April 30, 2014 at 1:20 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

30th APRIL 2014


Turkmen candidates elections april 30 2014


April 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment






IRAQI ELECTIONS 30th APRIL 2014 – Photo of Turkmen candidates

April 13, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Turkmen candidates elections april 30 2014


April 13, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Theatre of the absurd

As the country prepares to go to the polls on 30 April, many Iraqis have lost their faith in their parliamentary representatives, writes Nermeen Al-Mufti in Baghdad

Theatre of the absurd

The UN mission in Iraq has stated that 592 Iraqis, among them 484 civilians, were killed in the country in March, the statement excluding causalities in the Anbar province where the Iraqi army has been in operation for the last three months.

The ongoing violence comes as the country prepares for its first parliamentary elections, to be held on 30 April, since the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. On 1 April, the electoral campaigns began, and by the morning of the first day thousands of posters and billboards from the 9,094 candidates from 32 blocs, 250 parties and including independent personalities, were to be seen across the country.

Iraqis have lost trust in their representatives over the last four years because of the ongoing crises in the country. “The last four years were enough to discover that our representatives are not representing us, but working for their own interests,” said Saad Ali, an academic. “For the last four years, the agendas, inside and outside, have been obvious.”

Qasim Al-Fahdawi, the former governor of Anbar province and the leading candidate of the Loyalty to Anbar political bloc, said in a televised interview that the ongoing crises in his province were due to the fact that the country’s parliament had not discussed the demands of the protesters and had not met them.

 The UN mission published a statement by Nikolay Mladenov, the representative of the UN secretary-general in Iraq, on the formation of a “quartet committee” intended to move forward negotiations on the country’s budget.

“I welcome the efforts of the presidency of the Council of Representatives and the heads of the parliamentary blocs to move forward the negotiations over the 2014 budget. The formation of a quartet committee to address outstanding issues is an important step. I encourage Iraqi leaders to work together and in a spirit of compromise to enact the budget as soon as possible. This should be done with the agreement of all components of Iraqi society in order to ensure that everyone shares the wealth of this country and receives needed public services,” Mladenov said.

“This statement is further evidence that our representatives do not think of Iraqi interests,” commented Ahlam Qiasy, a teacher, who added that “we know there are problems among the leading blocs in parliament, yet who would imagine that our representatives would lead the country to bankruptcy just because some of the blocs are against the prime minister?”

Similar questions are being asked by the majority of Iraqi voters, who have begun pressing for changes in the country. For the time being, it seems that the only people that can bring about this change are the voters themselves.

In the first elections to be held after the withdrawal of the US from the country, the Turkmens, Kurds and Arabs in Kirkuk do not have separate lists. Moreover, for the first time the two leading Kurdish parties, the PUK of Jalal Talabani and the KDP of Masoud Barzani, who led the Kurdistan coalition in the previous elections, now have two different lists.

There are also Arabs on different lists and Turkmens, too, for the first time are participating on two lists. Torhan Mufti, head of the Alliance of the Kirkuk Turkmens list, said that “our list believes that Turkmen issues can be solved, but in Baghdad.” Mufti is State Minister for the Provinces and acting Communications Minister in the present cabinet.

The situation in Kirkuk, the oil-rich city that is described as a “small Iraq,” also shows how problems and differences are woven deep in the country.

Meanwhile, the State Ministry for Women has issued a statement asking Iraqis to behave politely with female candidates after photographs were published on social media showing young men kissing posters of female candidates and Iraqi bloggers attacking female candidates by criticising their appearance.

The Shiite higher marjieya, a religious institution, has stated that it does not support any particular list or bloc, but wants to see Iraqis achieve change through voting for the “right candidates.”

Amidst the ongoing violence and crises, candidate posters have been causing fun through their slogans, statements and promises. One candidate wrote on his posters that he had been ordered to stand by the Prophet Mohamed. A comment on Facebook then appeared saying “I was ordered by the Prophet not to give you my vote.”

 Until April 30, elections day, the posters of the candidates will continue to appear across the country along with the black banners that mourn the causalities of the violence, as an indication of the theatre of the absurd that is contemporary Iraq


Iraqi Turkmens in Erbil welcome Turkish mosque sermon

April 12, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Iraqi Turkmens in Erbil welcome Turkish mosque sermon
Iraqi Turkmens in Erbil welcome Turkish mosque sermon

It will be the first time since the Friday sermon is read in Turkish in Erbil since the end of the Ottoman Empire.

World Bulletin / News Desk

The autonomous Kurdish Regional Government of northern Iraq has given permission for one mosque in the city of Erbil to recite the Friday sermon in Turkish. The decision has made ethnic Turkmens, who have a strong presence in the city, very happy.

Turkmen lawmaker Aydin Maruf Selim welcomed the decision, calling it an important step for the Turkmens of Erbil and a ‘historic decision’.

The Iraqi Turkmen Front Council member also noted that it will be the first time since the Friday sermon is read in Turkish in the city since the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Promising more Turkish sermons in the future, he called the decision a natural right for the Turkmens and call on them to congregate to the mosque.

Jumping Ship? Defections from Maliki ahead of the Iraqi Parliamentary Elections

April 7, 2014 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Jumping Ship? Defections from Maliki ahead of the Iraqi Parliamentary Elections

Posted by Reidar Visser on Sunday, 6 April 2014 2:28

An interesting piece of information that emerges from the newly released list of candidates for Iraq’s 30 April general elections is that at least a dozen ministers and MPs previously considered part of the State of Law coalition will contest the elections on other tickets than that of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki.

It makes sense to structure the discussion of these apparent defections from State of Law with respect to the degree to which they truly constitute a challenge to Maliki. Firstly, there are some lists that are so loudly loyal to Maliki that one might suspect he doesn’t mind them running separately. An example is list 240 associated wih Saad al-Mutallabi, a staunch Maliki supporter.  Named the “Movement of Youth for the State of the Hegemony of the Law”, it is running in Baghdad and Najaf. With Maliki featuring prominently on its election posters, it seems more like an auxiliary than an enemy, even though one cannot help wonder why Maliki would truly want to deliberately split his own vote. (A recurrent theme in the debate on this is the misguided belief that the new Iraqi elections law offers better prospects for smaller parties. It doesn’t.)

In a similar category is list 230. It is focused on two State of Law MPs: Ihsan al-Awwadi (Qadisiyya) and Haytham al-Jibburi (Babel). The list is running in Basra, Mid-Euphrates and Diyala. Originally this movement emerged as the creation of former government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh who himself moved on to ISCI before these elections (though without appearing on their final candidate list). Whereas the schism between Dabbagh and Maliki appears to be final, pro-Maliki slogans are prominent in this successor party: Jibburi, for example, uses the slogan “hand in hand with Prime Minister Maliki” in his campaign.

Other independent candidacies within the State of Law group of politicians seem less friendly  to Maliki, and at least two of them could potentially be somewhat substantial.

Firstly there is list 228, headed by Izzat Shahbandar as candidate no. 1 in Baghdad. It is also running in Wasit, Basra, Dhi Qar and Karbala. The list also includes former Iraqiyya member Abd al-Khadar Tahir, reflecting perhaps the fact that Shahbandar was formerly one of the Maliki aides considered most sympathetic to the idea of cooperating with Sunnis and secularists. Judging from the make-up of his list, though, the successes in this respect north of Baghdad remain limited, even after the split from Maliki.

Second there is list 211, associated with Sami al-Askari. It will run in most Shiite-majority governorates as well as in Diyala. Another leading figure on the list is Najaf governor Adnan al-Zurfi. Given the connection to Najaf, the list has links to Shiite religious circles in Iraq’s holy cities. At the same time these are politicians with a record of dialogue with the Americans and the West, perhaps more so than some of the more Iran-sympathetic circles within State of Law.

Other new lists based on defections from Maliki seem more limited to personalities and localities.

Firstly there is Ali Fayyad and his list 226 running in Baghdad and with a few candidates in Najaf also. This is essentially Ali Fayyad’s personal creation. Judging from its posters, the list is apparently trying to appeal to tribal electorates in and around the Iraqi capital.

Secondly there is former minister of state for security and current MP Shirwan al-Waeli with list 284. It will be running in his home province of Dhi Qar only after initial negotiations to have him as part of the Askari-Zurfi group appear to have failed.

Thirdly there is minister of state Safa al-Din al-Safi, running list 201 in his own hometown Basra as well as in Wasit. It seems more detached from Maliki than one might expect given Safi’s sometimes key role in fixing problems for Maliki in the past. Safi has some links to the religious leadership in Najaf whose calls for “change” have been interpreted as a hint that a shakeup of the current government is needed.

Fourthly there is Jawad Kazim al-Buzuni and list 238 running in Basra, Dhi Qar, Wasit, Babel and Baghdad. Apart from its outspoken, sometimes federalist key figure from Basra, the list comprises mostly academics with relatively low profiles.

While the above statistics of defections are remarkable, equally important is perhaps the fact of relative dissipation – geographically and organizationally alike. Perhaps the bigger challenge to Maliki consists of those MPs who did not start their own new list but instead jumped to an existing enemy: Muwatin, dominated by the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) and Ammar al-Hakim. They include at least the following: Janan Abd al-Jabbar Yasin (Basra), Hussein al-Assadi (Basra), Ali Kurdi al-Husseini (Karbala; now on Muwatin list in Baghdad), Manal Hamid al-Musawi (Karbala), and Ahmad Habib al-Abbasi (Babel).

It has been suggested that it is the acceptance of post-election bloc formation in Iraqi parliamentary politics (following the precedent of 2010 and the disputed supreme court ruling enabling this) that has prompted so many State of Law politicians to try their luck on their own this time. But as long as the numbers of MPs affiliated with each bloc count as much as they do in Iraq – both practically and in terms of prestige – it is somewhat difficult to take at face value the talk of  friendly and temporary divorces emanating from some of the players involved in these developments. And with respect to the defections to Muwatin, in particular,  there can be no doubt that this is bad news for Maliki. The likely outcome of all of this is a reduction of Maliki’s total bloc size and therefore his stature. Additionally, these acts of defection also tell important stories about how people whose livelihoods depend on the outcomes of these elections think the result will shape up.

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