ITF EU Representative Dr Hassan Aydinli speaking in Antwerp, Belgium at Workshop: “Archival Awareness” – PRESERVING THE UNIQUE HERITAGE OF INDIGENOUS CULTURES-

June 24, 2014 at 2:59 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraqi Turkmen Front EU representative Dr Hassan Aydinli speaking in Antwerp, Belgium  on 31/03/2014 at Workshop: “Archival Awareness” – PRESERVING THE UNIQUE HERITAGE OF INDIGENOUS CULTURES- at the ADVN- Archives and Research Centre.

In view of the clear need of providing new models to make a minority dimension work within the framework of multinational states, UNPO embarked on a landmark initiative dedicated specifically to exploring the different dimensions of the concept of self-determination. This initiative combined a range of different activities, in which the participants took part not only as passive learners, but were given the opportunity to influence the course of the different events, express their viewpoints and articulate their demands for self-determination.

The Archival Awareness Workshop workshop was organized by UNPO in cooperation with NISE (National movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe) in the Flemish city of Antwerp, the academic support  of CIEMEN, Centre Maurits Coppieters and UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya).

The Workshop explored how archives can be used to share knowledge and best practices on issues pertinent to the preservation of social, cultural and economic rights.

The workshop was led by a team of experts in the field of archival management, including specialists on minority rights and indigenous archives.

Back in July 2013 at the side-event organized by UNPO at the United Nations in Geneva, Dr. Hassan Aydinli had made a presentation on land grabbing in the Turkmen region in northern Iraq, he had explained how the properties and agricultural lands of his  family and of all the inhabitants of his village, Beshir, had been confiscated under the arabisation programme of the Ba’ath regime. Some time later Mr. Marino Busdachin, Secretary General of UNPO had told Dr. Aydinli that UNPO would be organizing an event in Belgium where he would have the opportunity to  present the case of the land grabbing  of his agricultural lands by the Ba’ath regime to an audience of experts in the field of archival management and specialists on minority rights.

In February 2014 Mrs. Maud Van Walleghem of UNPO informed Dr. Aydinli  that they were organizing a two days Conference-Workshop on Self-Determination in the 21st century in Brussels and Antwerp, and she asked if he would be interested to present the case of  confiscation of his agricultural lands as a ‘case study’ at this conference which would be held on 31st March 2014.  Mrs. Maud Van Walleghem also asked if he could bring along the copies of his family deeds to show them to the experts who would be present.  Dr. Hassan Aydinli accepted to participate at the Workshop in Antwerp and at the Conference in Brussels which would take place on the following day.

In his presentation Dr Hassan Aydinli – speaking of the case of the Turkmen village of  BESHIR in northern Iraq where the properties and agricultural lands of the inhabitants were illegally confiscated under the arabization policy of the Ba’ath regime thirty years ago – stressed the importance of keeping personal archives. Especially given the fact that on 10th April 2003 the Kurdish militias (Peshmerga) had invaded Kirkuk and had put fire to the Property and Land Registry buildings in order to destroy all the property and land deeds belonging to the Turkmens.

One of the experts on the panel intervened to qualify this despicable act as a serious crime called  ‘ARCHICIDE‘ i.e. the killing of archives.

Dr. Aydinli explained that his family who  had kept their deeds at home, had submitted their files containing copies of their property deeds to the Property Claims Commission in view of recuperating their agricultural lands.

He added that unfortunately,  ten years after submitting their files to the Property Claims Commission, his family has only recuperated one piece of land from the sixteen pieces of agricultural lands which were confiscated under the previous regime.





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