THE SUFFERING OF THE TURKMENS IN IRAQ
INTENSIFIES AS THEY ARE TRAPPED
BETWEEN HAMMER AND ANVIL
TURKMENS’ APPEAL TO THE U.N. AND THE E.U.
Today, four and a half years after the invasion and the occupation of Iraq by the US-UK forces, the 3 million Turkmens of Iraq who constitute the third main ethnic group of the country, representing 12% of its population, continue to suffer from discrimination, marginalisation, ill-treatment and basic human rights violations.
Indeed, the Turkmens continue to be constitutionally discriminated, institutionally marginalized and ill-treated as a community in Iraq by the political parties, supposedly representing the Arabs and the Kurds of Iraq, who have been promoted and brought into power by the occupation forces.
continue considering the Turkmen community as a ‘small minority’
continue denying the Turkmens the constitutional rights to be recognised as a main community of the country with rights equal to those granted to the Arab and the Kurdish communities in the new constitution of Iraq.
The Turkmens have rejected the new regime’s discriminatory policy, they have called for the boycott of the parliamentary elections under the occupation, they have called to vote against the new constitution as it did not recognise the Turkmen community as the third main community of Iraq along with the Arab and the Kurdish communities and because it did not provide the Turkmens rights equal to those granted to the Arabs and the Kurds of Iraq.
This is why the Turkmens are constantly targeted in Iraq by the Kurdish militias belonging to Messrs. Barzani and Talabani, by the militias belonging to some extremist Arab parties, by the foreign terrorist groups operating in the north of Iraq and by the U.S. occupation forces. The Turkmens have suffered a great number of casualties as a consequence of attacks on their community in Amirli, Altun Kopru, Beshir, Kerkuk, Tavik, Taza, Tisin, Tuz Khurmatu, Telafer, etc.
Furthermore, in order to silence them the Turkmens are now being subjected to death threats, property and land confiscations, imprisonment, torture, kidnappings and assassinations. Hundreds of Turkmens have been arrested and thousands of them have been killed.
Due to the fact that the Turkmens are the only community in Iraq without weapons and militias the existence of their community is contested and its future in Iraq is seriously endangered.
The Turkmens call on the international community, the United Nations and especially on the European Union not remain silent regarding the flagrant violations of the Turkmens’ human rights in Iraq, they ask the European Union’s policy and decision makers to do their utmost to stop the exactions, discriminations, ill treatments and marginalization of the Turkmens and to support them in their just cause to be recognized as the third main community of Iraq, with rights equal to those granted to the Arabs and the Kurds in the new Iraqi constitution.
Dr Hassan Aydinli,
Iraqi Turkmen Representative in Europe
Brussels, 27th November 2007.