Who, What and Where are Iraq’s Turkmen?

September 5, 2014 at 6:31 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Who, What and Where are Iraq’s Turkmen?
by BARBARA NIMRI AZIZ

Know your Yazidi. An anthropological sketch will assure support for US and Peshmarga military advances across Iraq, and sequester a competing other minority—Iraq’s Turkmen.

 

International concern in Iraq pivots around saving the Yazidi people. Christians seem to count too; the Shabak also merit some attention. One can only applaud humanitarian support for any threatened population. But why the total dismissal of their neighbors and fellow Iraqis, the Turkmen? They too are at grave risk. Augmenting Al-Mufti’s account from the ground is a report noting how, “While the European Parliament … officially acknowledges the situation faced by minorities in ISIS occupied Iraq, their resolution … [2014/2716(RSP)] made no specific mention of Iraqi Turkmen… among the worst affected”.

Yes, Iraqi Turkmen are among millions now terrorized by the insufferable ISIS. Turkmen’s expulsion is not new however. A review of their history over the past decade reveals a pattern of forced removal from cities and villages across north Iraq. Not by ISIS, by American allies: Iraqi Kurds.

Telafar, a majority Turkmen city of 200,000 was all but depopulated beginning in 2003 when Kurdish Peshmarga reportedly conducted massacres there; attacks targeting Turkmen continued thereafter. This coincided with a political campaign to absorb ancient Kirkuk City along with Ninevah and Diyala provinces by Kurdish authorities. In 2009 the parliament of Kurdistan voted on a constitution to claim these areas, extending Kurdish rule beyond Suleimaniya, Dohok and Irbil. Mass Kurdish migration into Turkmen homelands displaced Turkmen, creating new facts-on-the-ground. In 2011 the Peshmarga Kurdish militia occupied Kirkuk, ostensibly to protect local inhabitants.The Turkmen National Front has been struggling with little success to push back Kurdish takeovers. They’ve no militia of their own and support from Baghdad, always weak, has now collapsed.

International news and human rights agencies consistently disregarded Kurdish advances into Turkmen areas. Today too. Turkmen are being whited-out of the picture. Why? It appears to be part of a strategy to consolidate Kurdish claims over all the Turkmen homelands.

Kurds took command of Kirkuk a month ago, again “to save” the city, this time from ISIS. The Peshmarga militia is a major US ally; resupplied with heavy weapons, it’s now engaged with the US military to push ISIS out of Mosel.

We may find Kurdistan awarded full control over Ninevah and Diyala– provinces they have long coveted. Its illegitimate constitutional claim becomes a reality.

One does not seek to tarnish one people at the expense of another. But the current situation in northern Iraq suggests it’s more than a heroic drive to protect endangered civilians. Here is an opportunity to answer Kurdish territorial and political ambitions.

Iraq’s Turkmen are ancient inhabitants of Iraq. Estimates of their numbers vary from 1-3 million: possibly 13% of the population, Iraq’s third main ethnic group. Turkmen are well known as loyal Iraqi nationals, Shiia and Sunni. They speak Turkish and Arabic. They’ve used just means to hold onto their rights and their homeland. And they deserve to be heard and embraced. Even as observers, let’s not be manipulated by the divide-and-rule policies of others which have done so much harm across this land.

Barbara Nimri Aziz is a veteran anthropologist and journalist. Her latest book is Swimming up the Tigris: Real Life Encounters in Iraq (2007).

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/04/who-what-and-where-are-iraqs-turkmen/

 

Articles about the situation in the Turkmen region in Iraq

June 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

AFP Sunday 22ND June 2014 – ISIS returns 15 bodies of inhabitants of the Shiite Turkmen village of BASHIR, at the South of Kirkuk, who were killed during the attack on the village by ISIS last week

L’Etat islamique en Irak et au Levant (EIIL) a rendu, dimanche 22 juin, 15 corps d’habitants du village chiite et turkmène Al-Bachir, au Sud de Kirkouk, tués lors de l’attaque du village par l’EIIL la semaine dernière.

Video Durée: 00:32

http://www.boursorama.com/actualites/irak-l-eiil-rend-les-corps-de-victimes-turkmenes-f49ea5eeb151710e5504ad13d0d69511

 

 ON TARGET: Iraq’s complexities befuddle media

SCOTT TAYLOR ON TARGET
Published June 22, 2014 – 3:56pm

Scott Taylor is Canadian, he is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. In 2004 he wrote a book entitled: “AMONG THE OTHERS” Encounters with the forgotten Turkmen of Iraq. Published in Canada ESPRIT DE CORPS BOOKS ISBN 1-895896-26-6

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/1217543-on-target-iraq-s-complexities-befuddle-media#.U6fOUgaIHrg.facebook

 

  The Fall of Tal Afar and the Situation of Turkmens
Bilgay Duman, ORSAM Middle East Researchers

http://www.orsam.org.tr/en/showArticle.aspx?ID=2652

 

 

After the fall of BESHIR in the hands of ISIL terrorists, the men (from 15 to 50 years old) of the Turkmen city of TAZA are on the alert to protect their city. All the women and children have fled.

http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2014/06/22/01003-20140622ARTFIG00158-sur-la-frontiere-entre-tribus-d-irak-et-kurdes.php

 

 

İŞİD’e Destek verenler veya Sevenler Kına Yaksınlar 15 Şehit Cesed’ini Buğün o Terör Arablar Beşir’li Türkmenlere verdiler.  video

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=779125472119361&set=vb.100000657459663&type=2&theater

 
23 Turkmens were killed in Biravcılı Tuz Khurmatu, IRAQ   VIDEO

Türkmen Elımden Acı Haber geliyor Müsait Değiliz Tirene Bakıyoruz

IŞİD Türkmen köyünü bastı, 23 TÜRKMENİ ÖLDÜRDÜ….!
LANET OLSUN TÜRKMENLERİMİZİ UNUTANLARA!
TÜRKMENLERİMİZ YAPAYANLIZ…………………….
SİLAHSIZ SAVUNMASIZ……………………………….
Irak’ta Tuzhurmatu ilçesine bağlı Biravcılı köyünü basan IŞİD militanları 3’ü kadın 23 Türkmen’i öldürdü.
Köye girmek isteyen IŞİD militanları ile Türkmenler’in yaklaşık 3 saat çatıştığı, köye girmeyi başaran IŞID militanlarının 23 Şii Türkmen’i kurşuna dizdiği öğrenildi. Saldırı sonrası bazı evleri de yakan IŞİD militanları köyden ayrılırken, köyde yaşayanlar cenazelerini de alarak diğer ilçelere kaçtı.

 

 

Turkmen Volunteers Fight ISIL Militants Near Kirkuk
Volunteer fighters near the northern Shi’ite Turkoman village of Basheer outside Kirkuk fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at radical Sunni militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on June 20.    VIDEO
http://www.rferl.org/flashembed.aspx?t=vid&id=25429722&w=640&h=363&skin=embeded

 

DSC_1047

DSC_1059

21ST June 2014 – IRAQI TURKMENS, and their friends from the Turkic world demonstrated in The Hague in front of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to denounce the ethnic cleansing of Turkmens in Iraq by the fanatic ISIS terrorists. Photo album on my page on FB

https://www.facebook.com/merry.fitzgerald/media_set?set=a.10201003924620147.1073741858.1828008135&type=1&notif_t=like

 

Note : Iraqi Turkmens held meetings /demonstrations in Australia, London, Ankara, Istanbul, Adana, and several other cities in Turkey.

 

 HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF IN THE TURKMEN VILLAGE OF BESHIR IN IRAQ

BESHIR, twice a martyred village, under the chauvinistic Baath regime and now under terrorist ISIS  VIDEO

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=674339372647003&set=vb.372389659508644&type=2&theater

 

 Kerkük’e Bağlı Tazehurmatu Nahiyesi bugün matemdeydi.

15 Beşirli şehit nahiyedeki Şehitler Mezarlığında toprağa verildi.
IŞİD militanlarının kontrolündeki Beşir köyü bir haftadan beri hayalet köy.
Cenaze merasiminde,gözyaşı,feryat,tekbir,hüzün ve ağlama sesleri birbirine karıştı.Ruhunuz Şad olsun.

 

Iraqi Turkmen feel abandoned by Turkey

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/tastekin-iraqi-turkmen-kurds-turkey-isis-kirkuk-krg.html

 

 

Shiite Turkmens flee Kirkuk due to ISIL attacks

http://en.cihan.com.tr/news/Shiite-Turkmens-flee-Kirkuk-due-to-ISIL-attacks_1318-CHMTQ3MTMxOC80

 

 Kurdish control over Iraq’s Kirkuk raises fears for city’s residents –

See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/kurdish-control-over-iraqs-kirkuk-raises-fears-citys-residents/666615279#sthash.FuwlYkfE.9eRMGY7C.dpuf

 

 

IŞİD Türkmen köyünü bastı, 23 TÜRK İNFAZ EDİLDİ!  VIDEO

http://www.mehmetciktv.com.tr/video/5157/isid-turkmen-koyunu-basti-23-turk-infaz-edildi.html#.U6iznZSSyCC

 

  

TELLAFER KAN AĞLIYOR VARMI BİR DUYAN, Türklük Yok olmuş Yokmu İnsanlık.
Tercümana Gerek Yok Türkça Konuşuyorlar, Türküz Diyorlar

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202306288073958&set=vb.1094150565&type=2&theater

 

  

IRAQ – Turkmen village BESHIR annexed by ISIS

In this article published in LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR they say that peshmerga colonel Abdel Fattah Jalal Mohammed now working for the Kurdish police arrived in Beshir as a GANG LEADER after the fight, with 2 big 4×4. The peshmerga did not come alone, they came with KURDISH LOOTERS. The Colonel knows they are looters and he does nothing to stop them

http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/monde/20140618.OBS0844/irak-bashir-village-annexe-par-les-djihadistes.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

European Parliament resolution on Iraq: the plight of minority groups, in particular the Iraqi Turkmen

March 16, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

eu parliament2

Texts adopted
Thursday, 14 March 2013 – Strasbourg Provisional edition
Iraq: plight of minority groups, in particular the Iraqi Turkmen
P7_TA-PROV(2013)0101 B7-0147014801490150 and 0151/2013

 European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2013 on Iraq: the plight of minority groups, including the Iraqi Turkmen (2013/2562(RSP))
The European Parliament ,–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Iraq, notably its resolutions of 6 April 2006 on the Assyrian community(1) and of 25 November 2010 on attacks against Christian communities(2) ,–  having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Iraq, of the other part, and to its resolution of 17 January 2013 on the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement(3) ,–  having regard to the Commission’s Joint Strategy Paper for Iraq (2011-2013),

–  having regard to the statement by Vice-President of the Commission / EU High Representative (VP/HR) Catherine Ashton of 25 January 2013 on the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Iraq,

–  having regard to the declaration of VP/HR Catherine Ashton of 24 January 2013 on the killings at the funeral in Tuz Khurmatu,

–  having regard to the International Compact with Iraq, launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2007, which pledges to ‘protect poor and vulnerable groups from deprivation and starvation’,

–  having regard to the ‘Human Rights Report on Human Rights in Iraq: January to June 2012’, presented jointly by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) and the Commission on 19 December 2012,

–  having regard to the accompanying press statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Navi Pillay that ‘the number of executions so far in 2012, and the manner in which they have been carried out in large batches, is extremely dangerous, cannot be justified, and risks seriously undermining the partial and tentative progress on rule of law in Iraq’,

–  having regard to the statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon of 25 January 2013 strongly condemning ‘the recent wave of terrorist attacks across Iraq, which have killed hundreds of people and have left many more wounded’,

–  having regard to the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which Iraq is a party,

–  having regard to Rules 122(5) and 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas Iraq continues to face serious political, security and socio-economic challenges, and whereas the political scene in the country is extremely fragmented and plagued by violence, to the severe detriment of the legitimate aspirations of the Iraqi people for peace, prosperity and a genuine transition to democracy;

B.  whereas the Iraqi Constitution guarantees equality before the law for all its citizens and notably, in Article 125, the ‘administrative, political, cultural and educational rights of the various nationalities, such as Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians and all other nationalities’, and whereas Article 31 of the Constitution of the Kurdistan Region, in force since 2009, guarantees ‘national, cultural and administrative autonomy to the Turkmen, Arabs and Chaldo-Assyrian-Syriacs, Armenian and others who are citizens of Kurdistan whenever they represent the majority of the population’;

C.  whereas on 9 April 2012 the Iraqi parliament approved the High Commission for Human Rights, which, while not yet fully functional, is the first independent human rights commission in the country’s history;

D.  whereas in the political dialogue with its Iraqi counterparts, Parliament focuses on the human rights situation in Iraq, which continues to be of serious concern given the unsatisfactory situation for vulnerable groups, including minorities;

E.  whereas the EU-Iraq agreement, and in particular its human rights clause, emphasises that the EU-Iraqi political dialogue should focus on human rights and strengthening democratic institutions;

F.  whereas Iraq has long been home to a variety of ethnic and religious minority groups, including Turkmen, Christians, Kurds, Shabak, Mandaeans, Armenians, Yezidi, Baha’is, Black Iraqis, Assyrians, Jews, Palestinians and others;

G.  whereas minorities in Iraq have been the target of assimilation measures and are underrepresented in the Iraqi Government and associated bodies; whereas, as a consequence, the respective populations of minority groups in Iraq have diminished drastically in recent years, as many have fled the country, while others have been forced to relocate elsewhere in Iraq;

H.  whereas Turkmen are allegedly the third-largest ethnic group in Iraq; whereas there has been an ongoing dispute between the Turkmen and Kurds over Kirkuk, a region rich in oil and other natural resources, with Turkmen subject to attacks and abductions by both Kurdish forces and Arab extremist groups; whereas both Sunni and Shia Turkmen have been targeted on sectarian grounds;

I.  whereas the ongoing dispute between the central government of Iraq and the regional government of Kurdistan has recently escalated, which negatively affects the security situation in the region and endangers the peaceful co-existence of various ethnic groups, notably Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen;

J.  whereas, in addition to territorial tensions, northern Iraq is also a target for seemingly sectarian attacks in which the Shi’ite population is frequently targeted by Sunni groups; whereas on 31 December 2012, 39 pilgrims were killed during the Shia festival of Arba’een; whereas on 23 January 2013, an attack on a Shia mosque in Tuz Khurmatu – a town in the Nineveh Province in northern Iraq, which is disputed territory between the government of Iraq and the regional government of Kurdistan and which has a significant Turkmen population – left at least 42 dead and 117 injured;

K.  whereas, despite a significant improvement in the security situation, the level of violence faced by the Iraqi population remains unacceptably high, with bombings and shootings reported daily; and whereas continuing tension and violence leave most Iraqis uncertain about their future and make it impossible to promote the economic and social integration of the Iraqi population at large;

1.  Is deeply concerned at the increasing acts of violence suffered by the civilian population in Iraq, notably between Sunnis and Shi’ites but also in attacks against particularly vulnerable groups, such as religious, ethnic and cultural minorities, and calls on the Iraqi authorities to improve security and public order and to combat terrorism and sectarian violence throughout the country;

2.  Condemns the attacks of 23 January 2013 against the Turkmen funeral in Tuz Khurmatu of a civil servant assassinated the previous day, leaving at least 42 people dead and a further 117 injured, of 3 February 2013 in which a suicide bombing outside a police station in Kirkuk killed 30 people and injured 70, and of 16 December 2012 in which two Turkmen teachers were abducted, tortured and burnt alive;

3.  Strongly condemns all terrorist attacks and extends its condolences to the families and friends of the deceased and injured;

4.  Expresses its grave concern that the new surge of instability and sectarian violence in Iraq could jeopardise the forthcoming provincial elections on 20 April 2013, cancellation of which would jeopardise the chances of a more democratic and inclusive governance structure;

5.  Regrets the fact that, despite the reference in the Constitution to the rights of Turkmen and other minorities, these minorities continue to be plagued by ethnic and sectarian violence and discrimination;

6.  Calls on both the government of Iraq and the regional government of Kurdistan to condemn the attacks and to conduct a full and swift investigation into the recent terrorist attacks in the region, including the most deadly recent bombing of a Shia mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, and to bring those responsible to justice;

7.  Calls on the government of Iraq and the regional government of Kurdistan to take immediate steps to de-escalate the territorial dispute in the Nineveh plain, to recognise the multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious diversity of the province, and to allow its citizens to freely choose their identity, including their language, religion and culture;

8.  Calls on the political forces represented in the Iraqi Council of Representatives to engage in a genuine, inclusive national dialogue with the aim of ensuring effective democratic governance of Iraq and respect for the individual and collective rights of all Iraqi citizens; urges the Iraqi government to undertake a national census that has been postponed indefinitely, in order to ascertain the size of the Turkmen and other minority populations;

9.  Calls on the Iraqi government and on all political leaders to take the necessary measures to provide security and protection for all Iraqi citizens in general and members of vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities in particular; calls on the government to instruct the security forces to show restraint in maintaining law and order, in keeping with the rule of law and international standards;

10.  Welcomes, in this context, the recent launch of a reorganisation and rehabilitation programme for detention centres and prisons under the authority of the Iraqi Ministry of Justice, and hopes that this will help stop the endemic use of torture and the widespread impunity in Iraq, deplored by human rights organisations;

11.  Deeply regrets the high execution rate in Iraq, with death sentences often being imposed after unfair trials and on the basis of confessions obtained under duress; urgently appeals to the Iraqi government to declare a moratorium on all executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty in the near future;

12.  Emphasises the need to ensure that action coordinated between the Iraqi authorities and international aid organisations is taken with a view to assisting vulnerable groups and creating adequate conditions to ensure their safety and dignity, in particular through initiatives that promote dialogue and mutual respect among all the religious and ethnic communities in Iraq;

13.  Stresses the importance of giving sufficient prominence in EUJUST LEX initiatives – where possible – to Turkmen rights and minority rights in general, and applauds the successes achieved by the EUJUST LEX mission and its implementation in Iraq;

14.  Insists that the Cooperation Council established by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Iraq be used as a channel to convey to the Iraqi side the concerns over the situation of ethnic and religious minorities in the country;

15.  Calls on the international community and the EU to support the Iraqi government in organising peaceful, free and fair regional elections in April 2013;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Council of Representatives of Iraq, the Regional Government of Kurdistan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the United Nations Human Rights Council.

(1) OJ C 293 E, 2.12.2006, p. 322.
(2) OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p. 115.
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0022.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2013-0101+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN

 

Turkmens in Iraq fear for their future

January 19, 2012 at 10:32 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

  Turkmens in Iraq fear for their future

BAGHDAD – Anatolia News Agency

 

Chairman of the Iraqi Turkmen Front Arshad al-Salehi said the future of Turkmen in Iraq was in danger. Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, al-Salehi said some wanted Iraq to be divided into three parts, one each for Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, and did not want Turkmen in the country. Al-Salehi said Turkmen were now in need of “full support” because their future was in danger.

Al-Salehi said the Turkmen Front would attend a national conference to be held in Iraq in the coming days, representing Turkmen. They would then present their demands at the conference, he said. “We will ask support of everyone there. We will hold talks. We will demand meetings from political groups and parties,” he said. Turkmen should be regarded as the cement of Iraq, he said.

January/19/2012

Iraqi Parliamentarians representing ‘Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities’ at the EU Parliament in Brussels

October 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Iraqi Parliamentarians, representing the Shabak, Yezidi, Chaldeo-Assyrian, Mandean-Sabean minorities with MEP Struan Stevenson, Chairman Iraq Delegation, and other Members of the EU Parliament

Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative Dr Hassan Aydinli with MEP Tunne Kelam, Group of the European People’s Party

ITF EU Representative Dr Hassan Aydinli with MEP Alexandra Thein, Group of the Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe

BRUSSELS, 5th October 2011

Iraqi Parliamentarians representing ‘Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities’ at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Fourteen Iraqi Parliamentarians representing the Chaldeo-Assyrian, Shabak, Yezidi and Mandaean-Sabean communities met with the EU Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq on 5th October 2011.

The Iraqi delegation was composed of:

Mr Younadam KENNA
Mr Amin FARHAN
Miss Ameena SAID
Miss Vian DAKHIL 
Mr Hussain NERMO
Mr Meham KHALEEL
Miss Basma PITRUS
Mr Luis GARO
Mr Qasim BIRGIS
Mr Sharif SULAYMAN
Mr Khalid ROOMI 
Mr Kaliss EISHO
Mr Imad YAKO
Mr Mohammed JAMSHEED

The meeting was chaired by MEP Struan Stevenson, President of the Iraq Delegation.

MEP Esther De Lange, Vice-President of the Iraq Delegation, and MEPs Ana Gomes, Tunne Kelam, Alexandra Thein and Jelko Kacin attended the meeting.

MEP Struan Stevenson informed the assembly that the Minorities Caucus in the Iraqi Council of Representatives was formed in July 2010 and that its aim is to develop a concrete plan of potential legislative action that stands to include reform of Iraq’s personal status law, local administration legislation, an anti-discrimination law and reform of Iraq’s educational curriculum.

The meeting has been organized with the help of :

– the Iraqi Council of Representatives,

– the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Iraq,

– the Institute for International Law and Human Rights,

– the U.S. Institute of Peace

With the support of :
UNPO (the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) and
No Peace Without Justice.

The Chairman Mr. Struan Stevenson started the meeting by saying that in the European Union we are all minorities, even Germany with its 82 million people is a ‘minority’,  and that we Europeans have learned to work together. He added that over 23% of the population of Iraq is non-Arab and that these non-Arab communities are victims of discrimination and assimilation and that their survival in Iraq is threatened.

Mr. Struan Stevenson informed the delegation that in November a big conference on Christian minorities would be held in the Lebanon.

Ms. Esther De Lange MEP, welcomed the 14-member delegation, saying that it is the first minority delegation from Iraq to be invited at the European Parliament.  She added that the delegation would also meet with the EU Commission.  Ms. De Lange said that the EU Parliament would like to have concrete examples of the delegation’s demands.

Mr. Younadam Kenna,  Member Iraqi Council of Representatives, representing the Chaldeo-Assyrian community,  was the first to take the floor, he spoke in the name of the delegation, informing the assembly of the main problems the minorities are facing in Iraq, namely regarding the unfair distribution of budget funds, the executive law system which is still the one which was used under Saddam Hussein, the pernicious law for women in the Kurdistan region where honour killings still take place, law of oil and gas repartition, religious prejudice,  lack of education in the language of the minorities in the Mosul region,  the
problem of the return of refugees belonging to the minorities, etc. He asked the help and the support of the European Union to help resolve all these problems.

Other members of the Iraqi delegation spoke about their communities’ continued suffering due to forced displacement, land confiscation, wars, lack of justice, lack of security, bureaucracy, unfair repartition of funds for the minority communities.

Miss Vian Dakhil, Member Iraqi Council of Representatives, representing the Yezidi community, spoke in the name of all
women belonging to minorities in Iraq. She called for the support and help of the European Parliament for these women.

Mr. Mohammed Jamsheed, Member Iraqi Council of Representatives, representing the Shabak community, recommended that the EU pay special attention to the Province of Ninewah because this is where 90% of the problems of the minorities are concentrated.

Mr. Kaliss Eisho, Member Iraqi Council of Representatives, representing the Chaldeo-Assyrian community, asked
for an autonomous region for the Chaldeo-Assyrians in the Ninewah Plains.

Mr. Amin Farhan, Member Iraqi Council of Representatives, President of the Eyzidin Movement for Reform and Progress and its parliamentary faction,  spoke with force and conviction about the need for the Committee for the Revision of the Constitution in Iraq to include at least one member of each community. He said that there is no democracy in Iraq, that minorities are threatened and that they should have the means to protect themselves. Mr. Amin Farhan said that he had asked Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to reinstate the old Yezidi army and police officers and that Maliki had agreed for the return of 332 of them, but that the Chief of Staff of the Iraqi army in Baghdad, a Kurd, had refused to reinstate them.  He said that although he is a Member of the Iraqi Parliament, the Kurdish Regional Authorities do not allow him to visit his family in his home town Shikhan in the north of Iraq. Mr. Farhan spoke of the lack of freedom of expression in the Kurdish Region for Yezidis, informing the assembly that the Kurds are refusing them to distribute a Yezidi newspaper in their region.

All the members of the Iraqi delegation asked for help and moral support from the European Union, saying that they hoped the EU Parliament would make a statement on Iraq’s minorities.  They also expressed the hope that Members of the EU Parliament would visit the Iraqi Parliament frequently and that additional EU consulates would be opened in Iraq’s main northern cities.

Iraqi Turkmen Front  EU representative, Dr. Hassan Aydinli, attended the conference. He met individually with the members of the Iraqi Parliament, questioning them about the situation of their respective communities in Iraq and he encouraged them to express themselves freely and without fear.

Dr. Aydinli met with Mr. Struan Stevenson, Chairman of the Iraq Delegation and with MEPs Tunne Kelam and Alexandra Thein,  he informed them about the upcoming Turkmen Hearing by the subcommittee on Human Rights at the EU Parliament on 5th December 2011,  he also updated them about the continued targeting of Turkmen intellectuals, businessmen and political leaders in the north of Iraq and about the failure and unwillingness of the Iraqi authorities and local authorities to provide adequate protection for the Turkmen community in the north of Iraq.

ORSAM Rapor No 49: ORSAM SÖYLEŞİLERİ-2 IRAK TÜRKMENLERİ-1

June 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

ORSAM Rapor No 49: ORSAM SÖYLEŞİLERİ-2 IRAK TÜRKMENLERİ-1

 

http://www.orsam.org.tr/tr/trUploads/Yazilar/Dosyalar/2011521_orsamturkmenler_bolum1.pdf

Turkmen fight for identity in Kirkuk

April 19, 2011 at 10:57 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,
Turkmen fight for identity in Kirkuk
 
Iraq‘s third largest ethnic group complain of cultural erosion in disputed city. For the video please click on:

 

http://english.aljazeera.net/video/middleeast/2011/04/2011418194514456402.html

  

Last Modified: 18 Apr 2011 21:42

The third largest ethnic group inIraq, the Turkmen have long complained ofdiscrimination, especially in the city ofKirkuk where the local governmenthas been largely controlled by Kurdish parties.That began to change recently with a Turkmen politician electedas head of the provincial council, but many say more needs to bedone to preserve the Turkmens’ ethnic identity.

Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh reports fromKirkuk.

Who Owns Kirkuk? The Turkoman Case

March 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Who Owns Kirkuk? The Turkoman Case

by Yücel Güçlü
Middle East Quarterly

Yücel Güçlü is a first counselor at Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. These views are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Turkish government.

Article published in Winter 2007, pp. 79-86

http://www.meforum.org/1074/who-owns-kirkuk-the-turkoman-case

       

The question of Kirkuk’s final status remains among the touchiest issues concerning Iraq’s future. The Iraqi Kurdish political parties seek to include Kirkuk in a federal Kurdish state, an outcome at odds with Iraqi Turkoman sensitivities. The Turkomans consider Kirkuk to be their own ancestral capital and cultural center. Understanding the Turkoman claim to Kirkuk is essential to defuse a potentially explosive problem.

Policymakers and commentators outside Turkey often ignore the Turkomans. Literature about them is scarce in Western languages; the little that exists is limited in academic rigor and utility.[1] Furthermore, in terms of enunciating their concerns and interacting with Western officials, the Turkomans themselves have not always been effective spokesmen for their cause.

For centuries, the Turkomans have been part of the urban elite in cities such as Baghdad, Mosul, and Kirkuk. They remain an integral part of Iraq although their population is debated. It is hard to come by adequate population numbers in Iraq. After the 1958 revolution and the Baath Party coup ten years later, successive Iraqi governments embraced Arab nationalism[2] and worked to subvert the rights of the Kurdish and Turkoman communities. The last reliable census in Iraq—and the only one in which participants could declare their mother tongue—was in 1957. It found that Turkomans were the third largest ethnicity in Iraq, after Arabs and Kurds. The Turkomans numbered 567,000 out of a total population of 6,300,000. Later polls dropped “Turkoman” as a category. Basing his estimate on the 1957 census data and a growth rate of 2.5 percent annually, Erşat Hürmüzlü, a Kirkuk-born Turkoman scholar, estimated Iraq’s Turkoman population today at no less than two million Turkomans, out of a total population of 25 million.[3]

The City of Kirkuk

The status of Kirkuk remains one of Iraq’s major flash points. A city of more than 750,000[4] in the center of northern Iraq, it sits adjacent to oil fields holding 40 percent of Iraq’s reserves[5] and is surrounded by some of Iraq’s richest agricultural land. Kirkuk’s history is complex, replete with competing claims to suzerainty.

Kirkuk’s history dates back thousands of years.[6] The Ottoman Empire incorporated Kirkuk—and much of what is now Iraq—into its domains in 1534. Kirkuk grew in importance in the eighteenth century when it became the capital of the Ottoman sanjak (county or sub-district) of Şehrizor, comprising the areas of Kirkuk, Arbil, and Sulaimaniya. With the reforms of Midhat Pasha, Baghdad’s governor between 1869 and 1872, the name Şehrizor was given to the sanjak of Kirkuk (corresponding to the present areas of Kirkuk and Arbil). In 1879, the Ottoman government in Istanbul created the Mosul vilayet, which incorporated most of what is now northern Iraq. Kirkuk remained an important garrison town and, for reasons of language and the composition of the population, a valuable Ottoman recruiting center for civil servants and gendarmes. Ottoman culture thrived in the city.[7] The Turkomans dominated the merchant class and provided economic stability to the city.

Following its defeat in World War I, the Ottoman Empire forfeited much of its territory in the Middle East. But, because the majority of the area of Kirkuk was Turkish, the Ottoman government refused to renounce its claim. The Sublime Porte based its claim on President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points, Article XII of which stipulated that the Turkish portions of the Ottoman Empire should be assured sovereignty. The Ottoman delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 argued that in “Asia the Turkish lands are bounded on the south by the provinces of Mosul and Diyarbekir, as well as a part of Aleppo as far as the Mediterranean.”[8]

At this time, Kirkuk’s leading families were Turkoman: the Neftçiler—whose name in Turkish means oil producer—had owned and exploited the oil seepages since a 1693 imperial decree; the Yakuboğulları were landowners; and the Kırdars were both landowners and merchants. In addition, the city was home to scores of soldiers and civil servants who had reached high office in the Ottoman service but retired to their home province after the Allies dismembered the empire. The Turkomans retained the position of social influence they had enjoyed under Ottoman rule.[9] Indeed, Turkish remained the language of communication not only within the sanjak but also in Baghdad. The only local newspaper was the Turkish Necme, and there was an association of Turkoman writers. A.F. Miller, the resident British assistant administrative inspector, could only speak Turkish; he had little need for Arabic or Kurdish. And the British vice consul in Mosul, H.E. Wilkie Young, wrote, “There are 7,000 houses in the town of Kirkuk, and the population is not less than 40,000, of whom about 2,500 are Jews and only 630 Christians. The rest are Moslems of Turkoman origin. The language of the place is consequently Turkish.”[10] W.R. Hay, another British political officer in northern Iraq, likewise described a Turkoman crescent stretching from Mosul through Kirkuk and southward to Mandali. He described how “Kirkuk is the main centre of this Turkish population … Several villages in its vicinity are also Turkish-speaking, whereas the other towns are isolated communities surrounded by Kurds and Arabs. Large numbers of the middle-class Turks of Kirkuk and Arbil who possess some land, but wish to augment their incomes, learn to read and write, wear European clothes and undertake appointments in the government service. Kirkuk and Arbil, especially the former, provided large numbers of officials to the Ottoman government.”[11] That the British government drew up its proclamations to the city’s residents in the same Turkish language used at the time in Istanbul[12] was a testament to Kirkuk’s Turkish character.

Britain, as the occupying power, sought to legitimize its imposition of the Hashemite monarchy on the country through popular vote. During the July 1921 referendum, the people of Kirkuk rejected both inclusion in the new kingdom of Iraq and Faisal, the British choice for king. Kirkuk officials did not take part in the August 23, 1921 proclamation ceremony for Faisal. Rather than turn toward Baghdad, Kirkuk’s population continued to identify with Turkey.[13] Sir Arnold Wilson, the first British high commissioner of Iraq (1917-20) observed, “Kirkuk had always been a stronghold of Turkish officialdom, and pro-Turkish views here were a disturbing element for the occupation forces.”[14] Gertrude Bell, who would serve as Oriental secretary to the British civil administrator and later to the high commissioner of Iraq, acknowledged Kirkuk’s Turkish character: “The inhabitants of Kirkuk are largely of Turkish blood, descendants of Turkish settlers dating from the time of Seljuks.” [15]

Continue Reading Who Owns Kirkuk? The Turkoman Case…

INTERVIEW WITH IRAQI TURKMEN FRONT CHAIRMAN DR SAADETTIN ERGEÇ

January 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

INTERVIEW WITH IRAQI TURKMEN FRONT

CHAIRMAN DR. SAADETTIN ERGEÇ

 

To read the interview please click on:

 

http://www.orsam.org.tr/en/enUploads/Article/Files/2010110_sadettin.ing.pdf

  Abstract

As Iraq is entering a critical phase, ORSAM held an interview with Iraqi Turkmen Front Chairman

Saadettin Ergeç on December 25 at the ITF Turkish representative office about the future of the Turkmen society in Iraq. Ergeç shared his opinions regarding politics in Iraq, the electoral law, pre-electoral alliances, developments in Kerkuk, the situation of the Turkmens and relations between Turkey and Turkmens.

Kerkuk is not an ordinary province. It is the future of Iraq for its rich oil resources. The constitution states that oil recourses belong to all Iraqis.

Kerkuk is Iraq’s essential issue therefore it can’t be given to a single region.

THE STRUGGLE OF THE TURKMENS OF IRAQ by Orhan Ketene

October 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,

THE STRUGGLE OF THE TURKMENS OF IRAQ

By Orhan Ketene

Union of Diaspora Turkmens (UDT) Coordinator

 orxan%20ketene

For the PowerPoint Presentation please click on the link below:

 http://www.turkmen.nl/1A_Others/Presentation-Turkmen.ppt 

Text  of the presentation (without maps and pictures):

THE STRUGGLE OF THE TURKMENS OF IRAQ

  Who are the Turkmens?

The Turkmens are a Turkic people living in Iraq, mostly are concentrated in Northern Iraq and parts of Central and Southern Iraq
(East of Himrin Mountains and North of Jazeera desert is Northern Iraq).
They are the second largest nationality in Northern Iraq after the Kurds and the third largest in Iraq after the Arabs and the Kurds.

Turkmeneli
The areas of Northern Iraq where Turkmens live is called Turkmeneli
The Turkish speaking Turkmens currently inhabit a diagonal line that starts from Telafer in the north on the Syrian border eastward to Musul, Erbil, then southward to Kerkuk, Khaneqin and Bedre on the Iranian border.

The Arabic speaking Turkmens exist in every major city of Central and Southern Iraq.

Turkmens used to be the majority in Northern Iraq, but due to political and military reasons, continuous population exchange of the Turkmens with the Kurds from Iran and the Arabs from Arabian Iraq over the centuries, reduced the Turkmens nowadays to one third of the Northern population.
Currently their population is estimated at 2.5-3 million.

Kerkuk-Political and Cultural Center

Their political and cultural center is the city of Kerkuk which is the center of the oil wealth of Northern Iraq.
 
 Usually they work as professionals or in agriculture.
 They have the highest ratio of educated people than any other community in Iraq.
 The largest Turkmen tribes are the Bayat and Qara Qollu (Qaraghulli).
 They are non-violent, peace-loving and friendly people.

Turkmen Cities

 
Other Turkmen cities are Telafer, Musul, Erbil, Altun Kopru, Tawukh, Tuz Khurmatu, Kifri, Qara Teppe, Qaraghan, Qizlarbat, Khanaqin, Mendeli and Bedre.
 They also exist in Baquba, Baghdad, Tikrit, Ramadi, Aziziyya, Mahmudiyya, Iskenderiyya, Yusufiyya, Kut, Hilla, Diwaniyya, Nasiriyya and Kerbela.

  The Place of the Turkmens in the Turkic World

 – Oghuz = Turkmens

 
Western Turkmens: Turkey, Cyprus,
Western Syria, Eastern Bulgaria, Western
Thrace (Greece), Dobruja (Romania),

Gagavuzia & Gok Oghuz (Moldova),
Central Turkmens: Azerbaijan, Southern
Azerbaijan (Iran), Southern Iran (Qashqais),
Turkmeneli-Northern Iraq, Northern
Caucasia (Russia)
Eastern Turkmens: Turkmenistan,
Southern Turkmenistan (Khorasan-Iran)
Southern Turkistan(Afghanistan)
– Karluks : Uzbeks (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
Southern Turkistan (Afghanistan)
Uyghur(Eastern Turkistan-Northwest China)
– Kipchaks: Kazaks (Kazakistan and
EasternTurkistan), Kirghiz,Karakalpaks of
Uzbekistan, Tatars (Tatarstan, Crimea,
Siberia), Bashkurts, Karachays, Balkars, Kumuk
and Nogays of Northern Caucasia (Russia)
– Siberians: Altay-Sayan (Tuvans, KhakasiaAltais)
and Sakha-Yakutians (Russia)
– Chuvashians: Chuvashia (Russia)

The Position of the Turkmens in the Turkish World

Iraqi Turkmens

History of the Turkmens in Iraq

The Turkmens came to Iraq from Turkestan (Central Asia) and particularly from today’s Turkmenistan, in successive waves.

The first recorded document of their existence as “Turks” in Iraq was in 632 AD in a peace treaty of “Banuqia”, between the Turkish prince Bozbörü Sülübay and Khalid Bin Walid, mentioned in the book of “Mu’jamul Buldan- Dictionary of the Countries” written by the Muslim historian Yaqut Al-Hamawi who mentioned about the existence of several Turkish principalities in Iraq and emphasized on two of them in central Euphrates called the Banuqlu and Batuqlu which were allied with the Sassanid Persian Empire.

Turks took high positions up to the level of prime ministry in the Sassanid Empire and portrayed the fiercest resistance against the Islamic Arab conquest of Iraq.

The high military capabilities of the Turkish soldiers attracted the attention of the muslim Arabs, so, the Umayyad Arab Empire recruited large numbers of Turkish military experts from Turkestan (Central Asia).
They became highly influential in the army and the administration of the Abbasid Empire which followed the Umayyads.

The Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad asked for the help of Tughrul Beg, the chief of the Seljuk Turks to remove the Persian Buwaihids who dominated Baghdad for a century. In 1055 the Caliph of Bagdad declared Tughrul Beg as a “Sultan” (the master of power) and from that day on, the Turkish era began and the Turks became the rulers of the Middle East.

The Turkish Era in Iraq

 The word Turk and Turkmen became synonymous in the Middle East, one means the other.

 The Turkmens established 6 states in Iraq:

1- The Seljuk Empire: 1055- 1149 94 years
2- The Atabegs (of Musul, Erbil and Kerkuk): 1149- 1258 109 years
3- The Ilkhans (Mongol and Turkish mix): 1258- 1336 78 years
4- The Jalairids (Mongol and Turkish mix): 1336- 1360 24 years
5- The Barans (Qara Qoyunlu) : 1360- 1469 109 years
6- The Bayindirs (Aq Qoyunlu): 1469- 1508 39 years

. The Safawid Turks of Azerbaijan ruled Iraq: 1508- 1534 26 = years
1623- 1638 = 15 years
Total : 41 years
. Ottoman Turks ruled Iraq until the end of WWI: 1534- 1623  89 years
1638- 1918   280 years
Total: 369 years
. Total Direct Turkish/Turkmen rule: 863 years

TURCOMANIA:

The Turkmen identity of today’s Northern Iraq was so evident, that it was known as “Turcomania” by the European geographers such as William Guthrie who issued his famous map of the Middle East in 1785 in London, Great Britain.

Map of Turcomania (Turkmenia) in 1785
By British Geographer William Guthrie
Magnified map of Turcomania
Showing Kerkuk
Kerkuk

The Contributions of the Turkmens to the Iraqi Civilization

Turks, then known as Turkmens were defenders and builders of Iraq for over a millennium.

During the Seljuk era, Nizam-ul Mulk, the prime minister of the Seljuk Sultan Melik Shah, built the first university in the world in Baghdad, in 1127 AD, called Al-Mustansiriyya, which stands even today.

Turkmens defended every part of Iraq against all foreign invasions for more than 1500 years. That is why they are spread all over the country.

The Atabegs of Musul were the first state in the Middle East to react to the greatest European invasion in history, the Crusades, which lasted for 200 years. Nureddin Zengi the Atabeg of Musul built the leaning minaret mosque in 1172 AD.
The “Gok Kumbet”(Blue Dome) a tomb of a Turkmen princess “Bugday Khatun” in Kerkuk castle surrounded by a school, reminder of the Bayindir (Aq Qoyunlu) Turkmen state era (1469- 1508).
The “Chol Minare”(Desert Minaret) built by Muzaffereddin Gokboru the Atabeg of the Beg Tigin Atabegs of Erbil in 1200 AD. In which Erbil lived its’ golden age. It was the center of wealth, prosperity and science.

End of the Turkish Era:

During the Ottoman era, Northern Iraq was called the “Musul Province”.
In WWI, the British occupied Basra and Baghdad provinces and the southern part of the Musul Province.

Cease fire was declared on Oct.30.th 1918. However, the British army occupied the city of Musul on Nov. 11, 1918 which created the “Dispute of Musul” between Turkey and Britain which lasted for 8 years.

The Resistance:

The people of Musul resisted occupation through a series of revolts;

After 6 months from the occupation, the first revolt was started by the Soran Kurds of Suleymaniya in May 1919. Followed by The Turkmen revolt in Telafer in June 1920 which spread to the whole of Iraq. Followed by the revolt of the Behdinan Kurds in Imadiya in March 1921.

In June 1922, all peoples of Musul (Kurds, Turkmens, Arabs) united under the command of  Shafiq Ozdemir, the administrator of Rawanduz, who won the victory of “Derbend” on August 31,1922, against the British army, liberating most of the mountainous parts of Musul. This resistance was the longest one and lasted until April 1923.
However, all those revolts were suppressed by the overwhelming British military power, especially the Royal Air Force and the use of poisonous gas.

Shafiq Ozdemir, the guerrilla leader of the Musul Resistance

The Breaking of the Resistance:

– In August 1921 the British installed Faisal as a king in Iraq, Turkmens of Kerkuk refused allegiance and the Kurds of Suleymaniya refused to participate in the referendum.
– The cooperation between Kurds and Turkmens was creating big problems for the British to establish their authority in the North. So, they divided the two by promising the Kurds a separate Kurdistan. Most of the Kurds stopped fighting thus breaking the resistance.

– The first mass killing of the Turkmens happened on May 4th, 1924 in Kerkuk by the British Army legionnaires called the “Levies” who killed 100 Turkmens in one day.

– To pacify the North and the Turks, the British prepared a very liberal constitution for Iraq in 1925, where the country had 3 official languages (Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish) with full rights for all minorities.

Musul Incorporated into Iraq:


– Exhausted by 11 years of continuous wars since 1911, Turkey, opted for peace and good relations with the west, relinquishing its’ claim on the Musul province at the Ankara Treaty of June 5, 1926.
– Musul was incorporated into Iraq since then.
– The Ankara Treaty gave the people of Musul, one year to choose Iraqi or Turkish citizenship. Turkmens choose to remain in Iraq and become Iraqi citizens as long as their constitutional rights are respected.

The Start of the problems for the Turkmens in Iraq

The Monarchy Era (1921-1958) 37 years

Although Turkey declared that it was no longer interested in Musul anymore, the successive Iraqi governments (even today) were haunted by the paranoia that Turkey, one day, would reclaim it back.

 

This fear lead them to marginalize Turkmens, on the suspicion that they might support Turkey in case Turkey reclaimed back Musul. Although Turkmens were loyal citizens they were barred from high and sensitive government positions.
Kurds continued rebellions as the British did not fulfill their promise of establishing Kurdistan.

The first demographical change was the settlement of the Assyrians in Kerkuk in a newly built suburb called “New Kerkuk” in the Arafa district, as employees of the oil field facilities.
After becoming a sovereign country and entering the League of Nations in 1932, Iraq amended the 1925 constitution to remove Turkish from the official languages.

The second demographical change occurred as the Arabization policy started with the settlement of the Bedouin Arab tribes west of Kerkuk in the Hawija district in the Forties.
 Kerkuk, Erbil, Khaneqin and Kifri were still majority Turkmen cities.

 

However the third demographical change happened after the Barzani rebellion was suppressed in 1949. Vast numbers of rebel Kurdish villages were destroyed and the villagers forcefully settled by the Iraqi government in those cities. Thus changing the ethnic balance.
In 1957 a census was conducted and the results declared in 1959, showed the Turkmen population at 567.000 when Iraq was 6.5 million. Although the 400.000 Turkmens of Musul and Diyala were not counted. Turkmen population then was 950.000.

The Communist Era (1958-1963) 5 years

The monarchy was overthrown by the Communists in 1958. In a major policy shift towards the minorities, they declared the Kurds as partners of the Arabs, whereas the Turkmens, who remained loyal citizens, were discriminated against and were left as a minority. Thus, a double standard between the two peoples was applied.

Kurdish leader Barzani was brought back from his exile in Russia. He claimed the oil rich Kerkuk to be the capital of his proposed autonomous Kurdistan, which was rejected by the Turkmens.
Turkmens in Kerkuk were attacked by the Communist and Kurdish gangs. All main Turkmen figures were killed in a three day long massacre. It was only stopped by the Iraqi army which came from Baghdad upon fears of Turkish intervention.

President Qasim, tried to appease the Turkmens. He declared that the Turkmens were one million (Iraq was 7 million) and promised to persecute the criminals who conducted the Kerkuk Massacre.

Turkmens formed a secret organization and assassinated a number of Kerkuk massacre criminals.

It was understood that a quick ethnic cleansing of the Turkmens might trigger a Turkish intervention. Therefore, the method was changed to “Minimize them in the official records”. To ignore the reality and manipulate census records to suit the political purposes.
The formerly declared census results were ignored and the Turkmen population was officially recorded as 2% (140.000).

The fourth demographical change in Kerkuk was; building of the “Iskan” suburb east of Kerkuk for the Kurds by president Qasim. Although this concession did not stop the Kurds from rebelling again because the government refused to give them Kerkuk.

The Arab Nationalists Era (1963-1968) 5 years

To appease the Turkmens, president Abdusselam Arif ordered the execution of the Kerkuk massacre criminals.
Barzani continued rebellion with military and intelligence help from Israel which was aiming at weakening Iraq on the Palestinian issue.

The Ba’ath Era (1968-2003) 35 years

Application of double standards continued. On January 24, 1970, Turkmens were granted cultural rights. while the Kurds were given autonomy in 3 northern provinces on March 11, 1970 and the Turkmen city of Erbil was made their capital. All those major concessions were given without asking the Iraqi people.

The fifth demographical change was; building of the Azadi settlement for the Kurds, East of Kerkuk.

Kurds continued their rebellion because the government refused “again” to give Kerkuk. This time they were aided by Iran which was after Iraqi border concessions.
Major crackdown on the Turkmens started after a nationwide demonstrations by the Turkmens protesting the reluctance of the authorities in the application of their cultural rights.

The Four top leaders of the Turkmens were hanged on January 16th 1980. Followed by a spree of arrests, torture and executions among the Turkmen rights advocates.

Turkmenian speaking was banned in public and even on phone conversations.

Turkmens as a nationality were removed from the official census forms. Turkmens had to choose from either becoming Arabs or Kurds.

Turkmens, had to declare “change of nationality” to Arabic in order to get jobs.

Real estate sales were banned amongst the Turkmens. Sale could only be done to Arabs.

Turkmens were even banned from repairing their own houses.

Under the pretext of city planning, buildings resembling the Turkish era, were either demolished or modified. The 3000 year old Kerkuk Qal’a (fortress) which was a symbol of Turkmen architecture was demolished.

The sixth demographic change was in the form of settlement of hundreds of thousands of Arabs in Kerkuk by the government.

Turkmen villages and districts inside and outside Kerkuk were demolished; inhabitants were resettled in central and southern Iraq.

The Exiled Opposition and the Safe Haven Era (1991-2003) 12 years

The Iraqi army massacred over 100 Turkmens in the district of Altun Kopru in March 1991.

Free from Saddam’s dictatorship, The “Safe Haven” in Northern Iraq was supposed to be a good model for a democratic and free Iraq. This system was intended to be transferred into the rest of Iraq after liberating from Saddam.

Until 1996 Turkmens thrived in Erbil, they formed their own political parties, free media, democratic institutions and even their own defense militia.

However, after the intervention of the Iraqi army to help Barzani against Talabani on August 30, 1996 in Erbil, 56 pioneers of the Turkmen movement were executed by the Iraqi intelligence.

Barzani took over Erbil from Talabani. This time, supported by the U.S. and U.K., he converted the “Safe Haven” into Kurdistan and tried to impose authority upon the Turkmens, regarding them as a minority of Kurdistan. Intimidations and clashes with the Turkmens began.
Turkmens focus was shifted from helping their brethren under Saddam, into resisting Barzani’s demands of submission in Erbil.
Barzani, who was made a major player in the exiled opposition activities and armed with a veto power and Despite the desire of the Americans and other opposition figures to include the Turkmens, he blocked every effort and prevented the Turkmens from being major players in the opposition activities.

The same old tactic of marginalization was used. It was claimed that the Turkmens were a small minority, that they were not worth having a major say in the new Iraq.
It was even claimed that the Turkmens were only 10.000 in Erbil, whereas they were at least one third of Erbil (pop.750.000)

U.S. and Iraqi opposition figures used the same double standard. Turkmens were placed in the category of small minorities and treated accordingly in the opposition meetings and decisions. They were never allowed to grow their symbolic and weak militia power to the level of the Peshmergas who were allowed to grow to the level of a professional army.

Although the U.S. gave assurances to Turkey that Kerkuk and Musul were red lines for the Kurds (no entry), the defeat of the bill in the Turkish parliament (allowing the passage of the American forces through Turkey) angered the US and as a result, ignored the Turkish red lines and supported Kurdish demands on Kerkuk and Musul.
Turkmens paid a heavy price for disagreements between US and Turkey and they were completely out of the picture.

The American Era (2003-Present) 6 years

The Turkmens in principle were happy to see the Americans enter Iraq. expecting to see the application of American values of justice, equality and progress in Iraq.

However, the US anger over the Turks blocking US troops passage during the war, lifted the red lines and the Kurds occupied the whole of Northern Iraq including Kerkuk and Musul.
The weak and symbolic Turkmen militia in Erbil was disbanded.
All high governing and administration positions were filled with Kurds brought from the North.

The seventh and so far the largest demographical change happened in Kerkuk and surrounding Turkmen towns. 600.000 Kurds were brought from other areas and settled in the city.
Americans did not interfere with fraud and violations during the elections in Northern Iraq.

Turkmens are still categorized as a small minority and given symbolic posts and positions in the governing councils and parliament.
Although every major group in Iraq has a strong militia power, Turkmens are still not allowed to form their own defense militia power that makes them vulnerable to terrorist and ethnic attacks which happened many times so far in many Turkmen towns.

Today, there is a lot of tension in the North between the Kurds on one side and the Turkmens, Arabs and Assyrians on the other side.

The same Arab refusal to give up Kerkuk to the Kurds has recurred and a new rivalry between Arabs and Kurds is resurfacing, warning of a new ethnic war.

Some progress has been made recently in Kerkuk only, after declaring Turkish as an official language beside Arabic, Kurdish and Assyrian. But that is too little to solve the problems of Northern Iraq.

Every Turkmen city had been a target of explosions that killed thousands of Turkmens so far.

The Role of the Western Academia and Media:

Northern Iraq is the home of three major nationalities; the Turkmens, Kurds and Northern Arabs. The Turkmens and the Kurds have the same desire of self rule and autonomy.

However, Kurds’ desires of autonomy and self-rule have been promoted and emphasized to the level of “independence” and establishing the “Greater Kurdistan” by some powers which intend to exploit those desires to achieve their own purposes (i.e. the British to occupy the Musul Province, the Soviet Russians to establish a Communist Kurdish state, Israel to weaken Iraq, Shah’s Iran to get Iraqi border concessions, Islamic Iran to weaken Iraq and finally US-UK to remove Saddam from power and control the Middle East).

Whereas, the same desires of the Turkmens of self-rule and autonomy were suppressed and the whole people was marginalized to a symbolic level because they can’t be exploited to serve anybody’s purpose.
Throughout the twentieth century and even today, the western academia and media was and is utilized extensively in this double standard operation.

 
Too many universities, NGO’s, Think Tanks, and news agencies throughout the western world received astronomical grants to establish Kurdish institutes (Kurdish Institute at the Sorbonne University- Paris, France, Barzani Institute at the American University, Washington DC, US) to do researches promoting and emphasizing the Kurdish cause, hundreds of conferences, seminars, books, brochures, films and documentaries had been produced.

Whereas, there is not a single research done on the Turkmens by the same academia and media centers and not a single book produced about them.
On the contrary, those academia and media centers, produce maps and data, showing the Kurds as the absolute majority and dominants of the North. Whereas the Turkmens are either omitted from those maps and data or shown as dots and minute entities.

All those misinformation and disinformation is provoking the appetite of the chauvinistic feelings of some Kurdish political groups that will lead to extreme rivalry between the 3 main ethnic groups of Northern Iraq (The Turkmens, Kurds and Arabs). Which will bring disasters upon all peoples of the North and especially upon the Kurdish people.

Greater Kurdistan Fiction (inspired by the Soviets)

Greatest Kurdistan Fiction (inspired by R. Col. Ralph Peters at Stars & Stripes a Pentagon publication Sep.2006)

Examples of How Western Media Minimizes Turkmen Existence:

Imbalance Created by Excessive Rights to One Minority Only:

 Since 1958 there is an imbalance between the minorities in Iraq because one minority only (the Kurds) were given excessive rights (partnership with Arabs, autonomy, federalism, a large share from the national treasury, a separate army…etc.) whereas the Turkmens who are the second nationality of the North and the third nationality of Iraq, got only symbolic cultural rights. This inequality lead to disproportionate growth between the two peoples.

The Turkmen language, culture and socio-economic life have eroded to the lowest level in history.

Ethnic pressures from both the Arabs and the Kurds upon the Turkmens resulted in mass Arabization and Kurdification.

After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Kurdish desires have been increased to include all of Northern Iraq into Kurdistan. This endless appetite have lead to violating and confiscating the rights of the Turkmens and other minorities and as well as strong intimidation between the two peoples of the North.

Although the Kurds constitute only 17-18% of the population of Iraq, currently they have more rights than their size.

The President, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of the Military Intelligence, and many important ministries are Kurdish in the Central Government. The army and police force in the North is mostly made up of Peshmergas.
Whereas the Turkmens are 12-13% of the population and have only one symbolic ministry of Youth and Sports. They do not have militias or autonomy.

Since 2003 the Kurds have been trying to include Kerkuk officially into their Kurdistan through a referendum that they are sure of winning.
For that purpose, they settled  600.000 Kurdish emigrants from Iran, Syria and other parts of Northern Iraq in Kerkuk, changing the demographics of the city from 750.000 on April 2003 to 1.35 million nowadays.

The same situation is happening in Tuz, Altun Kopru and other Turkmen towns.

The Solution

The best solution is to bring JUSTICE, EQUALITY and BALANCE between the minorities of Iraq.

The Kurds are given the rights of Federalism, Autonomy, a Separate Army and Police, a Share from the National Treasury and Partnership in the Central Government.

 he Turkmens should get the same rights so that Justice, Equality and Balance is established.

 Actions

The following actions must be taken in order to reach this solution:

1- Withdrawal of the Kurdish Militias (Peshmergas and Asayish) from Turkmeneli – the Turkmen areas of Northern Iraq.

2- Formation of the Turkmen security forces to act in their own zones.

3- Reversal of the Arabization and Kurdification processes which resulted in mass ethnic settlements in Kerkuk, Musul and Diyala provinces.

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.