Kerkuk City

The Turkmen nature of Kerkuk city

 http://www.turkmen.nl/1A_soitm/RumorP.doc

For reliable references on Kerkuk, also see:

 www.turkmen.nl/1A_soitm/Turkmen-Nature-of-Kerkuk.doc

 Letter to Journalist Hicks on the Turkmen Nature of Kerkuk City

Iraqi Turkmen Human

Rights Research Foundation

The Netherlands

Email: soitm@chello.nl

To ‘This Is Rumor Control News and Analysis’

To: Journalist Hicks

http://www.thisisrumorcontrol.org/

Our reference: A/11-005/L/1Subject: Comment on the article entitled “The Kurdish Way” by Hicks, posted on November 6, 2004. (http://www.thisisrumorcontrol.org/node/1030) January 11th, 2005

 

 

 

Dear Sir,

We would like to comment on your article “The Kurdish Way” of Nov 6th 2004 in which you focus your attention exclusively on the ‘Kurdish version’ of the identity of Kerkuk city.  Historically Kerkuk has never been a Kurdish city.  Kerkuk has been and still is a Turkmen city.

This reality is well documented, see references below (1 – 25).  The arrival of the Kurds into Iraq took place in a not too distant past, see references 26 – 34. The immigration of Kurds into Kerkuk dates back to the 1930s, when Kurds started to abandon their rough way of living in the mountains to move to the flourishing agricultural and industrial Turkmen regions, see references 5 – 7. Please refer to our report: “Influx of Kurds into Turkmen region, particularly Kerkuk city” on SOITM web site:  http://www.Turkmen.nl/SOITM.html.

The Arabs and now the Kurds have encouraged their respective populations to move into Kerkuk in order to change its demographic structure. The city’s original inhabitants, the Turkmen, although they accepted the newcomers, have always opposed the Arabization or Kurdification of their city.

The Iraqi Turkmen Human Rights Research Foundation’s main objective is to denounce Kurdish propaganda which claims that Kerkuk is a Kurdish city and must be part of their so-called Kurdistan. It is to defend Turkmen rights in Kerkuk and in all other Turkmen regions in Iraq that SOITM is waging “an effective international campaign” as mentioned in your article.

It is wrong to pretend as “some Kurdish leaders” that the Iraqi Turkmen Human Rights Research Foundation (SOITM) “are funded by the Turkish government”, this assertion is rubbish and pure Kurdish propaganda! SOITM is an independent and self-funded organization.

For your knowledge and information, by the middle of the 19th century the word Kurd started to be used to mean the people who spoke the Kurdish language, see references 35 – 37. Before that, the historians treated the term ‘Kurd’ as synonym of Brigandage, see references 38 – 48. The term “Kurdistan” was first used by the Seljuk Sultan Sanjar in the middle of the 12th century, see reference 49, and  it is English politicians (like Rich and Kinner) who, at the beginning of the 19th century, started to designate the extreme north-east of Iraq as “Kurdistan”.

When Great Britain occupied Iraq, after the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, a large number of British military and officials were involved in the structuring of the administration system of the new Iraqi state, some of these British officials later wrote books about Iraq (Edmonds, Hay, Sluggett and Soane) and because they were politically motivated, they abusively and deliberately underestimated the Turkmen population and included important Turkmen cities like Kerkuk and Erbil, which only contained small pockets of Kurds in so called ‘Kurdistan’.

It is worth mentioning and it should be remembered that Erbil, which is now the capital of so-called Kurdistan was mainly inhabited by Turkmen in the not too distant past, see references 50 – 54, which prove the Turkmen nature of Erbil city.

In 1972, under the Ba’ath regime, the Turkmen of Erbil (an important Turkmen city with tens of thousands of Turkmen inhabitants) were forced to keep silent and accept the loss of their city which was given to the Kurds to be the capital of their autonomous region.  Today all the inhabitants of Erbil are supposed to be Kurdish and no one is allowed to ask what happened to the Turkmen of this city and what their rights under the Kurdish autonomous regime are. In actual fact their rights and their presence as Turkmen in Erbil are denied and ignored. 

In the SOITM reports it has never been stated that the U.S. and Great Britain collaborate in the program of “ethnic cleansing” against the Turkmen.

The following points are developed in SOITM reports and can be found on SOITM website:  http://www.Turkmen.nl/SOITM.html

–     The underestimation of the population size of Turkmen has intentionally been done by Great Britain during the negotiations of the Mosul issue in Lausanne and in the League of Nations.

–     The US authorities marginalized the Turkmen when they elected the Kerkuk Council and the Governing Council.

–     The US supports the Kurds who are trying to change the demographic structure of the Turkmen regions. The Kurdish political parties attempt to take over the Turkmen cities and assimilate them. This happens in front of the USA officials without any interference

Turkmen participated actively in the administration of the new Iraqi state since its creation after World War I, they accepted the fact and the new reality of Iraq and worked toward its unity, stability and independence, contrary to the Kurds led by Mustafa Barazani, who have been at the origin of all the troubles, instability and civil wars in northern Iraq. The Kurds were given political and financial support and received weapons and ammunitions from Western countries as well as from the American supported Shah of Iran, the Soviet Union and Israel.

In conclusion, we, Turkmen, are for the unity of Iraq,  we reject the hegemony of Kurds in our region and oppose their illegitimate demands to annex Kerkuk to a so-called ‘Kurdistan. We refuse to let Kerkuk become another Erbil under Kurdish control and domination.   

Yours truly,

Dr. Sheth JERJISChairman of SOITMNijmegen, The Netherlands  Dr. Ayoub BAZZAZThe deputy Chairman of Iraqi TurkmenRights Advocating Committee (ITRAC) –London, UK 
Dr. Hassan AYDENLY President of CDITRCommittee for the Defence of theIraqi Turkmen Rights, Belgium Engineer Salman MOFAKChairman of Turkmen National ActionFront Ireland
Merry FITZGERALDHuman Rights ActivistCommittee for the Defence of theIraqi Turkmen Rights, Belgium.  Engineer Orhan KETENEIraqi Turkmen Front U.S. RepresentativeWashington D.C., USA

 

 

 

 

References:

1. The League of Nations, Report Submitted to the Council by the Commission Instituted by the Council Resolution of September 30th, 1924, Page 38:

“At Kerkuk the only newspaper which appears – twice weekly – under Government control, is printed in Turkish. Official Acts are published in Turkish and Arabic. The British political officer knows Turkish but speaks neither Arabic nor Kurdish.” “It is obvious, however, that the basis stock of the population of these towns along what is known as the “high-road” (Kerkuk, Erbil, ….) is Turkish. The leading men are Turkish, and in several of their houses we were able to note, without questioning them, that they spoke Turkish with the members of their families. We may mention that even the Christians of Kerkuk speak Turkish among themselves.”

2. J.S. Buckingham, “Travels in Mesopotamia: Including a Journey from Aleppo to Baghdad”, Gregg International Publisher 1971, P. 348 – 349:

“The language, features, and complications of the inhabitants (Kifri) are chiefly Turkish.” All the country in Kifri district, which he accounted to 30 miles, as large number of villages and greatly predominant Turkish features, while all the rest of the country between them is desert.

 

3. Ibid., Page 338:

Buckingham visited Kerkuk in 1827 and determined the Kurdish country as 4 days away at the east of Kerkuk city.

4. J. Baillie Fraser, “Travels in Koordistan”, Samuel Bentley, Bangor House, Shoe Lane, 1840, Page 149 – 150:

After leaving the Kurdish region he describes the Kifri district:

“The Change in the customs and aspect of the people, confirmed the fact that we were now within the Turkish dominions” “The servant were Turks, and everything around us announced a change of country as well as of People”

5. Hanna Batatu in his book titled “The old social classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq”, (Princeton University Press, New Jersey 1978), p. 913, mentions:

“Kerkuk, an oil center, lying 180 miles north of Baghdad, had been Turkish through and through in the not too distant past. By degrees, Kurds moved into the city from the surrounding villages. With the growth of the oil industry, their migration intensified. By 1959, they had swollen to more than one third of the population, and the Turkmen had declined to just over half, the Assyrians and Arabs accounting, in the main, for the rest of the total of 120,000.”.

6. Ibid., Page 45 – 46:

“The Turkmen owned much of the agricultural country in the Malhah region, along the lesser Zab and in the western outskirts of Kerkuk, but their ploughs and sheep were tended by Arabs”.

7. D. McDowall “A Modern History of the Kurds”, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd Publishers 1996, London & New York, Page 305:

“In mid July 1959, another serious disturbance occurred; this time in Kerkuk, a town waiting to explode, once again, the spark was a rally by leftists. It will be recalled that the IPC in the north preponderantly Kurdish. Tension had been growing for some time between Turkmen, the originally predominant element, and Kurds who had settled during the 1930s and 1940s, driven from the land by landlord rapacity and drawn by the chance for employment in the burgeoning oil industry.  By 1959 half the populations of 150,000 were Turkmen, rather less than half were Kurds and the balance Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians.”

8. Ibid., page 329:

“When the government proposed to apply the 1957 census to Kerkuk, Mulla Mustafa refused it, since this was bound to show that the Turkmen, although outnumbered in the province as a whole, were still predominant in Kerkuk town”.

9. Ibid., page 3:

“Kerkuk City had a large Turkmen population as recently as 1958”. “Few Kurds would claim quite as much today, but would still claim the city of Kerkuk, even though it had a larger Turkmen population as recently as 1958.”

10. Claudius James Rich, “Residence in Kurdistan”, (Printed by Anton Hain KG, Meisenheim / Glan, West Germany; Republished in 1972 by Gregg International Limited West mead, Farnborough, Hants, England 1972), Vol. I, Page 45 – 46:

C. J. Rich portrayed the country at the southern east of Kerkuk city as follows: “The people of his (Leylan) and all the neighboring villages are of Turkmen race”.

 

11. Ibid., Page 47:

C. J. Rich portrayed the country at the east of Kerkuk city as follows:

“The Qara Hasan (north east to Leylan) is worth about 85,000 piaster annually, and extended in length about 6 hours. The late war, and the constant inroads of Kurds, have greatly depopulated this district, and proved very destructive to the agriculture”. “Rich portrayed the Kurdish invasion into the western Kerkuk city as harassed, destructive, robbery and depopulating”. 

12. Ibid., Page 142.

The natives of Kerkuk were not considered Kurdish by Rich: “Kerkuk is the mart to which all the production of Suleymaniyya are carried, not by the Kurds them self’s, by the natives of Kerkuk, who come here for the purpose, and make advances of money to the cultivators for their rice, honey, & c”.51

13. Ibid., Page 272:

“Kurdistan commences 4 hours from Kifri”

14. Ibid., Page 26:

“We rode through gardens of date, orange, lemon, fig, apricot, pomegranate, and olive trees, which completely conceal the town” “The rest of the place is merely built of mud. The people are Turkish, and are mostly Ismaelians, or Tcheragh Sonderans”

15. Ibid., Page 273:

In the description of Kurdistan by Rich only the outer eastern part of Kerkuk province (Chemchimal) was included:

“September 28.-I procured from Omar Aga a list, which is given below, of all the districts of this part of Koordistan, commencing- from the Baghdad frontier.

Daoude; It commences four hours from Kifri. Dillo; Zenganeh; Kuom; Zun, or Zend: so called from the people who inhabit the district. Sheikhan; Nura and Tchemtchemal; Tchia Souz, i. e. the Green Mount; Kewatchemala; Shuan; Tchubook Kalaa; Esker; Kalaa Sewka; Gird Khaber; Bazian. This finishes the outer line to Sulimania.

We now return to Karadagh, which is bounded by Dillo and .Zenganeh on the west and north. On the south it goes to the Diala. The pass of Banikhilan on the Diala is in Karadagh. Karadagh is a large government, and is subdivided into several districts; that in which Banikbilan is situated is called Dizziaieesh, in which is also Gewrakalaa.

Warmawa; Sertchinar, in which is Sulimania. Soordash; Mount Goodroon is in this district. Mergeh; Pizhder. Between Mergeh and Pizhder flows the river of Altoon Kiupri, whose source is at Lajan, four or five hours west of Saouk Boolak. Ghellala; Shinek; Mawutt; Aalan; Siwell; Seraotl Mirawa; bounded ‘by Mnwutt, Siwell, and Aalan. Balukh Gapiron; Sheherbazar; Berkeou; Serotchik; Kulambar; Hallebjee; bounded by Khulambar, Juanroo, Warmawa, and Zehav. Shemiran; a mountainous and desert district on the other side the Diala. Tchowtan; written Tcheftan; it adjoins Kizzeljee. Kizzeljee; Terratool. Kara Hassan, a district which somctimes belongs to Baghdad and sometimes to Koordistan; it is bounded by Kerkook, Leilnn, Tcbemtchemal, and Shuan.”

16. Edward Y. Odisho, “City of Kerkuk: No historical authenticity without multiethnicity”. Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL U.S.A., P 5 – 6:

“The Turkmen as a large native community in Kerkuk city”, “the largest Turkmen population concentration is in the city of Kerkuk whose linguistics, cultural and ethnic identity is distinctly colored by their presence”.

17. Marion Farouk, Iraq since 1958 – From Revolution to dictatorship, IB Tauris &co. Ltd, London 2001, p 70 – 72.

“The original population of Kerkuk city was Turkmen and the Kurds were more recent incomers. The Turkmen had always dominated the socio-economic and political life of the Kerkuk city”.

18. Abbas Kelidar, “The Integration of Modern Iraq”, Croom Helm Ltd. London 1979, Page 23:

“In Kerkuk the main cause of hesitation in participating in the elections was the uncertainty as to whether the special conditions accorded to the Turkmen minority, when the inhabitants accepted inclusion in Iraq, would thereby be jeopardized. These privileges were that the Turkmen language – Turkish – should be the official language in Kerkuk, and the officials should be local men. The high commissioner assured them that these privileges would not lapse, unless the inhabitants decided voluntarily to dispense with them.”

19. Cecil John Edmonds, “Kurds, Turks and Arabs”: Politics, Travel and research in North-Eastern Iraq”, 1919-1925, Oxford University Press 1957, Page 265:

“The population at the time which I am writing numbered perhaps about 25,000, of whom the great majority was Turkmen and about one-quarter Kurds, with smaller colonies of Arab, Christians and Jews”.

20. “Encyclopedia Britannica”, Vol. 6, 1989, p. 890.

“Most of Kerkuk City population is of Turkmen stock”

21. Britannica.com, “Title Kerkuk”, <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=46695&tocid=0&gt;, 2001 Britannica.com Inc.

In the latest Internet version, the expression has been changed to “The city’s population is of mixed Turkmen, Arab and Kurdish stock”.

22. William R. Hay, “Two Years in Kurdistan 1918 – 1920”, (William Clowes and Sons, Limited, London and Beccles 1921), Page 81:

“Starting from with the Nebi Yunus on the bank of the Tigris opposite Mosul, and running down through Erbil, Altun Kopri, Kerkuk, Kifri and Kizil Rabat to Mendeli we find a line of towns with Turkmen speaking inhabitants”,

“Kerkuk is the main center of Turkmen Population and before the war possessed 30,000 inhabitants. Several villages in its vicinity are also Turkmen speaking.”

23. Max van der Stoel, Special Reporter of the Commission Human Rights, “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Iraq” , E/CN.4/1994/58:

“After the 1970s, Arabs have enjoyed special incentives and rights, which encouraged thousands of families to settle in the historically Turkmen area Kerkuk”

24. Cecil John Edmonds, “Kurds, Turks and Arabs”: Politics, Travel and research in North-Eastern Iraq”, 1919-1925, Oxford University Press 1957, Page 271:

Edmonds writes about the first appearance of the Talabani Kurds, who are considered the first Kurdish group entered Kirkuk, and their movement toward Kirkuk City as a follows:

“Mulla Mahmut, who, allowing again thirty-three years for a generation, may have flourished towards the end of the eighteenth century, married a daughter or a granddaughter of Mir Ismail, then paramount chief of his own tribe, the Zangana who lived at Qaitul. Their son, Sheikh Ahmet, moved to the village of Talaban (from which the family takes its name) across the Basira river in Chemchemal territory.” “Of Ahmet’s sons Ghafur founded the Koi branch of the Family.”

25. Tawfik al-Tunchi, “la Tulin al-Dhalam Ishil Shamaa”

This Kurdish writer dates the arrival of Dawuda Kurds, who constitute the majority of the Kurds at the south of Kirkuk city, to the south of Kirkuk city to 19th century:

“By the Ottoman Ferman the villages of Haftagar were owned to the Agahs of Kurdish Dawuda tribe in the 19th century”

26. Phebe Marr, “The Modern History of Iraq”, Page 9:

“The majority of Iraq’s Kurdish population today is to be found in the mountains of the northeast, with al-Sulaymaniyyah as their center and stronghold. In recent history, Kurds have been migrating from the mountains into foothills and plains, many settling in and around Mosul in the north and in the cities and towns a long the Diyalah River in the south, but most Kurds still live along the lower mountain slopes where they practice agriculture and raise livestock”

27. Edger O’balance, “The Kurdish Revolt”, page 33:

“right up until the end of the 19th century the sight of a large tribal federation, with all its livestock, moving across the mountains and plains of the northern parts of the Middle East in search of fresh grazing, was both splendid and ominous – as nomadic Kurds moved like a plague of locusts, feeding and feuding”.

28. D. McDowall “A Modern History of the Kurds”, Page 144:

“The towns and villages along the high road running from Mosul to Baghdad were mainly Turkish speaking, being Turkmen”, “But, as the commission noted, the Kurd ‘is taking possession of the arable and in “Kurdizing” certain towns’ specially the Turkmen’s ones of the high road”

29. William R. Hay, “Two Years in Kurdistan 1918 – 1920”, (William Clowes and Sons, Limited, London and Beccles 1921), page 77:

“Dizai tribe descended from the hills about 3 centuries ago, and occupied a few villages round Qush Tappah. In the middle half of the 19th century they started to expand, and rapidly covered the whole country up to Tigris. In the late 1920s, they constitute one third of the Erbil district population.”

30. Ibid., Page 21:

“At his time he determined boundaries of Kurdistan in Erbil region to Bastura Chai and the Dardawan Dagh at the north-eastern of Erbil city, which was at the same time the south-western border of Rawanduz district.

31. Ibid., Page 19:

“It is reported that less than a century ago trees and shrubs were plentiful on the slopes of Qara Choq Dagh; when the Kurds came, however, they were quickly taken for fire woods and no trace of them now remains”.

32. Claudius James Rich, “Residence in Kurdistan”, vol. II, page 18 – 19:

Rich considers Erbil out of Kurdistan:

“Hares and antelopes abound in this plain, and the ground is covered with immense flights and kattas, or desert partridges. Hawks of the Balaban species are also caught in this plain, and export chiefly to Koordistan” “The lines of hills seem, I think closer together than they are in Koordistan”

 

33. Ibid., Page 30:

“The Jaf tribe for example, largely abandoned Iranian tertiary at the end of the 18th century and were allowed to settle on Baban lands in Pizdar and Halabja”

34. Michiel Leezenberg, “Gorani Influnce on Central Kurdish”, Page 1:

<http://www.kurdistanica.com/kval/english/articles/articles-006.html>

Leezenberg expects that the arrival of Sorani Kurds, which constitute almost 50% of the Iraqi Kurds, to after seventeenth century:

“My main argument, presented in part 3 of this paper, will be that these closer affinities between Central Kurdish and Gorani are best seen not as a substratum (presumably preceding the Mongol invasions), but rather as prestige borrowings of a much later date, probably not before the seventeenth century. This process need not have involved any serious language shift among the Gorani population, as an account in terms of substratal influence would imply” 

35. D. McDowall “A Modern History of the Kurds”, Page 9:

“Certainly, by the time of the Islamic conquests a thousand years later, and probably for some time before, the term “Kurd” had a social-economic rather than ethnic meaning, it was used of nomads on the western edge of the Iranian plateau and probably also of the tribes that acknowledged the Sasanian in Mesopotamia many of which must have been Semitic in Origin”

36. Ibid., Page 13:

“From the 11th century onwards many travelers and historians treated the term Kurd as synonym with Brigandage, a view echoed by 19th century European travelers. By the middle years of the 19th century Kurd was also used to mean tribes people who spoke the Kurdish language”

 

37. Phebe Marr, “The Modern History of Iraq”, Westview Press Inc., USA 1985, Page 8:

“Even more important has been the sense of ethnic-even national-identity that the Kurds have developed, especially in the twentieth century.”

38. Al-Tabari, “the History of al-Tabari: Prophets and Patriarchs”, translated by William M. Brinner, State University of New York Press, vol. II, Page 58:

“According to Ibn Humayd-Salamah-Muhammad b. Ishaq-al-Hasan b. Dinar-Layth b. Abi Sulaym-Mujahid: I recited this verse before ‘Abdallah b ‘Umar, and he said, “Do you know, O Mujahid, who it was that advised burning Abraham in fire?” I answered 2No.” He said, “One of the nomads of Persia.” I said, “O ‘Abd al-Rahman, do the Persians have nomads?” He answered, “Yes, the Kurds are the nomads of Persia, and it was one of them who advised burning Abraham in fire.”

39. D. McDowall “A Modern History of the Kurds”, Page 9:

“The term Cyrtii was first applied to Seleucid or Parthian mercenary slinger dwelling in the Zagros and it is uncertain that it denoted a coherent linguistic or ethnic group at this juncture.”

 

40. Ibid., Page 13:

“From the 11th century onwards many travelers and historians treated the term Kurd as synonym with Brigandage, a view echoed by 19th century European travelers”

 

41. Michael Morony, “Iraq after the Muslim Conquest”, Princeton university press, Priceton, New Jersey, 1984, p 265:

“All of the non-Persian, tribal, pastoral, Iranian group in the foothills and mountains of the Zagaros range along along the eastern fringes of Iraq were called Kurds at that time. Their presence usually made known through conflict, as thieves and bandits, with their neighbours or by making common cause with other rural forces against some central authorities.”

 

42. J.S. Buckingham, “Travels in Mesopotamia: Including a Journey from Aleppo to Baghdad”, Gregg International Publisher 1971, Page 294:

“The celebrated Venetian traveler Marco Polo Passed through Mosul and reports that in his time they made their precious stuffs of gold and silk. At that period, he remarked that in the mountains dependent on thus kingdom were certain men, called Cardis, or Curds, of whom some were Nestorians, others Jacobins, and others Mohammedans, who were great robbers”

 

43. Josafa Barbaro and Ambrogio Contarini, “Travels to Tana and Persia”, Burt Franklin Publisher New York 1964, Page 50:

“Nowe shall we beginne to entre into the mountaigne Taurus, whose ende is towards the sea MAGGIORE, in the pties of Trabisonda, and streccheth east-sowtheast towardes the golfe called Sinus Persicus, at then tree of which mountaigne are exceeding high, and stype hilles enhabited With a certain people called CORBI different in languaige from all their neighbors, exceading crew ell, and not so much theevishe as openly given to roberie. They have many townes, buylded upon bankes and high places, to discover all passaiges that they may robbe them that passe. Wherfore many of those townes have been destroied by the Lordes of the cuntrey for the damaige they have doon to the CAROUANES passeng by them. As I for my pte have had some expience of their condicioiis.”

 

44. Claudius James Rich, “Residence in Kurdistan”, Page 33:

“The Koords, who in all ages must have been troublesome neighbours.”

45. Ibid., Page 45 – 46:

C. J. Rich portrayed the country at the southern east and east of Kerkuk city as follows: “The village of Leylan like all the other villages on the Kurdish line, it is much harassed, and has been several times utterly ruined by the incursions of Kurds. The Kahya of the village entreated me to use my interest with Mahmud Pasha to get back 300 of his sheep, which had been carried off by the Kurds. The people of his and all the neighboring villages are of Turkmen race”.

 

46. Jumes Bailllie Fraser, “A winter’s Journey from Constantinople to Tehran”, (Arno Press, New York 1973), P. 265 -266.

“The country between Erzeroom and Khoee is all times a disturbed and dangerous tract. Inhabited by wild Koordish tribes, who are thieves by habit and profession and who neither own nor pay allegiance to any authority beyond a limited regard to their own respective chieftains – themselves as an arrant robbers  as any of their followers.”

47. Asahel Grant, “The Nestorians or the lost tribes: containing evidence of their identity, an account of their manners, customs and ceremonies”, Amsterdam: Philo Press 1973, P 10 -13:

The following dialogue, which I held with one of the nomadic Koords and a Nestorian bishop, may serve to illustrate the character of this sanguinary people. Similar statements have frequently been made by other Koords, and confirmed by the Nestorians and Persians.

Myself.- Where do you live?

Koord.- In black tents. We are Kouchee Koords.

M.-  What is your occupation?

Bishop.- You need not ask him. I will tell you. They are thieves.

M.-Is that true, Koord?

K. – Yes, it is true. We steal whenever we can.

M. – Do you kill people too?

K. – When we meet a man that we wish to rob, if we prove the strongest, we kill him; if he proves the strongest, he kills us.

M.- But suppose he offers no resistance when you attempt to rob him?

K. – If he has much property, we would kill him to prevent his making us trouble; if he had not much, we would let him go.

B. – Yes, after you had whipped him well.

M.–Suppose you meet a poor man who had nothing but his clothes, what would you do? Would you molest him?

K. – If his clothes were good, we would take them and give him poor ones in exchange. If not, we would let him pass.

M. – But this is a bad business in which you are engaged, of robbing people. Why do you not follow some other occupation?

K. – What shall we do? We have no ploughs or fields; and robbing is our trade.

M-The Persians will give you land if you will cultivate it.

K.-We do not know how to work.

M. – It is very easy to learn. Will you make a trial?

B.-He does not wish to work. He had rather steal.

K.-He speaks the truth. It would be very difficult, and take a long time, to get what we want by “,working for it; hut by robbing a village, we can get a great deal of property in a single night.

M.- But you are liable to be killed in these affrays.

K.-Suppose we are killed. ‘We must die some time, and what is the difference of dying now or a few days hence? When we rob a village, we go in large parties upon horses, surprise the villagers when they are asleep, and escape with their property before they are ready to defend themselves. If pursued by an army, we strike our tents and flee to our strongholds in the mountains.

M. – ‘Why do you not come and rob these villages, as you used to do?

B.-They could not live if driven out of Persia. They fear the Persians.

K. – We should have no other place to winter our flocks; so we give the Persians some presents, and keep at peace with them.

M. -I wish to visit your tribe. How would they treat me?

K. – Upon my eyes, they would do everything for you.

M. – But you say they are thieves and murderers. Perhaps they would rob and kill me.

K. – No, no; they wish to have you come, but you are not willing. We never rob our friends. You came to do good, and 110 one would hurt you.

M. – But many of them do not know me.

K. – They have all heard of you, and would treat you with the greatest kindness if you should visit them.

 

48. Moritz Wagner, “Travels in Persia, Georgia and Koordistan”, Hurst and Blackett publishers 1856, Vol. III, Page 2 – 5:

“Almost all the passes of the Armenian highlands, are the lurking places of Koordİsh robbers, whose Lynx eyes are ever on the look-out for unwary and unguarded wanderers.

The Koords who unite the character of herdsmen and thieves, and who are encamped or roam over the highest summits, plateaus and valleys with their flocks, are always ready to raise their wolf-like scream, to poise their long bamboo lance, and pounce upon travelers and caravans’ as of ten as the resistance is not likely to be too deter­mined, and the booty is sufficiently attractive. It is true, that the Koords have become much more peaceful, tame and honest, since the Pashas have employed the Nizam to reduce the district to order. But the Koords are still occasionally attacked by fits of their old distemper, and their nomadic habits facilitate their predatory pursuits. if the frontier Pashas of Kars or Bajasid, &c. march against the Koords with the Nizam, to wrest their unlawful gains from them, and to chastise them, the robbers fly over the Persian border, send a few presents to the Sardar of Tabris, and then they commonly linger on the table lands of Azerbaijan, with their flocks and herds, till repeated complaints of Koordish robberies, reach the Persian authorities of Tabris, Choi or Urmia. Threatened anew, the nomadic hordes fly over the wild declivities of the Agri – Dagh to the Russian territory, and by presenting the commandant of the border Cossacks with some beautiful horses, obtain permission to pitch their tents on the pastures of Ararat. If complaints reach the Russian Natschalnik at Erivan, relating to the occasional exercise of their predatory habits, the horde can always seek a last refuge in the highlands of Koordistan, and escape the clutches of the Turkish Nizam, in its fastnesses, where they secure the pro­tection of some powerful Koordish chief, by appropriate bribes.”

49. Le Strange, “The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate”, Cambridge University Press 1930, Page 192:

“As regards the origin of the Kurdistan province, it is stated that about the middle of the 12th century Sultan Sanjar the Seljuk divided off the western part of the Jibal Province, namely the region which was dependent on Kirmanshah, and giving it the name Kurdistan put it under the govwernment of his nephew Sulayman Shah, surnamed Abuh (or Ayuh)” 

50. Hanna Batatu in his book titled “The old social classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq”, Page. 913:

“Other Turkish towns, such as Arbil, had undergone a similar process (Kurdification): Arbil itself was in great measure Kurdified, and the change occurred peacefully. But the Kerkuklis, who maintained close cultural links with Turkey, were of a tougher fiber and united by a stronger sense of ethnic identity”.

51. William R. Hay, “Two Years in Kurdistan 1918 – 1920”, Page 82 – 83:

“The only 2 Turkish speaking populations which concern us closely are Erbil and Altun Kopri”. “One mahalla or quarter of the town is purely Kurdish, and in the rest the lower classes resemble the Kurds in appearance and dress. All can speak Kurdish fluently, but the language of their homes is Turkish. In the upper town which contains 6000 inhabitants, the purest Turkish element is found”.

 

52. Ibid., Page 21:

Hay reports that the Bastura Chai, which is located at the north east to the Erbil city, marks the boundary of Kurdistan:

“Bastura Chai marks the southwestern border of the Rawanduz district, and according to the people of Erbil it is the boundary between Iraq and Kurdistan” 

53. The League of Nations, Report Submitted to the Council by the Commission Instituted by the Council Resolusion of September 30th, 1924, Page 38:

“The town of Arbil is divided into seven boroughs. We interviewed the Mukhtars of these boroughs. When asked what was their nationality five replied that they were Turks, one that he was as much a Turk as a Kurd, and the seventh stated that he was a Jew.”

 

54. Claudius James Rich, “Residence in Kurdistan”, vol. II, page 18 – 19:

Rich considers Erbil out of Kurdistan:

“Hares and antelopes abound in this plain, and the ground is covered with immense flights and kattas, or desert partridges. Hawks of the Balaban species are also caught in this plain, and export chiefly to Koordistan” “The lines of hills seem, I think closer together than they are in Koordistan”

 

Reliable references on the Turkmen Nature of Kerkuk City

1. Ottoman’s Empire Annual book of 1907 (H. 1325), under section information “Malumat” states:

“Kerkuk city constitutes Kale, Karsiyaka and Korya quarters. There are 14 neighborhoods in these 3 quarters. The male population size is 27.405, which formed from 26.510 Muslims, 432 Chaldean, 463 Jewish. If the number of female is estimated to be as much as the male then the population size will be 54.810. The number of foreigners is 3000. The total number of Kerkuk population is 57.810. The population of the city is generally of Turkish origin and their language is Turkish. The foreigners are Arabs, Kurds and Persians”

2. Vital Cuinet in his book entitled “La Turquie d’Asie”, Paris, 1894, approximate:

 The population of Kerkuk city to 30.000, He considers the number of Turkmen as 28.000 (93.5%).

3. The League of Nations, Report Submitted to the Council by the Commission Instituted by the Council Resolution of September 30th, 1924, Page 38:

“At Kerkuk the only newspaper which appears – twice weekly – under Government control, is printed in Turkish. Official Acts are published in Turkish and Arabic. The British political officer knows Turkish but speaks neither Arabic nor Kurdish.” “It is obvious, however, that the basis stock of the population of these towns along what is known as the “high-road” (Kerkuk, Erbil, ….) is Turkish. The leading men are Turkish, and in several of their houses we were able to note, without questioning them, that they spoke Turkish with the members of their families. We may mention that even the Christians of Kerkuk speak Turkish among themselves.”

4. J.S. Buckingham, “Travels in Mesopotamia: Including a Journey from Aleppo to Baghdad”, Gregg International Publisher 1971, P. 348 – 349:

“The language, features, and complications of the inhabitants (Kifri) are chiefly Turkish.” All the country in Kifri district, which he accounted to 30 miles, as large number of villages and greatly predominant Turkish features, while all the rest of the country between them is desert.

5. Ibid., Page 338:

Buckingham visited Kerkuk in 1827 and determined the Kurdish country as 4 days away at the east of Kerkuk city.

4. Ibid., Page 348-349:

After leaving the Kurdish region he describes the Kifri district:

“The Change in the customs and aspect of the people, confirmed the fact that we were now within the Turkish dominions” “The servant were Turks, and everything around us announced a change of country as well as of People”

7. Hanna Batatu in his book titled “The old social classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq”, (Princeton University Press, New Jersey 1978), p. 913, mentions:

“Kerkuk, an oil center, lying 180 miles north of Baghdad, had been Turkish through and through in the not too distant past. By degrees, Kurds moved into the city from the surrounding villages. With the growth of the oil industry, their migration intensified. By 1959, they had swollen to more than one third of the population, and the Turkmen had declined to just over half, the Assyrians and Arabs accounting, in the main, for the rest of the total of 120,000.”.

8. Ibid., Page 45 – 46:

“The Turkmen owned much of the agricultural country in the Malhah region, along the lesser Zab and in the western outskirts of Kerkuk, but their ploughs and sheep were tended by Arabs”.

9. D. McDowall “A Modern History of the Kurds”, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd Publishers 1996, London & New York, Page 305:

“In mid July 1959, another serious disturbance occurred; this time in Kerkuk, a town waiting to explode, once again, the spark was a rally by leftists. It will be recalled that the IPC in the north preponderantly Kurdish. Tension had been growing for some time between Turkmen, the originally predominant element, and Kurds who had settled during the 1930s and 1940s, driven from the land by landlord rapacity and drawn by the chance for employment in the burgeoning oil industry.  By 1959 half the populations of 150,000 were Turkmen, rather less than half were Kurds and the balance Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians.”

10. Ibid., page 329:

“When the government proposed to apply the 1957 census to Kerkuk, Mulla Mustafa refused it, since this was bound to show that the Turkmen, although outnumbered in the province as a whole, were still predominant in Kerkuk town”.

11. Ibid., page 3:

“Kerkuk City had a large Turkmen population as recently as 1958”. “Few Kurds would claim quite as much today, but would still claim the city of Kerkuk, even though it had a larger Turkmen population as recently as 1958.”

12. Claudius James Rich, “Residence in Kurdistan”, (Printed by Anton Hain KG, Meisenheim / Glan, West Germany; Republished in 1972 by Gregg International Limited West mead, Farnborough, Hants, England 1972), Vol. I, Page 45 – 46:

C. J. Rich portrayed the country at the southern east of Kerkuk city as follows: “The people of his (Leylan) and all the neighboring villages are of Turkmen race”.

13. Ibid., Page 47:

C. J. Rich portrayed the country at the east of Kerkuk city as follows:

“The Qara Hasan (north east to Leylan) is worth about 85,000 piaster annually, and extended in length about 6 hours. The late war, and the constant inroads of Kurds, have greatly depopulated this district, and proved very destructive to the agriculture”. “Rich portrayed the Kurdish invasion into the western Kerkuk city as harassed, destructive, robbery and depopulating”.

14. Ibid., Page 142.

The natives of Kerkuk were not considered Kurdish by Rich: “Kerkuk is the mart to which all the production of Suleymaniyya are carried, not by the Kurds them self’s, by the natives of Kerkuk, who come here for the purpose, and make advances of money to the cultivators for their rice, honey, & c”.51

15. Ibid., Page 272:

“Kurdistan commences 4 hours from Kifri”

16. Ibid., Page 26:

“We rode through gardens of date, orange, lemon, fig, apricot, pomegranate, and olive trees, which completely conceal the town” “The rest of the place is merely built of mud. The people are Turkish, and are mostly Ismaelians, or Tcheragh Sonderans”

17. Ibid., Page 273:

In the description of Kurdistan by Rich only the outer eastern part of Kerkuk province (Chemchimal) was included:

“September 28.-I procured from Omar Aga a list, which is given below, of all the districts of this part of Koordistan, commencing- from the Baghdad frontier.

Daoude; It commences four hours from Kifri. Dillo; Zenganeh; Kuom; Zun, or Zend: so called from the people who inhabit the district. Sheikhan; Nura and Tchemtchemal; Tchia Souz, i. e. the Green Mount; Kewatchemala; Shuan; Tchubook Kalaa; Esker; Kalaa Sewka; Gird Khaber; Bazian. This finishes the outer line to Sulimania.

We now return to Karadagh, which is bounded by Dillo and .Zenganeh on the west and north. On the south it goes to the Diala. The pass of Banikhilan on the Diala is in Karadagh. Karadagh is a large government, and is subdivided into several districts; that in which Banikbilan is situated is called Dizziaieesh, in which is also Gewrakalaa.

Warmawa; Sertchinar, in which is Sulimania. Soordash; Mount Goodroon is in this district. Mergeh; Pizhder. Between Mergeh and Pizhder flows the river of Altoon Kiupri, whose source is at Lajan, four or five hours west of Saouk Boolak. Ghellala; Shinek; Mawutt; Aalan; Siwell; Seraotl Mirawa; bounded ‘by Mnwutt, Siwell, and Aalan. Balukh Gapiron; Sheherbazar; Berkeou; Serotchik; Kulambar; Hallebjee; bounded by Khulambar, Juanroo, Warmawa, and Zehav. Shemiran; a mountainous and desert district on the other side the Diala. Tchowtan; written Tcheftan; it adjoins Kizzeljee. Kizzeljee; Terratool. Kara Hassan, a district which somctimes belongs to Baghdad and sometimes to Koordistan; it is bounded by Kerkook, Leilnn, Tcbemtchemal, and Shuan.”

18. Edward Y. Odisho, “City of Kerkuk: No historical authenticity without multiethnicity”. Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL U.S.A., P 5 – 6:

“The Turkmen as a large native community in Kerkuk city”, “the largest Turkmen population concentration is in the city of Kerkuk whose linguistics, cultural and ethnic identity is distinctly colored by their presence”.

19. Marion Farouk, Iraq since 1958 – From Revolution to dictatorship, IB Tauris &co. Ltd, London 2001, p 70 – 72.

“The original population of Kerkuk city was Turkmen and the Kurds were more recent incomers. The Turkmen had always dominated the socio-economic and political life of the Kerkuk city”.

20. Abbas Kelidar, “The Integration of Modern Iraq”, Croom Helm Ltd. London 1979, Page 23:

“In Kerkuk the main cause of hesitation in participating in the elections was the uncertainty as to whether the special conditions accorded to the Turkmen minority, when the inhabitants accepted inclusion in Iraq, would thereby be jeopardized. These privileges were that the Turkmen language – Turkish – should be the official language in Kerkuk, and the officials should be local men. The high commissioner assured them that these privileges would not lapse, unless the inhabitants decided voluntarily to dispense with them.”

21. Cecil John Edmonds, “Kurds, Turks and Arabs”: Politics, Travel and research in North-Eastern Iraq”, 1919-1925, Oxford University Press 1957, Page 265:

“The population at the time which I am writing numbered perhaps about 25,000, of whom the great majority was Turkmen and about one-quarter Kurds, with smaller colonies of Arab, Christians and Jews”.

22. “Encyclopedia Britannica”, Vol. 6, 1989, p. 890.

“Most of Kerkuk City population is of Turkmen stock”

23. Britannica.com, “Title Kerkuk”, <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=46695&tocid=0&gt;, 2001 Britannica.com Inc.

In the latest Internet version, the expression has been changed to “The city’s population is of mixed Turkmen, Arab and Kurdish stock”.

24. William R. Hay, “Two Years in Kurdistan 1918 – 1920”, (William Clowes and Sons, Limited, London and Beccles 1921), Page 81:

“Starting from with the Nebi Yunus on the bank of the Tigris opposite Mosul, and running down through Erbil, Altun Kopri, Kerkuk, Kifri and Kizil Rabat to Mendeli we find a line of towns with Turkmen speaking inhabitants”,

“Kerkuk is the main center of Turkmen Population and before the war possessed 30,000 inhabitants. Several villages in its vicinity are also Turkmen speaking.”

25. Max van der Stoel, Special Reporter of the Commission Human Rights, “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Iraq” , E/CN.4/1994/58:

“After the 1970s, Arabs have enjoyed special incentives and rights, which encouraged thousands of families to settle in the historically Turkmen area Kerkuk”

26. Cecil John Edmonds, “Kurds, Turks and Arabs”: Politics, Travel and research in North-Eastern Iraq”, 1919-1925, Oxford University Press 1957, Page 271:

Edmonds writes about the first appearance of the Talabani Kurds, who are considered the first Kurdish group entered Kirkuk, and their movement toward Kirkuk City as a follows:

“Mulla Mahmut, who, allowing again thirty-three years for a generation, may have flourished towards the end of the eighteenth century, married a daughter or a granddaughter of Mir Ismail, then paramount chief of his own tribe, the Zangana who lived at Qaitul. Their son, Sheikh Ahmet, moved to the village of Talaban (from which the family takes its name) across the Basira river in Chemchemal territory.” “Of Ahmet’s sons Ghafur founded the Koi branch of the Family.”

27. Tawfik al-Tunchi, “la Tulin al-Dhalam Ishil Shamaa”

This Kurdish writer dates the arrival of Dawuda Kurds, who constitute the majority of the Kurds at the south of Kirkuk city, to the south of Kirkuk city to 19th century:

“By the Ottoman Ferman the villages of Haftagar were owned to the Agahs of Kurdish Dawuda tribe in the 19th century”

 http://www.turkmen.nl/1A_soitm/RumorP.doc

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