Monday, November 07, 2005

Iraq's Patriotic Communities, the Turkmen

Here are some more reasons to reject the so-called constitution and oppose the would-be political process: According to the Iraqi Turkmen for example, the constitution is deficient in terms of both democracy and justice. I hereby seize this opportunity to apologize for my till now poor attentiveness as to developments involving other Iraqi communities than those which draw most public attention. Of course, I have been too schematic about all this. Though, my past insistence on Kurdish identity in Iraq was a way of contesting exclusive, if not totalitarian, Arab identity; I did not mean at all to exclude the other Iraqi communal identities – Assyrian, Christian, Yezidi, etc. I hope I made it clear that national-patriotic reconciliation and democratic dialogue or negotiation (the real "political process") should embrace every ethnic and every confessional community:

Undemocratic aspects of the new Iraqi constitution draft
Iraqi Turkmen Human Rights Research Foundation
August 16, 2005

The policy of the American occupation is clearly undemocratic. The U.S. Grant the Kurds all types of facilities and the leading positions in the north of Iraq, particularly in the oil-rich Turkmen province of Kerkuk which was handed to the Kurds. The Administrative State Law, which was written by the Americans in 2004 ‘to democratize Iraq’, included many undemocratic items, such as:

  • As the constitution of 1958, it made discrimination between the different Iraqi communities by saying that Iraq is constituted from the Arabs and Kurds, in contradiction with all the international laws and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Thereby, it grants to the Kurdish minority which represents 17% of the Iraqi population, rights equal to those of the Arab majority which represents 65% of the Iraqi population while ignoring the rights of the Turkmen who represent 13% of the Iraqi population and also ignoring the rights of the Chaldo-Assyrian community, which represents about 5% of the Iraqi population and other minorities. Accordingly, the Kurdish language must be studied in all Iraq while the Turkmen and Chaldo-Assyrian languages could not be used officially in government schools, even in the regions were these nationalities constitute the majority.
  • This Law gives the 3 Kurdish provinces the right to reject any decision made by the Iraqi parliament.

The major undemocratic aspects of the published version of the new Iraqi Constitution are the item 3 and 4 of section I. In this section - item 3, the Iraqi people are classified into 2 major ethnics groups, Arabs and Kurds, and to other basic ethnic groups, i.e. the Turkmen, Cheldo-Assyrians and others.

In item 4, the Arabic language continues to be the official language of Iraq and the Kurdish beside the Arabic language in the Kurdish region, while other languages should be decided in the referendum.

With all due respect to the Arab League, I think the General Secretary of the Turkmen Commission is quite right when he simultaneously "emphasizes the territorial integrity" and the cultural diversity of Iraq, considering it "appropriate to mention that Iraq is a multinational and multi-religious country, the majority of Arabs are the part of the Arab world":

Declaration of the Turkmen Committee for the Unity of Iraq (pdf)
The General Secretary of the Turkmen Commission
August 16, 2005

Turkmens insist to take an active role in rebuilding Iraq and constitution preparation process. The pressure and massacre to which Turkmens have been subjected are not less than those of other groups have been subjected to. Our Committee, therefore, would like to draw your attention to following points:

1. We would like to underline that new Constitution should treat all groups fairly and the interests of the nation must be kept over all things. Realizing our national development in safety and through the rules adopted by the civilized countries should be our main principle.

2. We mention that we are for an Iraq ruled by republic and having a democratic, pluralistic and parliamentary system. The government should be rotating in Iraq. Free and fair election is needed for that The status of current 18 provinces of Iraq should be maintained and each province should be governed whether being self-governing territory or federal administration in accordance with the all Iraqis consensus. So, federal system means that provinces have a federated structure. Here we’d like to emphasize the necessity to maintain Iraqi territorial and national integrity.

3. Rights and should be the official religion and one of the legislative sources of the Iraqi nation.

4. The religion of Islam should be the official religion and one of the legislative sources of the Iraqi nation.

5. As mentioned in the Transitional Administrative Law’s Article 44, the Constitutional Court should be established in Iraq and the right of suing issues that are against the constitution should be given to the people and the political entities. Also, people and political entities should have the right to sue the government for acting against the constitution to the international court.

6. National and constitutional rights should be given to all Iraqis without discrimination. This principle should explicitly be mentioned in the constitution and none of the ethnic groups should be treated in secondary consideration and none of the ethnic groups role or position should be exaggerated.

7. We believe that is appropriate to mention that Iraq is a multinational and multi-religious country, the majority of Arabs are the part of the Arab world and the Muslims who are in majority in Iraq are the parts of Islam.

8. The official language of Iraq should be Arabic; however, Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish should be official language where Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens are majority. In Turkmen regions, the rights of education in Turkish should be guaranteed. Same rights should be given to Kheldo-Assyrians and others.

9. Families are the basis of a society. Therefore, nation-state should protect families, provide health and social services, and the right of education for them. It also should provide the rights of education and employment for women.

10. It has to be adopted that the future of Kirkuk and the adherence of it to any part are not regional matters and has to be decided by all the Iraqis.

11. Principles of separation of powers, independence of justice and subordination of armed forces to civil authorities should be adopted. All militia forces should be abolished. There should be army an army which is created to defend the country; and the army should not intervene in policy.

The Turkmen repeatedly proved their loyalty to Iraq. For example, the recent (September) attack on Tal Afar "was mainly about punishing the Sunni Turkmen for allying with the Sunni Arab guerrillas." I am citing here Juan Cole: "In the continued ‘scorched earth’ policy of the US military in the Sunni areas, a joint US/ Iraqi (mostly Kurdish) force appears to have levelled entire neighborhoods in Tal Afar, a northern Turkmen city [70 percent Sunni Turkmen and 30 percent Shi’i Turkmen], making most of its 200,000 inhabitants refugees living in squalid tent camps or with friends and relatives elsewhere." And only some time before (August) in Kirkuk, Turkmens and Arabs, both groups mostly Shi’is and followers of Muqtada al-Sadr this time, demonstrated against federalism, denouncing it as likely to lead to the partition and weakening of Iraq; denouncing it also as an imperialist and Zionist plot.

From the very first day of the Occupation, the Turkmen and the Arabs of Kirkuk resisted the Kurdish Peshmergas’ hold on the city and the plans to incorporate the province in an autonomous Kurdistan. The situation in the province has been potentially explosive since then, because of the oil fields and their significance for the Kurdish separatist project. Supporting the Shi’a Turkmen in Kirkuk, Muqtada al-Sadr (August 2003) said he "condemned any attempt to isolate the north from the rest of the country" and complained about the ethnic cleansing undertaken by the Kurds streaming back into Kirkuk and reclaiming their homes from Arab squatters. Also, supporting the demonstration (December 2003-January 2004) of 300,000 Turkmen residents who went on strike over Kurdish plans for Kirkuk, Muqtada al-Sadr fielded 2,000 men of his militia, the Army of the Mahdi, to the city - the population of the contested Kirkuk includes Turkmens, Arabs, and Kurds; the traditionally dominant Turkmen are now overwhelmed by the Kurds who are probably close to half.

The Turkmen and the Shi'i Arabs in the province of Kirkuk desperately do not want to be part of Kurdistan. The Turkmen have demanded a semi-autonomous Iraqi Turkmenistan in the event of (unovoidable) federal partition of Iraq:

Iraqi Turkmens Call for Equal Representation in Iraq
11th session of Working Group on Minorities – United Nations - Geneva

Unfortunately, despite the regime change in Iraq in 2003 after the war and the occupation by the Anglo-American forces, the Turkmen tragedy continues.
Today, the Turkmen continue to be marginalized as the US helps its Kurdish allies and promotes their hegemonic ambitions to control the north of Iraq

- By repeatedly bombing Turkmen cities in Mosul.
- By allowing the Kurdish extremists and Kurdish militants (Pashmargas) to suppress the Turkmen identity of the Turkmen in Erbil.
- By allowing the Kurdification of major Turkmen cites like Kerkuk, Daquq, Tuz Khurmatu etc.... 350.000 Kurds were brought to Kerkuk city after the occupation of Iraq in 2003. Almost all the high positions and government posts in the local governments of the Turkmen region were given to the Kurds.
- By neglecting the Turkmen political parties and by ignoring their leaders and activists in appointing only one Turkmen lady from the civil society, with no political background to the Governing Council to represent the 13% of the Iraqi Turkmen, while 5 Kurds were appointed to represent the 17% of the Iraqi Kurds.
- By appointing only one Turkmen academic without any political history in the Interim Government to represent the Turkmen community.
- By allowing and accepting all sorts of manipulations and malpractices to happen in favor of the Kurds in the Turkmen region during the last elections of 30th January 2005: only 2 voting stations were opened in TAL- AFAR a Turkmen city of 300.000 inhabitants, the majority of whom could not vote.
- By allowing the Kurdish political parties to interfere in the Turkmen affairs in order to divide the Turkmen people and limit their political influence in Iraq. This interference was clearly demonstrated in Erbil on the 24th of April 2005 where the following Iraqi Turkmen Front offices and buildings were occupied by the Barazani militants:
- Head office of the ITF in Erbil city
- Turkmeneli Television station
- Turkmeneli radio station
- Turkmeneli Printing House
- The Publication of Turkmeneli Newspaper has been stopped since then.

In view of the above stated facts and problems faced by us as a Turkmen in Iraq, I address this assembly on behalf of the Turkmen, requesting your support and asking the UN to intervene in our favor to defend our just cause with the Iraqi authorities. So that finally the 3 million Turkmen obtain full rights equal to those obtained by the Arabs and Kurds and that these rights be clearly stated in the new Iraqi Constitution.

• If a federal system is accepted by the entire Iraqi nation, then the Turkmen should be given the right to govern their own federal region where they constitute the majority.
• Since all the Iraqi census was designed to serve state policy and the last election was mainly to serve the occupation authorities and the Kurds, we request that the upcoming census and/or upcoming election be monitored by the UN and the international community. The Kurdish administration be prevented from interfering in the election and census processes in the Turkmen region and security should no
longer be exclusively in the hands of the Kurds but should be provided by neutral police force from Central and Southern Iraq.
• We demand that the Turkish language be accepted as an official language along with Arabic and Kurdish in Iraq.
• We demand that the Turkmen who suffered discrimination, material, physical and psychological losses be fairly compensated.
• We demand a fair representation of the Turkmen in the Commission charged with the writing of the new constitution in order to safeguard our minority’s rights.
• We demand that the Kurdish militias be disbanded and disarmed and the Kurdification of Turkmen regions be stopped.

I thank you for your interest and attention.

Attempts to change the demographic structure of Kirkuk city by the American supported Kurds (pdf)
Iraqi Tukmen Human Rights Research Foundation
September 17, 2004

After the war and occupation of Iraq by the Anglo-American forces in April 2003, the Kurdish political parties KDP and PUK who had supported it with their armed militias - for their own old political agenda to take control of Kirkuk province and its oil wealth - were rewarded for their collaboration with the Americans who allowed their militias to enter Kirkuk and perpetrate in this mainly Turkmen city the exactions, human rights abuses and looting that they allowed to happen in all other parts of what they called "liberated Iraq," as we have all seen on the TV screens last year.



Geographical Features:
The majority of the Muslim Turkmens are concentrated in the northern Iraqi provinces of Mosul, Erbil, Kerkuk, Salahaddin and Diyala. There are also significant numbers of Turkmens in the central provinces of Baghdad, Wasit, Kerbala and Najaf.

The Turkmens are the third largest ethnic group in Iraq after the Kurds and Arabs. The number of the Turkmens is estimated at 3 million or %13 of the Iraqi population. They form a cultural buffer zone between Arabs in the south and Kurds in the north.
The Turkmen region has large natural resources such as Oil, gas and Sulphur. In addition, there is an abundant production of wheat and cotton.

Read more >>>


At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We want the facts about Kirkuk to be gotten right,’ says the ITC’s representative in Ankara, Ahmet Muratlı. The oil-rich city’s status is ‘extremely critical because it will either unite or divide Iraq’ in the end


ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

The fate of the disputed Iraqi city of Kirkuk is vital for all of Iraq and a planned referendum on its status should be held across the country, not in Kirkuk only as intended now, a senior Iraqi Turkmen official said.

“Kirkuk is an Iraqi city and all the people of Iraq should decide on its fate,” Ahmet Muratlı, the representative in Ankara of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC), said in an interview with the Turkish Daily News. “A referendum to be held only in Kirkuk would not be helpful because it is extremely easy to manipulate election results in the city.”

The issue of Kirkuk's status is potentially explosive for Iraq, and ethnic conflict over the city could spark violent clashes and even a civil war across Iraq that could eventually lead to disintegration of the country.

Kurds claim a majority in the city, but other residents, including Turkmens and Arabs, challenge Kurdish charges, saying the demographic structure of Kirkuk has been seriously distorted as Kurds, backed by armed peshmerga forces, have been migrating into the city in large groups claiming to be original residents pushed out of Kirkuk in the past decades as part of the now-ousted Saddam Hussein's Arabization campaign.

Iraq's interim constitution, which is expected to be approved by the country's first post-war permanent Parliament in the coming months, foresees a referendum in Kirkuk on the final status of the city in 2007.

Kurds claim the city must be a part of their autonomous region, which currently covers three provinces in the north. Turkmens and Arabs are also vying for control of the city, which sits atop 6 percent of the world's known oil reserves. With a wave of Kurdish immigration to Kirkuk under way for several months, a Kurdish victory in the upcoming referendum is seen as highly likely.

Muratlı said there were serious irregularities in the city in Iraq's parliamentary elections held on Dec. 15 and called for efforts to rewrite flawed voter lists and register true residents of the city in an internationally observed campaign. He said the United Nations, the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) should get involved in the process of registering the genuine residents of Kirkuk.

“We want the facts about Kirkuk to be gotten right,” Muratlı said. “Kirkuk's status is extremely critical because it would either unite or divide Iraq.”

Alliance for Kirkuk in parliament:

Iraq's 275-seat parliament, which is still in the process of emerging after the Dec. 15 elections, is authorized to make amendments to the interim constitution before formally approving it, and Turkmens hope one of the changes that the parliament will make will be on articles that regulate the planned referendum on Kirkuk's status.

Muratlı said Turkmens were not the only group that says Kirkuk should be recognized as an Iraqi city and added that they would cooperate with all groups, most notably Sunnis, who share the same policy in the new parliament.

Contrary to the Jan. 30 elections for an interim parliament, which they boycotted, Sunnis cast votes in the Dec. 15 polls and ran candidates for the permanent assembly.

Muratlı predicted that debates on how Kirkuk's referendum should be determined would keep Iraq busy for a long time following the emergence of parliament.

“I believe that Turkmens will engage in intense efforts to protect the integrity of Iraq. No one should doubt that we will work hand in hand with all groups that are of the same view as us,” he said.

The ITC ran for parliament in seven Iraqi provinces in the Dec. 15 elections, namely Arbil, Kirkuk, Selahaddin, Diyala, Baghdad, Babel and Wasit. In Mosul the ITC was part of a coalition, and Muratlı said it was almost certain that two Turkmens would go to parliament from Mosul.

In Jan. the 30 elections three Turkmens from the ITC list managed to get seats in interim parliament and Muratlı said the ITC was particularly hopeful about vote results in Kirkuk and abroad.

“In any case, we will be in a better situation compared to the previous elections,” he said.

Turkmen federation the last resort:

Iraqi Turkmens, along with Turkey, have promoted a geographically based federal system for Iraq that would give 18 existing provinces of the country wide local administrative autonomy to run their own affairs but leave the right to decide on matters of foreign policy, defense, the distribution of Iraq's resources and finance to the central government in Baghdad.

However, both Shiites and Kurds insist on having autonomous regions, leaving Sunni Arabs with the central part of Iraq with Baghdad in the middle. Recently, Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, who heads the Kurdish autonomous region in the north, has advised Sunnis to do the same.

Turkmens, on the other hand, say such a federation would fuel secessionism in the country and lead to ethnic and sectarian violence in the country.

“We are against such a federation. A federal regime not based on solid ground would plunge Iraq and the region into chaos,” Muratlı said but warned Turkmens would pursue their own path to have a Turkmen region if the process of Iraq going to pieces along ethnic and sectarian differences proves to be irreversible.

“Of course our right to self-rule is reserved if this process cannot be stopped,” he said.

Muratlı earlier said that the proposed Turkmen region would stretch from the northwest town of Tal Afar near the border with Syria down to Kirkuk and Mandali, further southeast, close to the border with Iran.

With a significant majority of Turkmens living in the Kurdish-controlled region in the north, the ITC complains of Kurdish attempts to consider all non-Kurdish groups as a minority and deny them many rights that they want for themselves in the new Iraq.

“Looking at the vast area that is included in the Kurdish region, one can see that close to 40 percent of the population is made up of non-Kurdish people. Still, they call a region with such demographic diversity ‘Kurdistan',” Muratlı said.

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Iraqi National Guards (ING) attacks the Turkmen village of Yengije 13.03.2006

Since the U.S Forces had handed over the security issue to the Iraqi Forces, the instability had enormously increased. Taking the advantage of the security transfer, the Iraqi National Guards (ING) forces have practiced many atrocities against the Turkmen in the northern of Iraq and particularly in the Turkmen regions of Kirkuk, Tuz Hurmatu, Taze Hurmatu, Altun Kopru and many other Turkmen regions.

Hundreds of Turkmen were arrested under false allegations and they were all sent to the prisons in the northern Kurdish controlled cities of Erbil and Suleymania. Moreover, the Turkmen political parties and the Iraqi Turkmen Front offices (ITF) were raided several times. A recent example of the Kurdish atrocities committed against the Turkmen was experienced in the Turkmen village of Yengija.

On March 10th, 2006 the Iraqi National Guard Forces (ING) entirely composed of the Kurdish Peshmergas (guerillas) from KDP and PUK Kurdish parties have launched an offensive attack against the Turkmen village of Yengija, located 5 km south of the district of Tuz Hurmatu. The Turkmen district of Tuz Hurmatu is located 84 km south of Kirkuk.One month prior to the attack the ING members were intimidating and threatening the Turkmen citizens in the village.

They also convoyed messages to the Turkmen villagers that Yengija would be very soon the new Turkmen Falluja and soon Yengija would be annexed to the Kurdish region. Approximately 6:30 p.m. The ING imposed a curfew and at 7:00 p.m. they suddenly attacked Yengija under false allegations.

A Kurdish agent who resides in the village with the Turkmen had put a bullet into his son’s leg and immediately informed the ING that a group of terrorist had entered the village and they shot his son. The sudden and well planed attacked was launched and continued until the next day.

Many masked individuals from both Kurdish parties PUK and KDP have convoyed the ING forces during the raid. The following casualties were conducted during the attack:The ING raided the Turkmen houses and killed two Turkmen civilians in front of their families. A thirteen year old disabled teenager (Salman Akbar Hameed) and 35 year old (Kadir Mohammed Uryan) were both killed. Many Turkmen houses were blazed. Many Turkmen vehicles and farming equipments were destroyed and set on fire. The windows of the raided houses were smashed.

Furniture and household items were all destroyed. Prior to the raid many Turkmen civilians were taken by the ING for interrogation and were badly tortured. The main water depot of the village was destroyed The main transformers and electricity suppliers were also destroyed After destroying the Turkmen houses and killing the Turkmen civilians the ING have celebrated out of the city by performing the Kurdish dances. Between 6-7 Turkmen civilians were badly injured Many livestock were killed Cash and Jewelry was stolen by the ING members during the raid.

The ING members have killed a guard dog in a Turkmen house and covered it with a praying rug to mock and laugh at the dog owner. The dog owner was asked to pray for his dog after also he was badly beaten up by the ING members. Nipples of a milking cow were cut with a sharp knife in front of the owner. The owner was told that, “I will leave you to suffer with your cow”. Ten year old teenager was badly beaten and his front tooth was broken. Many women, children and elderly people were badly beaten and some were badly injured.

An old woman was begging the ING member to stop beating her son by asking “please stop beating my son for the sake of God”. She was badly kicked and told by the ING member “I am the God now”. It is strongly believed that the raid is to revenge from the Turkmen in Yengija who had voted for the Iraqi Turkmen Front list (630) during the last Iraqi Elections of December 15th 2005. The Yengija village population is estimated around 15.000 people and they all are Turkmen and supporters of the ITF.

The Kurdish intention is to gain control over the Turkmen cities and to force the Turkmen to displacement. The inhumane atrocities committed by the Kurds are not accepted in the new Iraq. On contrary it would create hatred and cause more bloodshed. The Turkmen will not depart their cities and they will continue demanding their legitimate rights by using democratically ways. The Turkmen are the only population which does not have militias and also they do not believe in violence.

The Turkmen always were Iraq’s peacekeepers. The Turkmen population in other Turkmen cities are anticipating the same atrocities and asking the Coalition Forces led by the U.S Government to find a solution and to put an end to the Kurdish atrocities. Finally the Turkmen in the village of Yengija demand a full investigation; bring the murderers and raiders to justice and a full compensation.

At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Violations of Turkmens’ rights intensify under the joint occupation of the Turkmen region of Iraq “Turkmeneli” by the U.S. forces and the Kurdish militias.

On 10th October 2006, Mr. Ali MEHDI, an elected Turkmen member of the provincial council of Kerkuk was viciously assaulted by the private guards of the US-appointed Kurdish governor, Mr. Abdurrahman Mustapha, in the city of Kerkuk.

This shocking incident happened when the Iraqi Minister of Justice and the Chairman of the Normalisation Commission, Dr Hashim Al-Shebli were visiting Kerkuk. Mr. Ali Mehdi, a Turkmen member of Kerkuk Province who was carrying a banner condemning the ‘Normalisation Commission’ which is dominated by the Kurds and which does not represent the Turkmens of Kerkuk was viciously attacked by the Kurdish guards who tore his banner and removed him by force. This incident took place under the eyes of the US-appointed Kurdish governor of Kerkuk, Mr. Abdurrahman Mustapha, who did nothing to stop the despicable behaviour of his Kurdish guards.

The Turkmens of Iraq and their political representatives, the Iraqi Turkmen Front, strongly condemn the aggression by the Kurds on one of their representatives and denounce the undemocratic and violent actions by the Kurdish militias of the KDP and PUK who have been allowed by the U.S. occupying forces to impose their hegemony over Kerkuk since April 10th 2003 as a “reward” for their collaboration.

Today, citing Article 140 of the constitution, the Kurds want to start the “normalisation process” in the Province of Kerkuk.

But their interpretation of ‘normalisation’ is to establish Kurdish hegemony in a region of Iraq which is inhabited by Turkmens, Arabs and Kurds and which has never been part of a so-called Kurdistan. This is in order to implement the Machiavellian Anglo-American imperialist plan to divide Iraq in three regions. It has nothing to do with democracy and it is simply a way to steal Iraq’s oil from the Iraqi people by allowing the Kurdish collaborators to annex Kerkuk to their so-called “Greater Kurdistan” and subsequently proclaim their independence.

To achieve their goal, the Kurds have changed the demography of Kerkuk by:

-Looting and destroying the two most sensitive office buildings of the city when they entered Kerkuk with the backing of the US forces on April 10th 2003, namely: the offices of civil population registrations and the office of property and deeds registrations after seizing all the archives and registers.

-Bringing in over 650.000 Kurds, who are not originally from Kerkuk, in the city before the census of 31st December 2007.
In this respect it is important to point out that: -
- according to the ration card data base, considered by the United Nations to be a reliable source for information on the Iraqi population, some 12.000 families (Turkmens + Kurds) were expelled from Kerkuk under the previous regime, one third being Turkmens.
- until April 10, 2003 Kerkuk had 810,000 inhabitants and that today, three years and half after the beginning of the occupation, Kerkuk has 1.5 million inhabitants, and that ALL the newcomers are Kurds.

- Expelling all the Arabs who were brought in the city under the policy of Arabisation of the former regime.

- Denying the basic human rights of the original inhabitants of the city, the Turkmens, by:
- Preventing the Turkmens who were expelled from the city under the policy of Arabisation of the former regime to return to their city or be fairly compensated for their losses
- Treating the Turkmens as second class citizens, with no rights and no say in the running of their city
- Threatening the Turkmen intellectuals, politicians and activists and using all sorts of undemocratic stratagems to silence their voices
- Pretending that the Turkmens are a small minority and constantly minimizing their numbers.

At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Telafar Weeps tears of blood and struggling to survive. 07.11.2006

A human tragedy is taking place in front of Turkey’s nose. The city of Telafar in Iraq is weeping tears of blood and choking... But nobody is aware of this, those who are do not care … The city has been under siege for a long time, entering and departing is under the control of the peshmerge.. Telafer is a forbidden zone for members of the media.. That is why residents of Telafar are unable to make themselves be heard..

Telafar is in Iraq, 80 km from the Turkish border, a district of Mosul. It is a Turkmen city with a population of 300 thousand... Its strategic importance was discovered after the US occupation. … With the help of US forces ethnic cleansing began and the city has become inhabitable within two years...

An operation against Telafar was carried out for the first time in September 2004 by the US forces and peshmerge. The city was sieged, under the pretense that there were resistance fighters and the city was under heavy fire without distinction of target...The first target to be hit were the Turkmeneli television transmitters. Since the transmitters were not indemnified they could not be repaired…

These harassment operations were carried out for two years nine times. So far hundreds of Turkmen have been murdered, thousands have been randomly arrested. At present 100 Turkmen are either in detention or missing. Nobody knows where they are or why they were arrested, or even whether they are alive. The Telafar citizens are not even able to bury their dead.

5 thousand families have been obliged to emigrate from Telafar because there are no guarantees of life and property. They are forced to live in primitive conditions in tents pitched in the vicinity.....Even if they wanted to return to the city it is impossible … because either their homes have been destroyed or occupied by t he peshmerge…

The infrastructure of the city has been hit so there is no water, electricity, fuel.. there is a serious shortage of food in the city, schools, offices are closed. Domiciles have no working telephones … and to top it all there is a curfew…

In addition there are serious health issues in the city. The hospital is insufficient and there are no medicines. The sick and wounded are unable to come to Turkey…. Those that come do not want to use the Habur border gate.. the Habur border gate is a gate of torture for the Telafarian, it has turned into a gate of interrogation...

It is only a matter of time before the Turkmen city of Telafar, where living conditions have become too hard to bear, falls. A struggle of life and death is going on in the city...

The purpose of the systematic attacks and intimidations carried out is to break the spirit of the Turkmen, frighten them into emigrating... and the final target is to annex this land to the territory of the Kurdish administration in the north..

If this takes place, not only will the Turkmen lose, Turkey will lose as well. Turkey will lose all contact with the Turkmen if a Kurdish territory comes in between...

The Sincar border gate to be opened at the Syrian border and Ovaköy border gate to be opened at the Turkish border will be controlled by the Kurds. Ovaköy border gate will not open into a Turkmen city at is the case now, but into a Kurdish city.. Thus Ovaköy will cease to be an alternative to Habur gate controlled by Barzani, it will become a second Habur..
Turkey seems to be determined for the Kurdish administration in this region to get state status and provide financial support to Ovaköy as well as Habur...

There is more… Telafar is a buffer zone between Kamışlı region in Syria inhabited by Kurds and Northern Iraq inhabited by Kurds in the east. In order for the segments of territories which are parts of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran, to become so called Kurdistan, Telafar, which is Turkmen country, must be controlled.

That is the basic reason why US troops want to settle in Northern Iraq. It is not surprising that the Kurds are the only group who want the US troops to remain in Iraq. … The Kurds are also aware that they are unable to create a state in Iraq without crutches.

The Republic of Turkey might be compliant with this, the Turkmen never …

Apparently the Republic of Turkey has forsaken its traditional Iraq policy. Calm before the storm portrays an acquiescence to the fait accompli’s committed in Northern Iraq… The Turkmen have once again left to fend for themselves. …

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Report:140,000 Turkmens driven from Kirkuk, Telafar
Evren Deger - The New Anatolian / Ankara

Around 140,000 Turkmens have been driven from their homes and forcibly moved to other areas since the beginning of the U.S.'s Iraq invasion in March 2003, a recent confidential Turkish report states.

According to the report prepared by security units of the National Security Council (MGK), 10,000 Turkmens have had to leave their homes in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk while some 125,000 Turkmens have had to leave their homes in Telafar since September 2004 when the heavy military operations of the U.S. forces began, the report also underlined. The New Anatolian learned that the report was discussed at April's MGK meeting

The security report further stressed that Iraqi Kurdish groups have launched many campaigns to change the demographic structure of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and that in the past three years around 300,000 Kurds have settled to the city and neighboring area. The report accused the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by the Massoud Barzani, of being behind that and other activities and claimed that the party offered financial rewards to around 235,000 Kurds to help them settle in and around Kirkuk, Mosul, Selahaddin and Sulaimaniyah.

According to the report, mainly Turkmen-populated Telafar has witnessed the worst humanitarian conditions in the past two years. Since the U.S. military's heavy operations in September 2004, 140,000 Turkmens have left the city, while around 10,000 of the city's residents have been detained.

The report said that Iraqi Kurdish groups continue with their policy of settling Kurds in areas Turkmens were forced to leave and predicted that around 40,000 Kurds have settled in the Telafar region.

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone did did forget Iraqi Turkmens very quick, unfortunately

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


European Representation

December 2006

On behalf of the 3 million Iraqi Turkmens (representing 12 % of the Iraqi people) who constitute the third largest ethnic group in Iraq along with the Arabs and Kurds, I am writing to you to bring to your attention the misfortune of the Turkmens of Iraq who are not only suffering from the illegal war and the occupation of their country by the US and UK forces since the 19th of March 2003 but also from the tragedy of having their region, “Turkmeneli” * and all their towns and cities occupied and controlled by the Kurdish armed militias who have collaborated with the US invasion forces to occupy the north of Iraq.

Indeed, the Kurdish armed militias or “Peshmerga”, belonging to the Kurdish political parties (PUK and KDP) of Mrs. Talabani and Barzani, have been authorised by the US invasion forces and the American administration to extend their hegemony beyond the Kurdish autonomous region in the north-east of Iraq, further to the south and to the west to the “Turkmen region”, to occupy this region and to control all Turkmen towns and cities such as Kerkuk, Tal Afar, Tuz-Khurmatu, Altun Kopru, Dakuk, Khanakin, Kifri etc…

Among the ethnic groups which compose the Iraqi people, the Turkmens are the only ethnic group who do not have any militia or paramilitary armed organisation and they are for this reason defenceless and very vulnerable in today’s Iraq which is at war and in turmoil under foreign military occupation and local militias rules and ambitions.

For decades, since the creation of the Iraqi State in 1921, the Turkmens of Iraq and their plight have been completely ignored by the international community, they have been the least listened to outside Iraq and the least defended by their own government. Indeed, for decades the Turkmens have been denied their basic human rights in Iraq in total indifference of the international community.

The disregard of the Turkmens’ historical role and achievements in Iraq, the denial of their true representation as the third largest ethnic group and consequently their marginalisation in Iraq have been initiated by the British colonial authorities at the end of WWI in 1918, for geopolitical and economical reasons only. It was meant to facilitate the separation of “Mosul Vilayat” or “Mosul Province” (now representing five Iraqi provinces: Mosul, Kerkuk, Erbil, Duhok and Suleymaniya) from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in order to control the huge oil reserves of Kerkuk which was then inhabited mainly by the Turkmens as it has been for centuries their capital city and cultural centre.

Since then, and despite the formal independence of Iraq from Great Britain and the end of the British mandate in 1932, the successive Iraqi governments have applied towards the Turkmens the same policies of marginalisation and discrimination as those which were initiated and applied by the British in 1918 and for the same geopolitical and economical reasons!

After the Iraqi revolution of the 14th of July 1958 and the return to Iraq of the Kurdish activist Mullah Mustafa Barzani from his exile in the Soviet Union, the situation of the Turkmens has dramatically and drastically deteriorated because of the hegemonic ambition of Mullah Mustafa Barzani and his plan for an independent Kurdish state in the north of Iraq for which the oil wealth of Kerkuk was not only a necessity but the main motivation.

The existence of the Turkmens in the north of Iraq side by side with the Kurds and their presence in great numbers in Kerkuk where they for centuries represented the majority of the inhabitants, were seen and felt by Mullah Mustafa Barzani as obstacles to the realisation of his dreams for an independent Kurdish state and the control of Kerkuk’s oil wealth.

This is why the Turkmens have been targeted in Iraq since 1958 by Mullah Mustafa Barzani and his Kurdish followers allied to the Iraqi communists who dominated Iraqi politics from July 1958 up to February 1963.

During this period (1958-1963) a mass migration of the Kurds, from their villages and towns in the north-east of Iraq to the Turkmen region and especially to Kerkuk city, was organised and implemented in order to increase Kurdish presence in Kerkuk and alter the demography of this large Turkmen city.

Also during this period the Turkmens suffered dual marginalisation and discrimination from the Kurds and from the Iraqi communists who dominated the regime in Iraq, they faced internal deportation, exile, arbitrary arrest and detention, confiscation of properties and agricultural lands and worst of all, the massacre of 120 of their intellectuals and community leaders by the Kurds in Kerkuk on the eve of the first anniversary of the revolution on July 14th, 1959.

After the coup d’état of the 17th of July 1968 which brought the Ba’ath party to power in Iraq, efforts were made to end the Kurdish rebellion in the north east of the country and generous incentives were presented by the Ba’ath regime to Mullah Mustafa Barzani in 1970 to put an end to his rebellion by offering him an autonomous Kurdish region with Erbil (another Turkmen city) as its capital, in total disregard of the Turkmens’ interests in Iraq and particularly of those of the 300.000 unfortunate Turkmens of Erbil, who have been sacrificed by the Ba’ath regime and were offered as a “present” to Mullah Mustafa Barzani in return for his acceptance to end the Kurdish rebellion.

However, despite sacrificing Erbil, the Kurdish rebellion did not end in 1970 as it was supposed to, it only ended temporarily after the Algiers Agreement between Saddam Hussein and the Shah of Iran in 1975 to resume later during Iraq-Iran war!

Today, no one is even questioning why Erbil, this originally Turkmen city with its 300.000 Turkmen inhabitants, was given by the Iraqi regime to a Kurdish rebellion leader. No one bothers to ask what happened to these 300.000 unfortunate Turkmens since Erbil became the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region. The reason is that the Turkmens of Erbil are now dominated and discriminated by the Kurds, they are either kurdified or considered as second class citizens in the Kurdish autonomous region presided by Mr. Massud Barzani.

In the 1970s as it became more and more clear that Mullah Mustafa Barzani’s ambitions and plans were to take over Kerkuk, control its oil wealth and declare an independent Kurdish state, the Iraqi government (Ba’ath regime), in order to maintain Iraq’s territorial unity and to counter Barzani’s ambitions and plans, started an extensive arabisation policy in the Turkmen region with special attention to Kerkuk and it’s surroundings.

This arabisation policy of the Ba’ath regime has stripped the Turkmens from their few remaining basic rights. They were denied the right to speak the Turkmen language in the government offices, they were forbidden to purchase real estate in Kerkuk, they were compelled to register themselves as Arabs during the general population census as the existence of the Turkmens as a community in Iraq was officially denied in the new Iraqi constitution written under the Ba’ath regime which stated that the Iraqi people were composed of Arabs and Kurds only!

The Turkmens have opposed Ba’ath regime policies from July 1968 to March 2003 and vigorously contested the regime’s authoritarian arabisation policy. They have suffered a great deal and paid a costly price for their opposition, they lost hundreds of their political activists and intellectuals, thousands of Turkmens have been forced to internal deportation and faced confiscation of their lands and properties, numerous Turkmen villages have been destroyed and thousands of Arabs from the south of Iraq have been paid large sums of money to come and settle in the Turkmen region to replace the deported original Turkmen inhabitants and take over their lands and properties: a brutal and horrible ethnic cleansing policy imposed by the Ba’ath regime on Iraq’s third largest ethnic group, the unfortunate, unarmed and defenceless Turkmens.

One of the Turkmens’ most painful tragedy was that during the Iran-Iraq war (1980 to 1988) while tens of thousands of young Turkmens were enrolled and all the Turkmen reservists were called back to serve in the Iraqi army to fight against the Iranians, their families in Turkmeneli were discriminated and thousands of them were forcibly displaced and all their properties were confiscated under the pretext that they were opposing the war and were members of the outlawed “Da’wa” political party!

Today, after almost four years of foreign occupation and regime change in Iraq, and despite the US administration’s propaganda that they brought ‘democracy’ in Iraq and that the Iraqis are now ‘liberated and free’, the reality is that the situation and the living conditions of the majority of the Iraqis and especially those of the Turkmens have dramatically deteriorated.

Indeed, they are forced to live under foreign occupation with all the humiliations that result from such occupation, they are exposed to all the dangers of the war, killing and injuring, arrest and imprisonment, limitation of movement and freedom, shortage of food and medicines, lack of goods and basic services etc…

After the destruction of all the infrastructure of Iraq by the US, UK and Australian invasion and occupation forces and the killing of more than 650.000 Iraqi civilians since the start of the war in 2003, thousands of Iraqi civilians continue to be slaughtered every month, they live in constant terror and they lack the essentials to lead a decent life: security, potable water, electricity, food, jobs, medical care, education and freedom.

As for the Turkmens, in addition to their share of misery and humiliation resulting from the foreign occupation of Iraq, they also suffer since this occupation (and because of it) from the Kurdish hegemony in the north of Iraq and the occupation of all the Turkmen region by the Kurdish militias who are tightly controlling the Turkmens, discriminating against them and behaving as conquerors in the Turkmen region.

It is worth mentioning here that since the Kurdish occupation of the Turkmen region on the 10th of April 2003 up to now, not a single Turkmen has recovered his rights or recuperated his property or agricultural lands which were confiscated by the Ba’ath regime, not a single Turkmen has been compensated, not a single Turkmen village which was destroyed has been rebuilt, contrarily to the Kurds who have not only recuperated all their lands and properties and received compensation but have also taken over all the properties belonging to the Turkmens which had been confiscated by the Ba’ath regime!

Pretending that Kurds only have been victims of the Ba’ath regime and have suffered deportation and property confiscation in Kerkuk, the Kurdish political parties of Messrs Talabani and Barzani have organised the transport of some 600.000 Kurds from the Kurdish autonomous region to Kerkuk and their installation there since the fall of Kerkuk (on the 10th of April 2003) in the hands of Kurdish militias!

These newcomers to Kerkuk have been given financial support and incentives to come and settle in Kerkuk, they have been issued forged identification cards and documents showing them as Kurds originally from Kerkuk who have been forcefully displaced by the Ba’ath regime, even though the great majority of them had never been, lived, worked or possessed any property in Kerkuk!

These cheatings by falsification of the official records concerning the forcibly displaced Kurds from Kerkuk and the issuing of forged identification cards to these 600.000 Kurds newly installed in Kerkuk have been facilitated by the fact that the Kurdish militia looted both the Population and the Property Registration Offices of Kerkuk and confiscated all their archives and records the very first day they entered and occupied Kerkuk on the 10th of April 2003!

Taking advantage of the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the foreign powers, the Kurdish parties led by Messrs. Talabani and Barzani and their militias have realised the old plan of Mullah Mustafa Barzani by taking control of Kerkuk, kurdifing the city and controlling its oil wealth to the detriment of the Turkmens.

This clearly proves that what has changed for the Turkmens since the regime change in Iraq is simply the substitution of Ba’ath hegemony to Kurdish hegemony, which is not only unfair but it is also unacceptable by the Turkmens who want to live free in their Turkmen region in a free, peaceful and democratic Iraq.

One of the biggest blunders of the American administration in 2003 was to adventure in an illegal war against the Iraqi people following an ill-thought ideology conceived by a group of extremists known as the “neo-conservatives” who pushed for the war with a plan based on lies and distorted intelligence about Iraq’s alleged WMD, with hidden objectives of regime change in Iraq, weakening the country and controlling its oil reserves, regardless of Iraqi interests.

To realize their objectives, the neo-conservatives invented a new and artificial classification of the Iraqis stating that the Iraqi people are composed of Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis, whereas in reality the Iraqi people are composed of ARABS, KURDS and TURKMENS, who are either MUSLIMS or CHRISTIANS.

By confusingly mixing the ethnicity of the Kurds with the religious affiliations of the Iraqi Arabs, the American administration has encouraged these ethnic and sectarian groups with their armed militias to take the lead in the governing process under the banner of “Democracy”.

The world has since then seen and witnessed the tragic consequences of this Machiavellian plan and policy of the American administration on the innocent Iraqis!

We, the 3 million Turkmens of Iraq, together with our 17 million Arab and half a million Chaldeo-Assyrian compatriots, representing a majority of 82% of the Iraqi people, are wondering why we have been left out and not mentioned at all in this new “American designed classification” of the Iraqi people, while the 4.5 million Kurds, who only represent 18% of the Iraqi people have been given the leading role and the dominant position in the occupied Iraq.

We, Turkmens, denounce and reject this new and artificial classification of the Iraqi people deliberately designed to provoke ethnic and confessional conflicts in order to weaken our country and to divide Iraq in small entities to facilitate its occupation.

We also denounce and reject the continued marginalisation of the Turkmens in Iraq by the new regime and by the “new constitution” which is based on texts elaborated by the occupation authority tolerating “if not initiating again” the marginalisation of the third largest ethnic component of the Iraqi people.

We therefore ask for the revision of this “new constitution” in order to reflect the true nature and exact composition of the Iraqi people to fulfil the will of all the Iraqis without dividing them in categories and different classes of citizens.

We call on the international community to intervene and to help preventing the crisis looming ahead concerning Kerkuk and its belonging as well as its future status which is supposed to be decided by a referendum planned for December 2007, to be held in Kerkuk only, the result of which would not reflect the reality due to the alteration of the ethnic composition of this city by the Kurdish parties who brought, as mentioned above, over 600.000 Kurds and registered them as inhabitants of Kerkuk precisely for the purpose of voting in this planned referendum in order to legalise their control over the city and its annexation to the Kurdish autonomous region!

Kerkuk has never been a Kurdish city despite the misleading arguments, false claims and dubious practices of the Kurdish political parties. It is historically a Turkmen city, and should therefore not be controlled by the Kurds or be annexed to the Kurdish autonomous region.

In order to put an end to the war and to the violence in Iraq, we, Turkmens of Iraq call on the European heads of states and heads of governments, the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Parliament, the Commissioners and all the Members of the Parliament to support the Iraqi people and play an active role to end the war and the occupation of our country which are the sources of all the sufferings, insecurity and killings in Iraq.

We, Turkmens of Iraq, urge them to pay attention to our plight in order to be aware of our sufferings and our extreme vulnerability in Iraq to-day. We ask them to urgently address our cause which is the cause of a community of 3 million people who are suffering from a constitutional discrimination and continual systemic marginalisation which have deprived us from our basic and fundamental human rights since decades in Iraq.

We beseech the European decision makers and authorities to support our cause and help our imperilled Turkmen population in Iraq to recover their rights and be considered equal to Arabs and Kurds by putting an end to their marginalisation and discrimination. We urge them to devote their political influence, moral authority and their financial support toward us and toward ensuring that all individuals in Iraq, irrespective of their ethnic background or religious affiliation are given the tools they need to succeed in establishing a fully functioning and sustainable democracy.

We therefore demand and recommend the following:

The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the occupation troops and their foreign mercenaries and contractors, if needed, their replacement preferably by troops from Islamic countries, friendly to Iraqis.

Replacing the existing government which is composed on ethnic and religious bases with a provisional Technocrat-Bureaucrat government until the organisation of the next elections

Application of compulsory military service and recalling the professional officers of the disbanded Iraqi Army to form the new Iraqi army to replace the existing one which is made of the Kurdish and Shiite militias.

Disallow the formation of any political party based on ethnicity or sectarian affiliations.

Cancel the referendum on Kerkuk, planned for December 2007, to prevent the expected ethnic explosion in the north of Iraq and suggest the power sharing between Turkmens, Arabs and Kurds for governing not only Kerkuk province but all the provinces forming the north of Iraq namely: Mosul, Kerkuk, Erbil, Duhok and Suleymaniya where these communities have shared interests.

As the Turkmens not only face problems in Kerkuk but also in Erbil, Altun Kopru, Tal Afar, Tuz Khurmatu, Khanaqin, Kifri etc… they should be granted the “Self Governing Right” and be allowed to form the “Turkmeneli Autonomous Region” based in Kerkuk - Tal Afar- Tuz Khurmatu areas in northern Iraq to protect and guarantee their rights against the transgressions of the Kurdish regional government and the Iraqi Central government.

Revision of Iraqi constitution and revoking the status discrimination in Iraq since 1958 for regarding the Kurds as “partners” and the Turkmens as “minority”. Either elevate the Turkmens to “partners” level or downgrade the Kurds to a “minority” status.

Organize an International conference for the peace and reconstruction of Iraq involving the neighbouring countries by making them guarantors for the integrity, safety and the reconstruction of Iraq.

Just compensation of the Iraqi people by the invaders and occupiers of Iraq namely the U.S., U.K. and Australia for the deaths of at least 650.000 innocent Iraqi civilians and for the reconstruction of the infrastructure of Iraq which they destroyed during their invasion and occupation of Iraq.

That the European values and principles of “Equality, Justice and Fairness” be applied for all in Iraq.

I thank you for your urgent attention.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Hassan Aydinli

Iraqi Turkmen Front

Europe Representative



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