted somewhere. The Turkish world, Turkey hear us. The Turkmen here are all alone”.

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, October 2012

January 23, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Re-posting for those who have missed it:

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction

Quarterly Report to the United States Congress

[October 30, 2012]

145 pages

Continue Reading Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, October 2012…

Emine Bozkurt, a member of the European Parliament, spoke about the Turkmens and Assyrians in Iraq in the parliament session on January 16

January 23, 2013 at 11:01 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Emine Bozkurt, a member of the European Parliament, spoke about the Turkmens and Assyrians in Iraq in the parliament session on January 16.

Ms. Bozkurt brought attention to the unsatisfactory and deteriorating humans rights of Assyrians and Turkmens in Iraq.

Below are Ms. Emine Bozkurt’s remarks:

The news coming from Iraq is not very pleasant. Tensions among religious and ethnic groups are on the rise, and the situation in the country is deteriorating. At such a critical time, the EU is concluding a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Iraq.

In the early days of this year, a 54-year-old Assyrian woman was killed. She was not the first to be murdered because of her religion. Assyrians in Iraq do not feel safe; their churches have been attacked, perpetrators have not been brought to justice. They do not have their own police to protect them.

Turkmens of Iraq are also alarmed over a wave of assassinations and abductions targeting their community. They face discrimination in the labor market and suffer from arbitrary detentions.

I support the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, not despite of, but because of these problems. The people of Iraq need a deep, sustainable democracy based on human rights, equality and rule of law. However, how is the EU going to make sure that these principles are being upheld? Can all the religious and ethnic groups depend on the support of the EU?

Steun voor Partnerschap- en Samenwerkingsovereenkomst EU – Irak

donderdag 17 januari 2013

Vandaag heeft het Europees Parlement in Straatsburg ingestemd met de Partnerschap- en Samenwerkingsovereenkomst (PSO) tussen de EU en Irak. Emine Bozkurt, lid van het Europees Parlement namens de PvdA, spreekt haar zorgen uit over de situatie in het land: “De precaire mensenrechtensituatie in Irak is een belangrijke reden om de banden met Irak te versterken. Hierdoor kan de EU het land beter aanspreken op haar mensenrechtenbeleid. De Iraakse bevolking heeft behoefte aan een duurzaam democratiseringsproces met aandacht voor mensenrechten en het versterken van de rechtstaat. Het is van belang voor de stabiliteit in het land en de regio dat de EU dit proces in Irak ondersteunt.”

Terwijl de PSO wordt ondertekend, is de mensenrechtensituatie in Irak nog steeds zeer zorgwekkend. De Iraakse grondwet biedt op papier waarborgen voor fundamentele vrijheden en mensenrechten, maar de spanningen tussen religieuze en etnische groepen in de samenleving lopen alsmaar op. Zo werd begin dit jaar een 54-jarige Assyrische vrouw vermoord wegens haar religieuze achtergrond. Ook de Iraaks-Turkmeense gemeenschap wordt geconfronteerd met ontvoeringen en moorden. De politiediensten beschermen deze gemeenschappen totaal niet. De EU zal door de PSO meer druk moeten uitoefenen op de Iraakse regering om de mensenrechten van alle bevolkingsgroepen en minderheden gelijk te beschermen en te verbeteren.

De PSO is de opvolger van de reeds bestaande Handels- en Samenwerkingsovereenkomst en vormt het eerste rechtskader voor Europese betrekkingen met Irak. Er wordt onder andere in vastgesteld dat er een politieke dialoog zal plaatsvinden tussen de regio’s. Ook worden er handels- en investeringsregels vastgelegd die in lijn zijn met de eisen van de Wereldhandelsorganisatie.


Tipping Towards Iraq’s Squares: An Interview with Falah Alwan

January 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Not looking at Iraq as a chain of events, but rather seeking the roots, they lie in a political system and the division of a society based on what they call Shi’a, Sunni, Kurdish, Turkmen, and Christian “component parts.”

The government then says that it does not discriminate between one part or another, and that “Iraq is one.” Then politicians wrestle over dividing the ministries between political blocs based on ethnicity, each in a team that hates the other, uniting only in their animosity towards Iraqi society.

The centralization of power in Shi’a Islamic parties, the spread of corruption in the government institutions were set up, and the inability of the authorities to create a broad political frame that can contain the whole society has all lead to a general societal disgust, which the people have expressed through a series of protests and sit-ins across Iraq, that preceded the moment we are living now.

 Tipping Towards Iraq’s Squares: An Interview with Falah Alwan

Jan 22 2013

by Ali Issa

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