IRAQI TURKMEN : UNPO Expert Speech At European Parliament Hearing

November 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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UNPO Expert Speech On Iraqi Turkmen At European Parliament Hearing

Expert Speech before the DROI and D-IQ
UNPO General Secretary, Marino Busdachin
European Parliament
27 November 2013
hearing on Iraqi Turkmen at EU Parl on 27 NOV 2013
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MEP Barbara Lochbihler, President of Sub-committee Human Rights
MEP Struan Stevenson, President Delegation with Iraq
Mr. Marino Busdachin, Secretary General of UNPO
The hearing was co-chaired by Mrs. Barbara Lochbihler and Mr. Struan Stevenson
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ITF EU Representative Dr Hassan Aydinli and the President of Sub-Committee Human Rights MEP Barbara Lochbihler

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From left to right: MEP Tunne Kelam, ITF EU Representative Dr Hassan Aydinli and Vice-President Sub-Committee Human Rights

MEP Metin Kazak

UNPO EXPERT SPEECH ON IRAQI TURKMEN AT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT HEARING

UNPO General Secretary, Mr. Marino Busdachin, was invited to deliver an expert speech in the European Parliament on the current situation of ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq, with a specific focus on the plight of the Iraqi Turkmen. The hearing is an initiative of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Delegation for Relations with Iraq. 
 
Speech by Mr. Busdachin: 

I would first and foremost like to thank the Delegation for Relations with Iraq and the Human Rights Subcommittee for inviting the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, once again, to provide an update on the situation of human rights and minorities in Iraq. I was asked to put special emphasis on the situation of the Iraqi Turkmen, as their situation at the moment is indeed very precarious and in need of targeted assistance.

The Iraqi Turkmen are the third largest group in Iraq, with estimates of around 3 million people. They are concentrated mainly in the northern part of Iraq and in the Autonomous Kurdish Region. The largest compactly settled group of Iraqi Turkmen lives in the so called “disputed territories”, notably in the city and province of Kirkuk, considered as their capital. Sparring between Iraq’s central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) in Erbil is frequent, particularly with regard to the country’s oil and gas rich disputed territories, notably Kirkuk.

The Turkmen of Iraq, together with other vulnerable ethnic and religious components, continue to face disproportionate risks to their lives, cultural traditions, and property. An instable political and security situation, targeted violence based on racial, ethnic, religious or gender bias, de jure and de facto discrimination, and a lack of institutional support and protection at most levels of government, have caused several from minority groups to urgently leave Iraq. Is this a form of ethnic cleansing?
 

The Iraqi Constitution of 2005 sets a satisfactory framework in terms of minority protection and recognizing the multinational component of the country – specifically anti-discrimination and cultural provisions. However, Iraq is lacking laws and infrastructure to effectively implement these provisions.

The continued insecurity Iraqi Turkmen are facing, even after the new Constitution entered into force, takes gruesome proportions: teachers being tortured and burnt alive, a terrorist attack targeting a tent full of mourners for a man who himself was assassinated by terrorists, suicide bombings and abductions, and many other incidents inciting fear are, sadly enough, commonplace for the Turkmen.

In early November 2013, at least 4 explosions took place injuring several people in Kirkuk. On 8 November 2013, the Turkmen poet Jasim Muhemed Ferej Tuzlu was found killed after a 24 hour kidnapping. On 17 November 2013, three suicide bombers and 12 roadside bombs ripped through Tuz-Khurmato, leaving 21 dead and 40 wounded. Last Sunday, on 24 November 2013, 3 people were killed and 20 people were wounded when a car bomb exploded at a police checkpoint in Telafer. In the same day, 12 people were killed and over 75 were wounded in a suicide attack on a mosque yet again in the Tuz-Khurmato area.

Physical security is not the only matter of concern for the Turkmen population in Iraq, but also their lack of economic security, which has in many cases forced them to flee from their land. Confiscation of land was one of the major features of the assimilation policies of the Ba’ath regime. The total surface area of the lands confiscated in the Kirkuk region was 357 million square meters, of which about 80% was Turkmen-owned. In spite of property legislation demanding the return of seized lands, very little Turkmen land has been restored and very few Turkmen have been compensated for these confiscated lands. Currently, there are more than 41 thousand complaints registered with the Property Claims Commission of Kirkuk. Of these complaints, only 7.7% of the cases have been decided. Similar to this is the case of Beshir village, in which the Turkmen families were victims of deportation and confiscation of land. Despite handling their complaints together before the Property Claims Commission in 2005, the Iraqi authorities have not yet responded.

In November 2013, the administration of Kirkuk Province, in cooperation with its Security Forces, used violent methods to repress the Turkalan villagers’ protests against the illegal appropriation of a great part of their agricultural land for the installation of a sewage project. The Iraqi government illegally confiscated 332 acres of the village, despite the objection of the land owners who had obtained a Court decision to halt the project. As a consequence of the events, 5 young villagers were arrested. In an attempt to boycott the coverage of the incidents during the protests, Special Forces confiscated television cameras and mobile phones containing footage of the event.


In 2011, in a previous DROI hearing held in the European Parliament on the Iraqi Turkmen, UNPO
 stated that there were no measures in place to address the Turkmen insecurity. I am profoundly disappointed to have to reiterate what I said 2 years ago. The situation for the Iraqi Turkmen did not change for the better at all, despite the European Parliament’s resolutions from 14 March 2013 and 10 October 2013 on the plight of the Turkmen, in which it expressed its deep concern at the increasing acts of violence against them and called the Iraqi authorities to improve the security and combat terrorism.

It is important to note that the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement EU-Iraq, signed on 11 May 2012, provides a basis for legislative cooperation alongside the trade provisions. Despite Lady Catherine Ashton’s statement, on 18 June 2013, condemning the wave of attacks in Iraq and encouraging all political forces to create a common front against all forms of violence, the situation has remained the same. The same statement mentions that Lady Ashton also signed an agreement providing Iraq with the amount of 4 million Euros of EU funding to create an Energy Centre. Why is this agreement mainly ignoring the legislative cooperation that will help the Iraqi state to develop the ‘so-needed’ legislation to implement the Constitutional provisions and International treaties?

This week, the UN SC issued a statement on the violence in Iraq, stressing the need to bring those responsible for the violence to justice and called on Governments to cooperate with Iraqi authorities to hold the perpetrators to account. This is a welcoming step to put an end to this conflict, but clearly much more needs to be done. Long term hostilities and conflicts between ethnic and religious groups in Iraq are deteriorating the political system, which is largely based on ethnic and religious divisions. This is in my opinion, a recipe for disaster in a country with mixed ethno-religious populations. A democratic system securing ethnic and religious rights and sanctioning discrimination is the only peaceful solution for the Turkmen and other ethnic minorities in Iraq.

International obligations and measures must be taken to ensure that the age-old tolerance and coexistence, which made Iraq a unique place in the Middle East, is not lost forever.
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Background documents
– Expert Speech by Marino Busdachin

Time was then given to speakers from the floor wishing to comment. Mr. Metin KazakMEP, had prepared questions for the EEAS – which will be answered to in writing because of a lack of time during the session. Nevertheless, he took the opportunity to emphasize the importance of assisting the Turkmen minority of Iraq as they are “the most vulnerable and in the worst situation”, victims of kidnappings and torture.

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For further background information on the Iraqi Turkmen, click on the image below,
The Turkmen Reality in Iraq UNPO
TURKMEN BRIEFING NOTE
 
The Turkmen Reality in Iraq
Introduction

The Iraqi Turkmen are a minority of just under 3 million, predominantly present in the Iraqi provinces of Mosul, Erbil, Kirkuk, Salahaddin and Diyal, Baghdad and Wasit. They represent the third largest ethnic group in Iraq (13% of the population).

Kirkuk is considered by the Turkmen as their capital city. This area, within the ‘Turkmen’ region of Iraq, produces nearly 70% of the Iraqi petroleum and 2.2% of the world’s.

They are primarily politically represented by The Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF).This organization includes all Turkmen parties and movements such as the INTP (Iraqi National Turkmen Party); the Turkmeneli Party (TP) ; the Adalet party (AP); the Islamic Movement of Iraqi Turkmens (IMIT); and the Independents Movement. It also includes the Turkmen Nationalist Movement (TNM), the Turkmen Wafa Movement, and the Islamic Union of Iraqi Turkmens (IUIT).

Historical Background 

Originating from Central Asia, the Turkmen are descendants of the Oghuz tribes. The decline of their influence first began after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Throughout the 1920’s both Turkmen and Kurd minorities resisted British authority and the Hejazi Hashemite monarchy, and as a result the cultural rights of Turkmen communities were gradually eroded. In the 1930s a rapid demographic change produced ethnic tension, and Turkmen communities began to feel the effects of marginalisation.

Violence continued to escalate until 1959, when communist and separatist militias massacred Turkmen leaders along with hundreds of Turkmens in the city of Kerkuk. Tensions were later exacerbated even further with the establishment of Ba’ath Party rule in 1968. The 1970s where in fact characterised by other breaches of Turkmen human rights such as the ‘Arabisation of Kirkuk’ in 1971, and by their discrimination through employment opportunities, unfair dismissals, deliberate measures to worsen their living conditions, forced displacement and deportation, and interference with their right of ownership.

After seizing power in 1979, Saddam Hussein’s regime instigated a campaign of intensive “Arabisation”, systematically expelling the Turkmen, instead promoting the resettlement of the Arab population. This period of persecution effectively destroyed Turkmen civil society, forcing many of its political institutions underground or into exile abroad.

Unfortunately, despite the regime change in Iraq in 2003, the Turkmen tragedy continues. Many Iraqi Turkmen communities believe that their historical presence and influence has remained marginalised during the process of reconstructing the Iraqi state, and that more has to be done to correct the past injustices they have suffered.

Led and founded by Dr. Muzaffer Arslan, who also represents the Iraqi Turkmen in UNPO.

And also suppression and intensive assimilation policies, forced cultural erosion that ranged from political persecution and exile, to terror, massacres and ethnic cleansing. (Large numbers of Turkmen intellectuals were accused of political activities and disappeared after their arrest during the Baathist regime; nothing has been heard of them since.)

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization • www. unpo.org • +32 25 13 14 59 • unpo.brussels@unpo.org

Briefing Note 

November 2013

Social and Economic Issues 

The confiscation of land (‘Land Grabbing’) was one of the major features of the assimilation policies of the Ba’ath regime.

The village of Beshir, situated South West of Kirkuk city, presents a perfect case study of the consequences of such policies. The inhabitants of Beshir were landowners and farmers, whose ancestors had settled in the area several centuries ago. During the Ottoman rule, Beshir’s inhabitants officially registered their lands in their names, and were issued official land property certificates, which they renewed in 1921.

In the early 1980s, after the start of the Iraq-Iran war, Iraqi security forces arrested and executed hundreds of intellectuals from the village, accusing them of being activists in the outlawed Islamic Da’wa Party. In 1986, while the young men of Beshir were fighting in the war against Iran, their families were given 48 hours to pack their personal effects and leave their homes.

Houses were razed to the ground and agricultural lands were confiscated, to be later given to Arabs brought by the Ba’ath regime. Each Arab family was given 10.000 Iraqi Dinars in cash as an incentive to build their house on Turkmen lands, while the Turkmen families received no compensation.

Meanwhile the former regime had arabised the name of the village calling it “Al-Bashir” instead of Beshir.

In 2003 when the U.S. military occupied northern Iraq, they did not take control of the area around Beshir and the Arabs which had been installed there by the previous regime remained in the village. The original Turkmen inhabitants of Beshir started to return, demanding their lands. However, the property dispute remained unsettled.

Nearly a decade has passed since this ‘agreement’ and the Arabs still refuse to leave Beshir. The original Turkmen families ofBeshir who were victims of deportation, in 2005 handed their complaints together with copies of their deeds to the Property Claims Commission in order to retrieve their confiscated lands and be compensated for the destruction of their houses and for their loss of earnings since 1986, but the Iraqi authorities have not yet responded.

In the Kerkuk province, 80% of the land was Turkmen-owned. In spite of property legislation demanding the return of seized lands, there are currently still 41,874 complaints registered with the local Property Claims Commission.

Of these complaints, only 3,236 cases have been decided. Since 2005 therefore, approximately only 2.000 out of 45.000 files belonging to Turkmens have been processed. This fact alone stands as evidence of discrimination against the Turkmens.

Security Challenges 

It remains challenging to illustrate the extent to which the Turkmen community in Iraq has been exposed to ethnic cleansing for decades without having been attended to by the international community. Permanently fears of explosive power struggles lurk, particularly over the control of the ‘powder-keg’ city of Kirkuk. These only serve to further place the minority in a precarious position.

The Tal Afer district of Iraq was attacked twice by helicopters, tanks and tens of thousands of soldiers in 2004 and, a year later, in 2005, 1,350 were left dead and 2,650 were wounded. In December 2007, a suicide bombing in Kirkuk shook its residents and stoked security fears, killing at least 55, and injuring another 120. On 17 December 2012, the bodies of two abducted teachers were found near the Humera village (which is located 35km south of Kirkuk) both carrying signs of torture and bullets. The death of these two individuals generated deep reactions among the Turkmen, as in the view of many the two teachers were killed for sectarian reasons and only for being Turkmen. In January 2013, a crowded tent full of Turkmen mourners in Tuz Khurmato was transformed into a mass killing ground by a suicide bombing with genocidal intent, that left at least 35 people dead and 117 wounded.

Due to a media emphasis on the Iraqi Kurdish minority, Western perspectives of realities in Northern Iraq have become slightly distorted. As an example, human rights violations against the Kurds have often been highlighted, while violations committed against other communities in the region have largely been ignored.

On 14 March 2013, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution (welcomed by the UNPO) on the plight of minority groups in Iraq, and specifically the Iraqi Turkmen. The resolution states that the European Parliament condemns the recent attacks on the Turkmen community and affirms that ‘despite the reference in the Constitution.

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.

 

Iraq: Clashes between the original Turkmen inhabitants of Beshir and the Arabs who were installed on their ancestral lands by the Ba’ath regime in the 1980s.

February 15, 2011 at 2:00 am | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
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Clashes between the original Turkmen inhabitants of Beshir * and the Arab immigrants who were installed in the area by the Ba’ath regime in the 1980s in order to arabise the Turkmen region of Kerkuk.

* Note: The ordeals of the Turkmens of Beshir are mentioned in the Preamble of the Iraqi Constitution together with the tragedy of the Arabs of Al-Dujail and the massacre of the Kurds of Halabja. (Please see below).

On Friday 11th February 2011, several news agencies reported that three people were killed due to “a tribal dispute between Turkmen and Arab tribes in Beshir” and that eight people were wounded, but these reports did not give the reasons which are at the origin of this incident.

For the reader to understand why Turkmens demonstrated against the construction of houses by Arab immigrants in Beshir it is necessary to give some details about the tragic history of this Turkmen village.

Beshir is a large Turkmen agricultural village of more than 7.500 inhabitants, it  is situated 20 km to the South West of Kerkuk city. The inhabitants of Beshir were landowners and farmers, they cultivated their lands and produced cereals, fruit and vegetables, they also raised livestock, mainly ovine and bovine. Their ancestors had settled in the area and built the village several centuries ago.

During the Ottoman rule and after decades of cultivating their lands, Beshir’s inhabitants had registered their lands officially in their names and they were issued official land property certificates or “deeds”, which they renewed during the early years of the newly founded Iraqi state in 1921.

In the early 1980s, after the start of the Iraq-Iran war, and despite the enrolment of several hundreds of young Turkmens from Beshir in the army to fight against Iran, the Iraqi security forces arrested hundreds of intellectuals from Beshir accusing them of being activists in the outlawed Islamic Da’wa Party, over one hundred of these Turkmen intellectuals were later executed.

Forced displacement of population is a crime against humanity

In 1986, while the young men of Beshir were fighting on the front in the war against Iran, their families were subjected to terrible human rights abuses by the Iraqi regime:  they were given 48 hours to pack their personal effects and leave their homes and were forcibly moved to some communal compounds which had been built in a rush to serve as ‘transitional residence’ on the road to Tikrit.

Their houses were razed to the ground and their agricultural lands were confiscated and  were later given to Arabs brought by the Ba’ath regime from the centre and south of Iraq, and to neighbouring Arab tribes, in application of a policy designed to arabise Turkmen towns and villages in Kerkuk province.

Each of these Arab families were given 10.000 Iraqi Dinars in cash (equivalent to 30.000 USD) as incentive to build their house on Turkmen lands, while the unfortunate Turkmens were displaced without any valid reason or any legal justification and without receiving any compensation.

After a year spent in the communal compounds almost all the Turkmen families from Beshir were dispersed to several cities throughout Iraq, i.e. Basra, Diyala, Erbil, Kut etc. without being provided with housing and without being compensated for the loss of their livelihoods, houses and agricultural lands. From being landowners and farmers they became refugees in their own country and were left completely destitute.

Meanwhile the former regime had arabised the name of the village calling it “Al-Bashir” instead of Beshir.

In April 2003 when the U.S. military occupied the north of Iraq they did not take control of the area around Beshir and the Arabs which had been installed there by the previous regime remained in the village.  The original Turkmen inhabitants of Beshir started to return demanding their lands, but the Arabs refused to budge.

As the displaced Turkmens threatened to march on the village in order to remove the immigrant Arabs by force the U.S. occupation authorities intervened, they led and controlled a “mediation” in September 2003, but this mediation did not settle the property dispute it was only a ‘short-term agreement’ which allowed the Arab families living in Beshir to stay on the land for the Winter agricultural season on a non-renewable basis, it granted them the Winter harvest. The requirement was that they would leave the village within one year of the signing of the ‘agreement’. After this one year period the Turkmens who were the original inhabitants of Beshir would be allowed to return on their ancestral lands.

7 years have passed since this ‘agreement’ and the Arabs still refuse to leave Beshir and return the lands to their original Turkmen owners. To make things worse they have now started to build more houses on Turkmen lands.

Note: The Arabs who were given Turkmen lands + a sum of 10,000 Iraqi Dinars to build their houses + agricultural lands belonging to the Turkmens (in the 1980s) and who accept to leave are now entitled to an additional sum of money from the Iraqi government to help them return to the region they came from.

Turkmens continue to be victims of discrimination.

On 11th February 2011, as Turkmens of Beshir demonstrated peacefully to show their disagreement about the new constructions, saying that Arabs were violating the agreement, that only agriculture is permitted on the land and not construction, some Arabs started to attack them.

The original Turkmen inhabitants of Beshir who were victims of deportation under the former Iraqi regime have shown great patience,  they have never resorted to violence,  they have followed the procedures set up by the Iraqi Properties Claims Commission and in 2005 they handed their complaints together with copies of their deeds to the Commission in order to get back their confiscated lands and be compensated for the destruction of their houses and for their loss of earnings since 1986, but the Iraqi authorities are in no haste to process the files belonging to Turkmens.

Since 2005 only 2.000 files out of the 45.000 files belonging to Turkmens have been processed. This is clearly a sign of discrimination against Turkmens as in Kerkuk, all the ‘pending files’ belong to Turkmens, and  all the Kurds who submitted their files have already been compensated.

See:

Human Rights Watch Report

Claims in Conflict : Reversing Ethnic Cleansing in Northern Iraq

Case Study: Al-Bashir village

http://www.hrw.org/en/node/11985/section/8

Translation of Full Text of the Iraqi Constitution was published in the Washington Post, hereunder The text of THE PREAMBLE

 It was translated from the Arabic by the United Nation’s Office for Constitutional Support, and the translation was approved by the Iraqi government.

THE PREAMBLE

In the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate

We have honored the sons of Adam.

We are the people of the land between two rivers, the homeland of the apostles and prophets, abode of the virtuous imams, pioneers of civilization, crafters of writing and cradle of numeration. Upon our land the first law made by man was passed, the most ancient just pact for homelands policy was inscribed, and upon our soil, companions of the Prophet and saints prayed, philosophers and scientists theorized and writers and poets excelled.

Acknowledging God’s right over us, and in fulfillment of the call of our homeland and citizens, and in response to the call of our religious and national leaderships and the determination of our great (religious) authorities and of our leaders and reformers, and in the midst of an international support from our friends and those who love us, marched for the first time in our history toward the ballot boxes by the millions, men and women, young and old, on the thirtieth of January two thousand and five, invoking the pains of sectarian oppression sufferings inflicted by the autocratic clique and inspired by the tragedies of Iraq’s martyrs, Shiite and Sunni, Arabs and Kurds and Turkmen and from all the other components of the people and recollecting the darkness of the ravage of the holy cities and the South in the Sha’abaniyya uprising and burnt by the flames of grief of the mass graves, the marshes, Al-Dujail and others and articulating the sufferings of racial oppression in the massacres of Halabcha, Barzan, Anfal and the Fayli Kurds and inspired by the ordeals of the Turkmen in Basheer and as is the case in the remaining areas of Iraq where the people of the west suffered from the assassinations of their leaders, symbols and elderly and from the displacement of their skilled individuals and from the drying out of their cultural and intellectual wells, so we sought hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder to create our new Iraq, the Iraq of the future free from sectarianism, racism, locality complex, discrimination and exclusion.

Accusations of being infidels, and terrorism did not stop us from marching forward to build a nation of law. Sectarianism and racism have not stopped us from marching together to strengthen our national unity, and to follow the path of peaceful transfer of power and adopt the course of the just distribution of resources and providing equal opportunity for all.

We the people of Iraq who have just risen from our stumble, and who are looking with confidence to the future through a republican, federal, democratic, pluralistic system, have resolved with the determination of our men, women, the elderly and youth, to respect the rules of law, to establish justice and equality to cast aside the politics of aggression, and to tend to the concerns of women and their rights, and to the elderly and their concerns, and to children and their affairs and to spread a culture of diversity and defusing terrorism.

We the people of Iraq of all components and shades have taken upon ourselves to decide freely and with our choice to unite our future and to take lessons from yesterday for tomorrow, to draft, through the values and ideals of the heavenly messages and the findings of science and man’s civilization, this lasting constitution. The adherence to this constitution preserves for Iraq its free union, its people, its land and its sovereignty.

 

Below is one of the articles published by Reuters:

KIRKUK, Iraq | Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:51am EST

KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) – A tribal dispute between Arabs and Turkmen over land near Iraq’s oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk led to clashes that killed three people and wounded another eight Friday, police and provincial officials said.

The incident began with a  demonstration by Turkmen tribes against Arabs who were building houses in the village of Basheer, 15 km ( miles) southwest of Kirkuk, local police said.

Longstanding differences between Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen over land and oil in Kirkuk and Iraq’s other disputed northern territories are considered a potential flashpoint for future conflict in Iraq.

Authorities said the Turkmen were concerned the construction would deepen the Arab presence in an area they see as their own.

“Three people were killed due to a tribal dispute between Turkmen and Arab tribes in Basheer,” said Serhat Qader, a police official based in Kirkuk.

Provincial officials said three Arabs were killed in the clash, while the eight wounded were from both sides.

Direct clashes between Turkmen and Arabs in the disputed areas have been rare.

Najat Hussein, a Turkmen member of Tamim provincial council, said the Turkmen were demonstrating “peacefully” against the recent construction, which he said violated a five-year-old agreement between Arabs and Turkmen in the area.

“A part of the deal is that only agriculture (not construction) is permitted,” he said.

Mohammed Khalil, an Arab member of the council, said: “It was not a peaceful demonstration.”

Kirkuk, about 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, sits atop some of the world’s richest oilfields. Iraq’s semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region claims Kirkuk for its own.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/11/us-iraq-violence-kirkuk-idUSTRE71A46H20110211

(Reporting by Mustafa Mahmoud; Writing by Waleed Ibrahim; Editing by Jim Loney and Jon Hemming)

Iraqi Turkmen Front EU representative attends the Uyghur conference at the EU Parliament

May 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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UYGHURS AT THE EU PARLIAMENT IN BRUSSELS

 

 

 

 Mr. Anver Can, Former General Secretary of the World Uyghur Congress and of East Turkestan in Europe and Dr. Hassan Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU representative

 

On this photo: Mr. Dolkun Isa, Mr. Anver Can, Dr. Hassan Aydinli, Mr. Abdumutalip.

Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) Europe Representative, Hassan Aydinli and Merry FitzGerald, of Europe-Iraqi Turkmens Friendship Association received an invitation from Mr Dolkun Isa, the General Secreatry of the World Uyghur Congress in Europe,  to  attend the two-day conference entitled Dialogue with China – Implementation of the Chinese Constitution to safeguard and protect the Rights of the Uyghur People’ at the European Parliament in Brussels.

China’s Uyghurs and Iraq’s  Turkmens share the same plight, they have both been suffering from an assimilation policy, from discrimination and from ethnic cleansing in their respective countries for several decades.

Uyghurs are considered as a minority by the totalitarian Chinese regime since more than 60 years (since the occupation of East Turkestan by the Chinese invasion and occupation forces in 1949).

Iraqi Turkmens are considered as a minority by the nationalistic Arab regimes that ruled the country during 85 years (from the end of the First World War in 1918 up to the regime change in Iraq by the US and the UK invasion and occupation forces on 9th April 2003) and by the hegemonic Kurdish regime which rules the north of Iraq since more than 7 years (since April 2003).

The Iraqi Turkmens’ representative in the EU participated in the conference to show the Turkmens’ support and solidarity with their Uyghur brothers in their struggle to stop the systematic violations of their human rights by the Chinese authorities and in their non-violent struggle for democratic freedoms. 

Mr. Niccolo Rinaldi MEP and Mr. Ivo Vajgl MEP convened this two-day conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on 29-30 April 2010 in collaboration with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) entitled Dialogue with China – Implementation of the Chinese Constitution to safeguard and protect the Rights of the Uyghur People’.

Mr. Niccolo Rinaldi MEP, Vice-Chair of ALDE

Mr. Marino Busdachin, UNPO General Secretary

Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, President of the World Uyghur Congress

Mr. Marco Perduca, Senator of the Italian Senate

Mr. Tashi Wangdi, EU representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Ms. Louisa Coan Greve, Vice President, National Endowment for Democracy

Mr. Dokun Isa, General Secretary of WUC and of the East Turkestan Union in Europe

Mr. Perhat Muhammad, Senior Researcher of WUC Research Centre & Vice-President of East Turkestan Union in Europe

Mr. Marco Panella, former MEP

and several specialists of the region shared their views and analysis.

  

Iraqi Turkmen Front EU representative with Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer, President of the World Uyghur Congresss (WUC)

 

 Uyghurs are one of China’s fifty-five nationalities; they are a Turkic-Muslim ethnicity which has been living in East Turkestan for generations.  Reoccupied by the Qing Dynasty in the mid-18th century, this region had become a Chinese province named Xinjiang in 1884, and in 1955, after the communist takeover in late 1949, was reorganised as the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

East Turkestan, the area where Uyghurs established empires and a great civilization until invaded by China in 1884, has become the 19th province of the Chinese Empire, and as Mr. Ahmed Faruk Ünsal, President of Mazlumder (Organisation of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People), Turkey who spoke at the conference pointed out, at first East Turkestan lost its name, and is now called “Xinjiang”, which meansnewly conquered lands in Cantonese.  Its demographic structure has been systematically changed through settlements of Chinese populations to East Turkestan and enforced migration of Uyghur people to inner regions of China.  The Uyghurs have been exposed to ecological disasters and cultural, religious and ethnic discrimination which can be deemed as ethnic cleansing.

 

As Mr. Willy Fautré, Director of HRWF International, pointed out, the protests in Xinjiang in July 2009 were the result of long-standing frustration and rancour against Beijing’s policy of economic, social and political marginalization of the Uyghurs in their ancestral lands. Beijing has steadily deprived the Uyghurs of their identity, their culture, their language, the management of their society and their development – while for years demonizing all opponents as separatists and terrorists.

The Chinese government continues its policy of transfer of Han people into Xinjiang and of Uyghur people outside their ancestral lands.  Among them 400,000 young, unmarried and mostly teenage Uyghur girls sent to ‘work’ in factories located in China’s eastern provinces.

Ms. Corinna Barabara Francis, Researcher on China, International Secretariat, Amnesty International, said that one of the key policies that have been steadily eroding Uyghurs cultural rights has been the policy to phase out instruction in Uyghur within the educational system in the Xingjang-Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).  Since the 1990s the Chinese authorities have been pursuing a program of “bilingual education” which in fact resulted in a switch to instruction exclusively, or primarily, in Putonghua. 

According to Ms. Marie Holzman, Sinologist, the relationship between the Han and the Uyghur community took a turn for the worse on July 5th 2009.  This tragic event should have brought about a complete review of the Chinese government policy towards East Turkestan (Xinjiang as it is called in Bejing), instead of that, the repression, control and numerous humiliations towards the local population has become even more intense under the two pretexts of fighting separatism and terrorism.  What is to be feared now is that Chinese nationalism, which used to be a kind of exacerbated patriotism, should turn into Han nationalism against Uyghur, Tibetan, Mongol nationalism.

Mr. Nury A. Turkel, Attorney and former president of the Uyghur American Association (UAA) said it is in the best interest of European foreign policy to support moderate Muslims such as the Uyghur people and their struggle for democratic freedoms, including the right to be Muslim. Helping Uyghur Muslims will benefit Europe in the eyes of moderate Muslims, including Turkic people, throughout the world to take a stand in support of Uyghur’s legitimate human rights concerns. It is critically important for America and Europe to cultivate democratic, secular political thinking among Uyghurs no less than among Iraqis or other Muslim populations.

ITF EU REPRESENTATIVE ATTENDED A CONFERENCE AT THE EU PARLIAMENT IN BRUSSELS

October 2, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
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ITF EU REPRESENTATIVE ATTENDED A CONFERENCE AT THE EU PARLIAMENT IN BRUSSELS

 E McMillan-Scott and H AYDINLI

MEP Edward McMILLAN-SCOTT, Vice President of EU Parliament and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative

H AYDINLI AND G WATSON

With MEP Graham WATSON

E LICHTENBERGER AND H AYDINLI

With MEP Eva LICHTENBERGER

Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative and Mrs Merry FITZGERALD of the Committee for the Defence of the Iraqi Turkmen Rights in Belgium received invitations from several Members of the European Parliament and from the Director of the Brussels based association “HUMAN RIGHTS WITHOUT FRONTIERS”  Mr Willy FAUTRE to attend a conference on the Human Rights in China at the European Parliament in Brussels on 30th September 2009.

 

The conference was held on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China to analyse China’s performance in the field of Human rights and Freedoms for civil society. It was held under the title:

 

60 Years of Democracy in China

(seen by Uyghurs, Tibetans, Falun Gong, Human Rights Defenders)

 

The conference was organised at the initiative of some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) with the participation of the Director of the Human Rights without Frontiers association in Brussels:

 

Mr. Edward McMILLAN-SCOTT, MEP and Vice-President of EU Parliament

Mr. Graham WATSON, MEP and Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)

Mr. Thomas MANN, MEP and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (Group of the European People’s Party)

Mrs. Eva LICHTENBERGER, MEP and Vice-Chairwoman (Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance)

 Mr.  Willy FAUTRE, Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers

 Representatives from three Chinese communities in Europe and the Director of Human Rights without Frontiers were invited to the conference to share the panel with the MEPs and to address the conference. These Representatives were :-  

 

Mr. Isa Dolkun,  EU Representative of the Uyghurs & Secretary General of the World Uyghur Congress.

Mr. Tashi Wangdi, EU Representative of the Dalai Lama.

Mr. Man-Yan Ng, EU Representative of the Falun Gong Association.

 

Mr. Paolo Barabesi, Assistant to the Director of Human Rights without Frontiers, read Mr. Willy Fautré’s speech.

The organisers of the conference and their guest speakers addressed the conference, they described the political situation in China since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and they criticized the Chinese authorities for the lack of real democracy in China and for the intolerable violations of human rights against the Chinese people in general and against the Uyghur and Tibetan communities in particular.

 I DOLKUN AND E LICHTENBERGER

Each guest speaker presented a written statement in which they explained the actual situation and living conditions of their community in China. They all denounced the Chinese authorities’ intolerances and dictatorship, accusing the Chinese regime of brutal human rights violation against the Uyghurs, the Tibetans and the Falun Gong practitioners.     

 Conf at EU Parl MANN MAN-YAN Ng AND T. WANGDI

MEP Thomas MANN,  Mr. MAN-YAN Ng, Mr. Tashi WANGDI

 

After the conference Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative, established contact with the MEPs who had organised the conference and he presented the Iraqi Turkmens’ cause to them, describing the Turkmen reality in Iraq and updating them on the current difficult political situation, hard economical conditions, troubled cultural environment and unsafe living conditions imposed on the Iraqi Turkmens since decades.

 

He emphasized the deterioration of the situation for the Turkmens in Iraq, politically, economically and socially, especially after the regime change in April 2003. He explained how Turkmens continue to suffer from countless human rights violations as a consequence of an institutionalised discrimination policy applied against the Turkmens since the creation of the Iraqi State in 1921 and since the adoption of the “New Iraqi Constitution” which was concocted in a rush by a bunch of inexperienced, ethnically motivated and power thirsty ‘new Iraqi politicians’ under US occupation. Indeed, the new Iraqi constitution is terribly backward as it clearly discriminates between the Iraqi citizens according to their ethnic origin. The Arabs and Kurds are classified as ‘first class citizens’ and the country’s main landlords and share holders, while the Turkmens, the Chaldeo-Assyrians, the Shabaks, the Yezidis and other minority groups are considered as ‘second class citizens’.

 

Dr. H. AYDINLI stressed the fact that this ‘new constitution’ contains some terminology and notions unheard of in any constitution before, such as ‘Contested Territories and ‘Disputed border lines’ within the same country!!! and the infamous article 140 concerning Kerkuk. He also pointed out that the new constitution includes several controversial articles, which if they are maintained in the constitution will ultimately divide Iraq in two regions, a Kurdish region in the north and an Arabic region in the south, thus denying the Turkmens who are the third main ethnic component of the Iraqi people the right to have their own region (Turkmeneli). This would lead to more instability in Iraq and in the region.

 

Dr. H. AYDINLI urged the MEPs:

– to support the Turkmens’ just cause

– to follow closely the evolution of the political process in Iraq

– to monitor the upcoming general election in January 2010.

 Conf at EU Parl 60 Years Democracy in China DOLKUN AND AYDINLI 2

Mr. Isa DOLKUN and Dr. Hassan AYDINLI

ITF EU representative had the pleasure to meet again with the Secretary General of the World Uyghur Congress, Mr. Isa DOLKUN, and to reiterate the Iraqi Turkmens’ support to the Uyghur people and their just cause.

 

Dr. H. AYDINLI also spoke with former MEP F. SCHWALBA-HOTH, analyst and independent political strategist with whom he had already met on another occasion.

 Conf at EU Parl 60 Years Democracy in China 022

He made an interesting new encounter with Count Leonardo Alaeddin CLERICI* (Philosopher and Poet) President of Istituto di Skriptura Brussels-Istanbul.

 Conf at EU Parl 60 Years Democracy in China 028

Count Leonardo Alaeddin CLERICI, Mr. Isa DOLKUN, Dr Hassan AYDINLI

He also spoke with Brussels based journalist Magda FAHSI of Human Rights-Geneva to whom he gave some examples of the human rights abuses and discriminations to which the Turkmens continue to be exposed in today’s Iraq.  Ms. FAHSI is interested to hear more about the Turkmens and she will be in touch.

 

Notes:

Merry FITZGERALD of the Committee for the Defence of the Iraqi Turkmens’ Rights took part in the presentation of the Turkmen cause to the MEPs, adding her own arguments. 

 

* L. A.CLERICI organizes conferences and exhibitions from Rome to the United States to explain that Islamic philosophy offers a metaphysical vision of the world, and that philosophy belongs to God and not to man. He is working to merge the synergies of arts, philosophy and technology. His emphasis on sourcing all artistic and philosophical endeavours to the holy Qur’an and God makes it all the more fascinating.

Amitiés Franco-Irakiennes, AFI Flash

July 2, 2009 at 9:32 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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EXTRAIT DE:

AFI-Flash

Amitiés Franco-Irakiennes

Juillet-août 2009

 

Elections régionales au Kurdistan irakien (25/7/09)

 

Nouvelles de la campagne électorale

 La démocratie au Kurdistan irakien (2008)

 Les deux partis au pouvoir (PDK de Massoud Barzani et UPK de Jalal Talabani) comptent bien le garder. Ils n’accordent pas de licence aux groupements politiques qui leur déplaisent ou pourraient les concurrencer. Liste des partis interdits en 2008:

1. Turkoman Unity Party (hizb al-wahda al-Turkoman) – 2. Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (parti charasari dimokrati Kurdistan) – 3. Kurdistan Independent Party (parti serbekhoyi Kurdistan) – 4. Iraqi Turkomans’ Islamic Union (yeketi Islami Turkomani Iraq) – 5. Independent Syriani Group Movement (hereke tajammu’ al-Siryani al-mustaqil) – 6. The Jews Party (parti juleke) – 7. Iraq Truth party (party rasti i’eraq) – 8. Independent Turkoman Gathering (al-tajammu’ al-Turkomani al-mustaqil) – 9. Assyrian National Party (parti nishtimani ashuri) – 10. Islamic Party for Iraq (Al-hizb al-Islami lil-I’raq) – 11. National Accord Movement (hereke al-wifaq al-watani) – 12. Free National Democratic Party (hizb al-watani al-demoqrati al-hur) – 13. Kurdistan Communist Workers’ Party- Iraq- (hizbi komonisti Kurdstani krekari- I’eraq) – 4. Ezidi Democratic Movement (al-hereke al-demoqratiyya al-yezidiyya) – 15. Iraqi National Congress (kongrey nishtimani I’raq) – 16. Kurdistan Progressive Popular Democratic Party (parti peshkewtinxwazi demokrati geli Kurdistan) – 17. Turkoman Elli party (party Turkoman elli) – 18. Red Fire Organisation (rekkhrawi agrasura) – 19. Islamic Group (komaley Islami) – 20. Kurdistan Patriotic Trend (rawti nishtimani Kurdisatan) – 21. South Kurdistan Republican party (parti komari Kurdistani bashur) – 22. Kurdistan Freedom Congress.

http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2008/6/independentstate2227.htm

 

 Coup de force – Alors que le Parlement kurde irakien avait clos sa législature le  4 juin, il a été réuni le 24 en dépit des protestations de parlementaires considérant la séance comme étant illégale, pour adopter une nouvelle constitution et décréter que l’annexion de la province de Kirkouk et de onze localités de celles de Ninive et de Diyala faisaient désormais partie de la Région autonome. A un mois des élections, l’opération permet à la Liste Kurdistan (Barzani/Talabani)  d’acquérir les suffrages dans les milieux nationalistes kurdes qui trouvent les deux leaders trop mous.

http://www.cyberpresse.ca/international/moyen-orient/200906/24/01-878474-irak-le-parlement-kurde-adopte-une-constitution-annexant-kirkouk.php

  « Cartoons parties » – Trois partis turcomans créés de toutes pièces par Massoud Barzani et Jalal Talababi participeront aux élections régionales. L’un d’eux, le « Parti  démocratique turkmène du Kurdistan » est dirigé par Karhi Altın Parmak. Il a fait partie d’une délégation kurde invitée par le Parlement flamand bruxellois devant lequel, à la stupéfaction des personnalités présentes, il s’est exprimé en kurde, l’utilisation du turkmène lui ayant été interdit par ses collègues. Les Assyriens, Shabaks et Yézidis du nord de l’Irak ne peuvent pas, non plus, exercer « pleinement et librement leurs droits et activités politiques, ils doivent accepter l’hégémonie kurde » a déclaré Hassan Aydinli, représentant des Turkmènes en Europe.

  Continue Reading Amitiés Franco-Irakiennes, AFI Flash…

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