Monday, 2 March 2015

Turkmens of Iraq: The Third Ethnic Component of Iraq

Author: Mr. Zahid Jihad Albayati, Member of Iraqi Writers Union & Dr. Elham MA Albayati, Writer Date: Feb 06, 2015 Research/Policy Papers

Turkmens of Iraq: The Third Ethnic Component of Iraq

I. Introduction

Turkmens are the third largest ethnic group in Iraq after Arabs and Kurds. Today, the Iraqi Turkmen population is estimated to be at around 2.5-3 million, taking into account all available estimates of towns and townships that they live in. They may constitute around 10% of the population, however previous sources provided estimates such as 14%-16% of the Iraqi population.[1] Turkmens speak the Turkmen language which is one of the Turkish languages similar to the Azerbaijani language (Azeri Turkish). Turkmens of Iraq have been settled in Iraq before the Ottoman Empire in 1516 A.D. In general terms, 60% Iraqi Turkmens are Sunni whereas 40% of them are Shia Muslims. In addition, there are Christian Turkmens living in Kirkuk (Gala Kawar).

Turkmens in the modern Iraqi history have been undergoing decades of assimilation campaigns in Iraq –often, in a more brutal fashion than the one carried out against Kurds.

II. Origin of Turkmens

Most people link the presence of Turkmens in Iraq to Ottoman Empire. However, Turkmens have been in Iraq much earlier than the Ottomans. There is a research indicating that the Sumerians who moved from central Asia in 5000 B.C. and settled around the river Tigris, were originally ancestors of Turkmens. This argument is based on some similarities found between Sumerian and Turkish language, as there are around 600 words similar to each other in both languages. There have also been similarities such as the shape of their skulls between Mongolian Turks and Sumerians.

The historian Abbas Al Azwai in his book “Iraqi History between Two Occupations”, writes that Turkmens came from Turkmenistan, lived in Khurasan (Iran) and migrated from there to various parts of the world. The Russian historian, Bartold, in his book “History of Turk in Central Asia” claimed that they were three groups of nations: Akaz, Al Karlok, Al Tokaz or Alguz. They lived in the land extending from the Kazar Sea to China border and formed two biggest Empires in the history of Seljuk and Ottoman Empires. They moved to Iraq during different periods of Islamic invasion or in more specific terms during the caliphate of Omar Al Kattab. Others claim that 2,000 Turkmen fighters came to Iraq during the Ammuyiat period, subsequently more people came during the Abbasid period. They formed six Turkmen countries over 900 years. They lived in harmony with Arabs and other people in their lands.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the name Turkmen is a synonym of Oguz, which includes all Turkish population that lives in the southwestern Central Asia. This includes the Turkish population of Turkey, Republic of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan of Iran, Turkmenistan and other countries (i.e., Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and other European countries). In the Turkish language, men/man means powerful, magnificent, pure or original; so Turkmen in Turkish means a pure/original Turk. Also, others stated that Turkmen means Turkish man or Turkish fighter.

Turkmens of Iraq have established several Turkmen states in Iraq, such as Seljuk Empire (1118-1194), Dynasty of Mosul Atabekians (1127-1233), Dynasty of Erbil Atabekians (1144-1209), Turkmen Dynasty in Kirkuk (1230), State of Kara Koyunlu (1411-1470) and State of Ak Koyunlu (1470-1508).

To summarize, Turkmens are the descendants of those Oguz tribes who originally came from Central Asia. As stated by the El-Maroozi, the Oguz were divided into two main branches. The first branch settled in the cities; the second branches which settled in plain grasslands, and the Oguz tribes who converted to Islam were called Turkmen.

Turkmens did not leave their ancestral lands in one massive migration. However, they departed their land in successive waves over a long period and eventually settled in the Middle East.[2]
III. Population of Turkmens

Some sources generously estimate that Turkmens consist of up to 16% of the Iraqi population, and others estimate 10% of the Iraqi population. If the current Iraqi population is 35 million, this means that Turkmen population would be more than 3 million (see Figure 1).

There is no accurate census about the number of Turkmens in Iraq. In recent years, there are only estimates for various reasons: Turkmens have been subject to systematic assimilation and deliberate displacement over decades for ethnic cleansing. For instance, they had been displaced from their lands where they had been living for hundreds of years.

During Saddam’s ruling period, between 1970 and 2003, many Turkmen people were forced to change their identity and ethnicity and to become Arab. Turkmens had no right to build up or own a land in Kirkuk unless they changed their identity and they became Arab. In addition, Turkmen citizens were forced by the official channels (The Ministry of Planning) and were being paid as little as 500 Iraqi dinars (equal to ¼ USA dollars) to do so. They were allowed to sell their lands, but not to buy.

Arabs were given free grants and lands to come to live in Kirkuk in order to change the demographic nature of the city.

After Saddam’s ruling period in 2003, the situation of Turkmens has not been better off, with many feeling that the post-Saddam period is worse under Kurdish control; when Kurds took control of Kirkuk, all the government buildings, empty houses as well as the military campuses, were turned into houses for Kurdish families which were also brought illegally to change the demographics of the city. This was done in a very speedy way.

There were thousands of disputed lands and assets confiscated from Turkmen citizens during the Ba’ath regime, which have not been returned back to their original owners, in Tal Afar, Erbil, Mosul, Kirkuk, Yayachi, Tassain, Turklan, Taza, Tuzkhormatu and many other Turkmen towns and villages.

IV. Language of Turkmens
The main spoken language in Turkmen Eli (Turkmen homeland) is a Turkmen dialect. This is a part of the Western Turkish language group that also includes Turkish spoken in Turkey, Cyprus, the Balkans, Iranian Azerbaijan (south) and Republic of Azerbaijan (north), northern Syria, Iran, Turkmenistan and southern Turkistan (northern Afghanistan). The Turkmen language, with its various accents, is closer to the Turkish spoken language in both Azerbaijan (Republic of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan of Iran) and Urfa in southeastern Turkey rather than the Turkmen language in the Republic of Turkmenistan.[3]

Spoken language is the foundation of Iraqi Turkmen culture, folk literature, group identity, ethnic consciousness and world outlook. The spoken mother tongue is naturally passed on to new generations and this, naturally, creates a strong bond uniting the Turkish-speaking peoples of Iraq. However, there is a group of Turkmen called Christian Turkmen of Kirkuk Castle “Kala Gaweri”, which has, for centuries, lived in Kirkuk among Turkmens. They have their own script, bible and mourning songs. However, all these activities are practiced in the Turkmen language.

Unfortunately, compulsory education in Arabic has led to the weakening and deterioration of the spoken Turkish from generation to generation. In fact, the older generation with no formal education speaks relatively pure and more correct Turkish.

Formal written Turkish is the second major source of the Turkish language in Iraq. Local dialects have not found their place in written literature. Turkmens have adopted formal Anatolian Turkish as the written language. Up until the 16th Century, the literary works of Turkmens were written in Azeri dialect, but from the second half of that century onwards, the written literature of Turkmens came under influence of the rising Ottoman language, a western Turkish dialect. However, after the First World War with the separation of Turkey, Turkmens have continued with their preference of Anatolian Turkish by using Arabic letters.
V. Geographical Location of Turkmens

For centuries, Turkmen territories were considered as a buffer zone separating Arabs from Kurds. Cultural, social, religious, economic and political factors have considerably influenced the relations and distribution of the population of Turkmens in the area. The Turkmens of Iraq are mainly merchants, manual labourers and professionals.

Turkmens are concentrated mainly in the northern and central regions of Iraq. This is a diagonal strip of land stretching from Telfar at the north Syrian border to Diayla in the middle part of Iraq.[4]

In this region, there are several major cities and some smaller districts, where Turkmens are living. These are mainly four provinces of Iraq; Erbil, Kirkuk, Saladin and Diyala. In addition to these, historically Turkmen-populated areas have encompassed Telfar; the towns and villages around Mosul such as Al Rashadiya, Shierkan, Nabi Yunis; villages of Shabak around Erbil, Kupery, Kirkuk city, Tassain, Tazakurmatoo, Dakook (Taook), Bashir, Tuzkhormatu, Amerli, Bastamali, Yengaja, Brawachilli, Karanaz, Shasewan, and many other villages around Amerli, Kifri, Karatappa, Karaghan (Jalwalaa), Sharaban (Magdadia), Kizilarbatt (Alsayadia), Kanakeen, Mandeli, Kazania.

An estimate of ¼ million Turkmen lives in the capital city Baghdad too; in Ragiba Katoon, Al Fathal, Al Aathamia, Alsalyiagh, Kanbar Ali, Hay Adan, Zyuna, Hay Oor, Alsahab city and in other places of Al karagh part of Baghdad.

There are Turkmens in other middle and southern part of Iraq as well, from Albayat, Alkarghol, Alsalahi, Al Amerli, and Alatragchji, settled in Babal, Al Messan, Karbala and Basra.

Turkmens, are known as a community greatly attached to their national consciousness, tradition and religion.
VI. Turkmen Families and their Social Life

There are some similarities between Turkmen society and Arabic and also Kurdish societies.

In the rural areas, it is mostly tribal, where people and head of families will be loyal to their head of the tribe. You find out that the family will be proud of their origins and they are using their tribal titles and families’ name, –some of the names may come from their grandfathers or great grandfathers’ names. There are some positive aspects for such allegiances, where the families will be competing for various economic, social and political affairs. However, there are some negative aspects such that they have to be adherent to their cultural rules such as paying a ransom or using these tribes as a means of gaining political or economic gain. Unfortunately, this issue has been recently used and also during the Ba’ath era to gain political seats in parliament.

Turkmen people living in urban parts and cities are more loyal to their families than to their tribes. In recent days, this issue may have contributed to Turkmens’ losing in the elections and failure of a fairer representation.

Turkmens appear to be weak in such gains, as they have been divided amongst themselves, between, religious groups, some being Sunni and others Shia, and some being secular against being Islamic, while others being with the extremist versus moderate groups. Some are nationalist and others are loyal to Turkey. All above issues have caused significant damages to the whole of Turkmen society in the recent political climate of the new Iraqi political system.

Another reason that Turkmen have been less represented is that Turkmens have lived in harmony with other groups such as Arabs, Kurds and Christians, Shabaks, Yazidis in Mosul province and in the past with Jewish community. Turkmen people accepted the intermarriage between themselves and other communities which may have led to further underrepresentation as well.
VII. Turkmens Living in Harmony with Other Iraqi Ethnic Groups

There are, until today, Christian Turkmens who live in Kirkuk old Castle (Kirkuk Kala). Turkmens have lived in harmony with Jewish people, especially before 1948, as since then, most of them have left Iraq for Israel. Turkmens were and are easy to mix with and live in harmony with Arabs and Kurds, through intermarriages happening between Sunni and Shia as well as with other ethnic groups.

The old religions of the Turkmen were Al Shamaniya, Judaism, Buddhism and Zaradishet, but Turkmens converted to Islam after Islamic forces’ conquest of central.[5]

The majority of Turkmens are Muslims and threy are divided into two Muslim faiths: Shiite and Sunni. In addition, there are about 30,000 Christian “catholic” Turks living in Iraq. They are called the Kala Gaweri.

These two Turkmen Muslim and Christian sects helped Turkmens to be more dynamic in the Iraqi society. They facilitated mixed marriages with Arabs and Kurds; therefore, there are a large number of Arab tribes who have originated from Turkmen, such as Albayati. There is no difference at all between the Sunni and Shiite Turkmens regarding the dialogue, language or culture. Intermarriage between the Shiite and Sunni Turkmen is very common. However, some Kurdish militias are trying to utilize various methods to divide the Turkmen community by carrying out a policy of divide and conquer.
VIII. Turkmens’ Contributions for Building up Iraqi Society

There are many well-announced Turkmen scholars who contributed to various fields of education, culture, academia, military and medical for building up Iraqi civilization in the recent history of Iraq.

Professor Mustafa Jawad, Dr. Ihsan Aldogramachi , who was the ambassador of UNICEF, lived in Turkey and refused to be Turkish President. Dr. Salam Al Dogramachi was one of the leading professors in pediatric oncology and hematology in Iraq for many years.

Turkmens gave birth to two well-known poets, like Fazooly Al Baghdadi who has been buried in the Imam Hussain’s Mosque in Karbala.

Dr. Sinnan Saeed was one of the first PhD scholars in media studies, who first put the corner stone of Iraqi media in Baghdad University in 1975.

Dr. Ibrahim Al Dakookly wrote the first letter in Al Aalam in Arab world, 1972, he produced weekly newspaper, and first news journal about role of Media in Arab world.
IX. Modern History of the Iraqi Turkmens

Many considered the maintenance of Iraq’s territorial integrity as a critical issue due to the knowledge of the country’s enormous ethnic and religious diversity. One must also take into account the aspirations of these groups and the problems they are facing now. For better understanding, this historical period will be divided into four stages.[6]

1. Post-Ottoman Empire (1924-1958)

Over the twentieth century, and until now, Turkmens have been subject to many atrocities and programed aggressions, starting with the massacre of 1924 in Kirkuk, to Kwar Baghi events in 1946, and the massacre of 1959.

Under the Iraqi constitution of 1925, both Turkmens and Kurds had the right to use their own languages in schools, government offices and press.

It is stated in the Royal Constitution, which was valid until 1958, that the Iraqi State consisted of Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens and other minorities.

According to Article 14 of the same constitution, Turks, like other minorities, were also entitled to receive an education in their own language and to be in charge of their own educational institutions. In fact, until the proclamation of the republic, various constitutional amendments did not cause ethnic or political discrimination.

The military coup of 1958, that toppled the monarchy, brought a glimpse of hope for Turkmens at first when they heard radio announcements by coup leader General Abdul-Kerim Qasim and his deputy General Abdul-Salam Arif that Iraq was made up of three main ethnic groups: Arab, Kurd and Turkmen. Turkmens interpreted these statements as the end of the suppression. However, happy days did not last long.

2. Post-Monarchy (1958-1970)

As a result of the general amnesty, once Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani returned from the Soviet Union, he started negotiations for an autonomous Kurdish region. This has increased the tension in the region and, as the result of this incitement, for the first time in history, clashes between Turkmens and Kurds took place with heavy casualties. When the new regime decided to steer a policy independent of other influential Arab states, the Communist Party and Kurds gained favour with the political ascendancy, and, soon afterwards, Turkmens in Kirkuk were attacked on the false pretext that they helped the Mosul resistance.

On 14th July, 1959, Kirkuk was put under curfew and its population slaughtered by Communists and Kurds. When 25 innocent Turkmen civilians were killed and 130 people were injured in day light in streets of Kirkuk, this was known to be one of the city’s most brutal moments in history.

This massacre was totally disregarded by the world that turned a blind eye to it. It was only after this massacre that the Communist Kurds became so bold as to ask for the inclusion of Kirkuk in their autonomous region under negotiations. Attempts by the Iraqi government to restrict the operations of foreign oil companies and its threats towards Kuwait’s oil put it at loggerheads with other Arab countries and Great Britain.

The ensuing era of General Abdul- Salam Arif (1963-1967) was one of the best periods for the Turkmens in Iraq. Turkmens were allowed to operate cultural associations and schools, publish magazines and newspapers in the Latin characters of Turkish, and get some posts in government. They demonstrated excellently that as citizens of Iraq, they could work for their country and live in cooperation with other Iraqis.

3. Arabization Period (1970-2003)

Then, the Ba’ath party rule, commencing in 1968, opened one of the darkest chapters in Turkmen history. The Ba’ath party forced people to sign petitions asking for the closure of Turkish language schools, and to appoint Arab administrators in Turkmen areas. Boycotts by Turkmens were suppressed in a bloody means.

Many Turkmen traders and professionals were captured and imprisoned. In early 1970, Mr. Mohammad Salah, who was the Head of Kirkuk Trade Union was the first Iraqi executed by Ba’ath rulers together with many Turkmen intellects and human rights activists.

In 1971, the Artist Hussain Ali Damerchi was killed along with many students, teachers, and professionals after peaceful demonstration, as the Turkmen speaking schools were abolished and all Turkmen rights were cancelled after only a year of having been issued.

In November 1979, four of most influential Turkmen people were captured: Dr. Najidat Kojak, Professor in Engineering College of Baghdad University; Abdullah Abdul Al Rahman, who was a retired general, who was the chair of Turkmen Brotherhood Club; Professor Raza Damerchi, the Chief Director of Forests, in Iraqi Agriculture Ministry and the well-known trade man, Adaal Sherif. They were subject of worst physical abuse and torture and later in January 1980, they were killed without even charging them with any criminal charges or court proceedings.

The 1980s saw the execution of countless Turkmen leaders and elders who were, often falsely, accused of spying for Turkey or Iran. During the Iran-Iraq war, dozens of Turkmen villages were totally bulldozed to the ground. Many young Turkmen people (from the Shia community) were captured, they disappeared from Telfar, Kirkuk, Tasseen, Bashir, Dakook, Tuzkhormatu, Tazakurmatoo, Amerli, Quratappa, Kifiri, Kanakeen, Mandeli, Kazania, Baghdad. Some were accused of being part of Islamic movements and of being loyal to Iran and others accused of being loyal to Turkish government.

Mr. Aziz Alsamanji in his book published in 1999 in London, “The political history of Turkmen of Iraq”, a list of 283 Turkmen people were executed by Saddam’s regime between 1980-1990.[7] Furthermore, he published another list of 75 Turkmens who were killed by shooting in the uprising of 28th of March 1991. All of those people were professionals, university students and other served in the military services. He documented a further list of 103 Turkmens who were imprisoned, and another 13 people who disappeared and never returned to the families.

Mofak Salman wrote in his book, that the Turkmen Cultural Directorate that was set up by the government to bring Turkmens under strict control was not working according to the government plans.[8] Therefore, the Iraqi government started a new strategy to replace all Turkmen teachers with Arab teachers; they also sent all Turkmen teachers to non-Turkmen areas. An all-out assimilation campaign against Turkmens was unleashed. Young Turkmen people holding university degrees were given jobs in non-Turkmen areas. Arabs were encouraged to settle in Turkmen areas with rewards of 15,000 Iraqi Dinars to each person. Those Arabs who bought farmlands were offered an extra reward ranging between 7,000 and 10,000 Dinars (approximately $30,000), and the lands confiscated from Turkmens under various pretexts, were given to Arabs.

Young Arab men were encouraged to marry Turkmen girls with offers of 10,000 Iraqi Dinars. All this was designed to change the demographic balance of the Turkmen-dominated region, with its capital city Kirkuk.

This was followed by government decrees that changed Kirkuk’s name to that of Al-Tamim and also changed its administrative borders, taking other Turkmen towns like Tuzkhormatu and Kifri from Kirkuk to other provinces.

Subsequently, the Ba’ath government banned the use of the Turkmen language in public. Religious leaders who did not speak Arabic, were forced to deliver sermons in Arabic, and when they failed to, they were executed.

While the Islamic Union of Iraqi Turkmens, in their well-documented book, published in detail, the name of 432 Turkmen people, who were executed and assassinated by Saddam’s regime between 1979-1991.[9]

The Chief of Iraqi Revolution, said to the retired General Abdul Hussain Mula Ibrahim originally from Tuzkhormatu, when he read his execution order, that he should be hanged and killed twice, once for being Turkmen and second time for being Shia. However, Abdul Hussain could not tolerate the brutality and passed away from the torture.

Turkmens have been severely intimidated into silence, and they have been waiting helplessly, not knowing what to do. Here, I would like to mention the 1987 national census in Iraq, as it is relevant to a number of ethnic groups. In this census, Turkmens were openly threatened to declare themselves as either Arabs or Kurds. If they declared themselves as Turkmens, they would be deported to Saudi.

As a result of Erbil events in 31th August 1996, many Turkmens were captured, and on 2ndSeptember 1996, 25 Turkmen citizens were executed.[10]

The decomposition of the Iraqi Turkmens was an Iraqi policy inherited from one government to the subsequent one. The aim was to remove Turkmens from the oil-rich northern region and to disperse them to the south of Iraq.

4. Targeting Turkmens after 2003 (Kurdization)

After 2003, Shiite Turkmens have been a target of systematic terror attacks in various ways, although the attack seems mainly on Shiite Turkmens, however Sunni Turkmens also had their own share as people are mixed together, living next to each other and married to each other. All Turkmen areas indiscriminately had many attacks from Telfar, Erbil, Mosul, Kirkuk, especially Tassin area, Bashir, Taza, Tuzkhormatu, and Amerli.[11] These are some example of atrocities but not the exhausted list of all the attacks.

4.1. Kirkuk

From 2003 onwards, the Iraqi Turkmens have continued to be subjected to targeted campaigns of intimidation, assimilation, kidnapping, threatening and land confiscation practices, which have resulted in wide-scale emigration. Moreover, Turkmen political actors are often targeted based on their ethnicity, religion and political opinion. In 2011, e.g., the headquarters of the Iraqi Turkmen Front in Kirkuk were completely demolished by explosives. Many university students, scholars, lectures were attacked and killed.

Many Turkmen doctors and professionals were target of killing and kidnapping, almost all of them received letters asking them to leave or pay a ransom. It is estimated that Turkmens paid more than 50 million US dollars until today many medical colleagues left as result of such indiscriminate threats.[12] Indeed many young doctors and university graduates left to other parts of Iraq if not to Turkey or elsewhere in the world.

A report from Iraqi Turkmen Doctors Association reported that Turkmen medical sector specifically, were a target for abductions, kidnapping and assassinations in Kirkuk to drain the city from their minds and intellect. They listed 46, most of whom were Turkmen doctors from Kirkuk alone, who were kidnapped and ransomed for $10,000-50,000 for their release; some of whom were killed and others left the city for good.[13]

In Kirkuk, 95% of the terror attacks targeted Turkmens, Turkmen neighborhoods left no protection despite the heavily presences of security forces which are protecting non-Turkmen neighbourhoods like Kurdish residential areas, and this is exactly what is happening and happened in Tuzkurmatu town.

4.2. Telfar

On 9th of September 2004 and 5th September 2005, Telfar was attacked by tanks, helicopters, soldiers, leaving 1,350 dead people and 2,650 injured, including many children, women and elderlies. During this period more than 48,000 families were displaced from Telfar.

While Telfar was a site of daily attacks of car bombs, kidnapping, killing by various methods, on 9th of July 2009 two suicide bombers killed themselves in the middle of the town, killing more than 34 people and injured hundreds with many houses and belongings were destroyed.

4.3. Tazakhormatu

It is located 20 km south of Kirkuk and it had its own share from terror attacks, on 20th of July 2009, a large explosion of a trailer in the middle of busy market similar to Amerli attack, killed 82 persons and injured 228 people and many shops, and more than 80 houses were collapsed.

4.4. Tuzkhormatu

Countless Turkmen people from Tuzkhormatu were killed and targeted by various terrorist attacks, from kidnapping, road side bombs, car bombs, suicide bombers, head hunting and targeted explosions of their houses and neighborhoods. Explosion of Mosques, worship places like Hussinyia, even nurseries and primary schools and high schools were targets, killing innocent children and people regardless. All these attacks were mainly in the streets of Turkmen neighbourhood.

In January 2013, a suicide bomber exploded himself in the middle of gathering of funeral, killed more than 42 people and injured more than 70 people.

13th of June another deadly suicide bomber attack on peaceful demonstration in Tuzkurmatu killed the Iraqi Turkmen Front Vice president Ali Hashim Mukhtar Oglu with other 13 TurkmenS prominent people and injured more than 30 people.

July 2013, a massive car bomb exploded in 5 a.m. while people sleeping in their beds, in a Turkmen neighbourhood, killed 12 people, children, elderly and young people regardless and more than 20 houses were destroyed with more than 50 people who got injured.

More than 1,500 Turkmen people killed in Tuz, and more than 1,000 houses were destroyed and more than thousands of families were forced to leave their homeland and to move to the south especially to Karbala and Baghdad as they were being fearful of their lives.

It was reported that, between January 2013 and August 2013; “Three hundred attacks took place in the province of Kirkuk”, with “Two hundred seventy attacks” were in Salah al-Din, mainly in Tuzkhurmatu.

4.5. Amerli

A small district located 20 km south of Tuzkhurmatu, which is 80 km south of Kirkuk city. In July 2007, Amerli was subject to a deadly trailer bomb explosion in the middle of a busy market where 160 civilians were killed, more than 300 people were wounded and more than 100 were destroyed. The attack left behind many widowed, orphaned and disabled children and adults. Since then many young people and professionals were targets for deliberate killing on their way to work between Amerli, Tikirit and Kirkuk .
X. Recent Atrocities against Turkmens by Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS)

Moreover, the recent rapid rise of the ISIS in Iraq has left the state in chaos and its minorities extremely vulnerable, of which in particular Turkmens and Assyrians, as they do not have their own security forces. Reportedly, on 15th June 2014, ISIS fighters took over Telfar, which is mostly populated by Turkmens. In total, 100 people were killed and 200.000 people are estimated to have fled Telfar according to Human Rights Watch.[14] ISIS forces kidnapped at least 40 Shiite Turkmens and ordered 950 Shiite Turkmen families to leave the villages of Guba and Shireekhan. Many more than 100 Turkmen families were forced from Al Rashidyia village, and other Turkmen villages around Mosul (UN Report, 2014). In another report, an estimate of 350,000 Turkmen people from Telfar were displaced.

Bashir a district located at southwest of Kirkuk city, is one of the Shiite Turkmen villages, which were destroyed when Saddam forced their habitants to leave, confiscated their lands, killed many youth and imprisoned others. After 2003, many orders from central government were dismissed and local Arab tribes who took over Bashir lands refused to leave.

On 12th and 13th of June 2014, ISIS terrorists attacked Bashir civilians, kidnapping, killing, abducting, raping children and women. Mosques and worship places were destroyed, 59 people, including three children and women were killed. Little girls and young women were raped and then killed and their corpses were hung from the lamp posts. Around 1000 families fled from Bashir.

Macro Babille; the United Nations children’s fund representative in Iraq, said; that “ISIS militants have massacred 700 Turkmen civilians, including women, children and the elderly, in a northern Iraqi village, Bashir between July 11 and 12”.

Brawachilli and many other villages around Amerli were attacked, people were killed indiscriminately including, sick, children, women and elderly, some people managed to escape their villages by leaving behind the most vulnerable to be abused and killed. Their houses, mosques, lands and livestock were destroyed.

Amerli was under siege for 80 days (17/06/2014-31/08/14) under harsh inhumane conditions, with food, water and electricity supplies were cut off. 20,000 people were under daily attacks. More than 50 children, along of 10 new born babies lost their lives in one day as result of lack of milk and nutrition, more than 100 people were, perished as result of the siege and daily attacks.

Michael Knights is a Boston-based Lafer fellow of the Washington Institute, in his article (Iraq’s City of Orphans), urged US government to rescue Amerli people and argued why the international communities ignored thousands more Iraqi communities of Amerli.

Michael stated in his article that saving Iraqi Turkmens is a Win-Win-Win. A U.S.-backed effort to save besieged Iraqi Turkmens in the Tuzkhurmatu district could bring Baghdad, the Kurds, and Turkey into a joint fight against the ongoing jihadist offensive.[15]

Ayatullah Ali Sistani, Shiite Muslims’ most influential scholar, said through his representative, Abd al-Mehdi al-Karbalai that “we appeal to the relevant sides to work sincerely in breaking the siege. [We also call for] saving the brave town’s citizens from the dangers of the terrorists”. Ayatullah Sistani added, “the speeding up of the air delivery of food to the people of Amerli is a top priority”.[16]

The people of Amerli, with their determination, defeated ISIS by defending themselves with the help of Iraqi coalitions from various groups and Kurdish Peshermega as well as with the help of international communities from the USA, and other Western countries.

The American help to save Amerli came very late, which left some doubts in the minds of many Turkmens as to the intentions of America in supporting Turkmens in their struggle.

Amerli was the first town in Iraq stood bravely against the atrocities of ISIS. As Mr. Knight predicted that Iraqis with its various fractions including Kurds came together to defend and fight against the evil ISIS. However, the Turkish government was no longer interested in helping Turkmens any more for reasons out of scope of this review.

Reports from Turkmen Front, human right office in London, June 2014 and from Beladi Strategic Center, said that “the human misery and severe human suffering continue in the Turkmen towns and cities after the invasion of the ISIS, especially in Telfar, Shirghan, Qura Quyan, Bashir, Tazakurmatu, Tuzkurmatu, as well as Al Bayat villages and towns around Tuzkurmatu in Salahadin, other villages and towns around Mosul, Al Sa’dia district and other villages in Diyala province”.[17]

The above communities have suffered from killings via car bombs, suicide bombers, road side bomb explosions as well explosions of their houses by various means prior to the above events. Many loved ones have been killed, and hundreds disabled, leaving behind numerous widows, and orphans, let alone the daily mental anguish and fear of what will happen next. However, these atrocities have not affected Turkmens alone, but later others; Christians and Yazidi ethnic minorities, Shabak and Kurd Shia Faili were targeted as well.[18]

XI. Conclusion

The Iraqi Turkmens have suffered immensely from intimidation by the central government, Kurds and extrajudicial militia groups for religious and ethnic reasons, ‘Arabization’ assimilation policies during the Saddam Hussein regime, and the “Kurdization” policy after 2003.

Since 2003, various groups, including extrajudicial militia, have targeted Turkmens via car bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, harassment and torture, with impunity and torture.

The most recent events by ISIS attacks on Turkmens did not come as a surprise; it is an extension of decades of assimilations, intimidations by Arabs and Kurds, in order to forcefully displace them from their motherland where they had been living for centuries.

The official combination of the assimilation policy and the decomposition policy was successfully played out for years, but assimilation and decomposition would not have been enough to erase or eradicate Turkmens and the languages of the Iraqi Turkmens.

There is no evident sign that official Turkish positions on the Iraqi Turkmens will change. However, changes to improve the present conditions and to solve the Iraqi Turkmen problems within the Iraqi sovereignty may be timely, especially with a view to the Kurdish Spring in northern Iraq. The Kurdish Spring encouraged by the United States, the European Union, Russia and others needs to be emulated by the Iraqi Turkmens who cannot afford to be isolated from northern Iraq geographically or politically, and, least of all, economically.

It is very clear that various policy makers of Western countries calling to divide Iraq into three states of: Arab Shias in the south, Kurds in the north and Sunnis in the west, ignoring the human rights and existence of the original Turkmen people in this land and other ethnic minorities. However, Turkmens should not be seen as a danger to Iraqi sovereignty but as a credit to strengthen Iraqi stability and as a part of the big mosaic of Iraqi unity. The Iraqi government must guarantee human rights for all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, and reach an agreement about these issues, with representation from Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs. They should present a regional security plan in which the Turkmens are given a role to play. The second stipulation concerning Turkmens is that the world should be reminded of Turkmens’ presence in Iraq. Baghdad should be aware of this presence, and it should be noted that providing certain rights and guarantees to Turkmens would contribute to the ending of the division of the country.

Above all, Turkmen people themselves need to wake up, with its various fractions; Shia, Sunni, Muslim and non-Muslim should come together and extend their hands to each other in order to help their wounded and shattered people with many, orphaned children and women who were left defenseless and who were struggling day by day. To take them back to their own home land.

Mr. Zahid Jihad Albayati, Writer, Journalist, and Member of Iraqi Writers Union &Dr. Elham MA Albayati, Writer and Consultant Paediatrician, UK

Please cite this publication as follows:

Albayati, Z. J. & Albayati, E. (February, 2015), “Turkmens of Iraq: The Third Ethnic Component of Iraq”, Vol. IV, Issue 2, pp.6-28, Centre for Policy and Research on Turkey (ResearchTurkey), London, Research Turkey. (
XII. References

FOAB Newsletter: Sistani urges support for Amerli; August 22nd 2014.

Political history of Turkmen of Iraq; Aziz Samanji; 1993; London,UK.

Report of Beladi center for Strategic studies and Research; Department of Human Rights, Baghdad, Iraq; August 2014.

Report of Turkmen front party; Atrocities that Iraqi Turkmen subjected to by ISIS; July 2014.

Report of Iraq Turkmen Doctors Association; Iraq-Kirkuk;

Saving Iraqi Turkmens Is a Win-Win-Win (PolicyWatch 2285);

Turkmen of Iraq; Mofak Salman; 2007, Dublin; Ireland.

Turkmen Martyrs, by Islamic Iraqi Turkmen; 1999; London, UK.

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization in cooperation with Iraqi Turkmen Front; UNPO Alternative report; July 2014.

UN Report, 2014.

Available Websites:

XIII. Endnotes

[1] Mofak Salman, Turkmen of Iraq, 2007, Dublin, Ireland.

[2] See Mofak Salman, Turkmen of Iraq, 2007, Dublin. Ireland.

Turkmen Martyrs, by Islamic Iraqi Turkmen, 1999, London, UK.

Aziz Samanji, Political history of Turkmen of Iraq, 1993, London, UK.

[3] Mofak Salman, Turkmen of Iraq, 2007, Dublin. Ireland.

Turkmen Martyrs, by Islamic Iraqi Turkmen, 1999, London, UK.

Aziz Samanji, Political history of Turkmen of Iraq, 1993, London, UK.

[4] See Mofak Salman, Turkmen of Iraq, 2007, Dublin. Ireland.

Turkmen Martyrs, by Islamic Iraqi Turkmen, 1999, London, UK.

Aziz Samanji, Political history of Turkmen of Iraq, 1993, London, UK.

[5] Mofak Salman, Turkmen of Iraq, 2007, Dublin, Ireland.

[6] Mofak Salman, Turkmen of Iraq, 2007, Dublin. Ireland.

Turkmen Martyrs, by Islamic Iraqi Turkmen, 1999, London, UK.

Aziz Samanji, Political history of Turkmen of Iraq, 1993, London, UK.

[7] Aziz Samanji, Political history of Turkmen of Iraq, 1993, London, UK.

[8] Mofak Salman, Turkmen of Iraq, 2007, Dublin. Ireland.

[9] Turkmen Martyrs, by Islamic Iraqi Turkmen, 1999, London, UK.


[11] See Mofak Salman, Turkmen of Iraq, 2007, Dublin. Ireland.

Turkmen Martyrs, by Islamic Iraqi Turkmen, 1999, London, UK.

Aziz Samanji, Political history of Turkmen of Iraq, 1993, London, UK.

Report of Iraq Turkmen Doctors Association, Iraq-Kirkuk;

[12]Report of Turkmen front party, Atrocities that Iraqi Turkmen subjected to by ISIS, July 2014.

[13]Report of Iraq Turkmen Doctors Association, Iraq-Kirkuk;

[14]Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization in cooperation with Iraqi Turkmen Front; UNPO Alternative report; July 2014.

[15] See

Saving Iraqi Turkmens Is a Win-Win-Win (Knights | PolicyWatch 2285);

[16] Sistani urges support for Amerli, FOAB Newsletter, August, 2014;

[17] See Atrocities that Iraqi Turkmen subjected to by ISIS, Report of Turkmen front party, July 2014.

UNPO Alternative Report, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization in cooperation with Iraqi Turkmen Front, July 2014.

Report of Beladi center for Strategic studies and Research, Department of Human Rights, Baghdad, Iraq, August 2014.

[18] UNPO Alternative Report, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization in cooperation with Iraqi Turkmen Front, July 2014.

Thursday, 26 February 2015



Kazancı and the Governor of Kirkuk discussed bilateral relations, the recent developments in Kirkuk and the status of the migrants. Kazancı thanked Governor Necmettin Kerim for the assistance and facilitation provided for the migrants in the city by the Kirkuk administration. The security situation in Kirkuk was discussed at the meeting. The parties underlined the importance of the people of Kirkuk acting together against terror. Kazancı indicated that the Turkmen were ready to join the forces fighting ISIS. The Governor of Kirkuk Dr.Necmettin Ömer Kerim thanked Iraqi Turkmen Front Coordinator and Turkey Representative Dr. Hicran Kazancı for the visit and shared the recent developments in terms of security as well as the status of the migrants with him.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Iraqi Turkmen, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Yezidi representatives to the European Union meet in Brussels

Iraqi Turkmen, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Yezidi representatives to the European Union meet in Brussels


8th January 2015 – Iraqi Turkmen, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Yezidi representatives in the European Union meet in Brussels to discuss the road map. 

Dr. Hassan Aydinli, Turkmen Representation to EU
Mr. Lahdo Hobil, President European Syriac Union
Mr. Fikret Igrek, Head of Foreign Affairs Federation of Yezidi Associations 
Mr. Johannes de Jong, Ms. Rima Tüzün and Mrs. Merry Fitzgerald attended the meeting.
Following the signing of their Common Declaration at the European Parliament on 19th
November 2014, calling for the restoration of human rights to the non-ruling indigenous peoples of Iraq, the Turkmen, Yezidi and Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian representatives to the EU, met to discuss the road map.
The first goal of this road map is to achieve a situation in which the EU together with each of the peoples concerned will negotiate with the governments of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan.
The second goal of this road map is to outline how the transition to a new and sustainable political future should look like.
This process is the implementation of the fourth article of the European Parliament resolution on Iraq and Syria of 18th September 2014.
Below photos of the signing of the Common Declaration on 19th November 2014 and translation of the Declaration to Turkish.

Please see:

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

No news from 136 Turkmens kidnapped by jihadists

No news from 136 Turkmens kidnapped by jihadists

There has been no news from the 136 Turkmen hostages who were kidnapped by jihadists in Tal Afar in Iraq more than three months ago.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has kept the hostages in Mosul for three months; however, there has been no information for the past 10 days and their destination following Mosul is not known. There are five-month-old babies among the 136 hostages, 74 of whom are children and 62 of whom are women between 18 and 35-years-old. 

“We have not been able to hear from our women and children. Somebody should hear our plea,” said Kadriye Ziyai, the head of Turkmen Women’s League. 

The list of hostages was given to Turkey’s Prime Minister 
Ahmet Davutoğlu during his visit to the neighboring country in the second half of November. 

“He [Davutoğlu] told us he would take care of the matter. However, we haven’t heard from our women and children for 10 days,” said Aydın Maruf Selim of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC). 

“I’m calling on humankind. There are five-month-old babies among these hostages. The eldest child is 11-years-old. They were being kept in Mosul, but they were taken somewhere else 10 days ago. We don’t know their fate. Humanity should not remain silent to such a massacre. ISIL militants are raising these children as future suicide bombers. They kill those who are ill and useless for them,” Selim said. 
Tal Afar, a city of 200,000 located 420 kilometers (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, is dominated by ethnic Turkmen, who are both 
Sunni and Shiite.

According to a recently released report by Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration, around 6,000 Turkmen and Yazidis have been killed in attacks by ISIL since June.

Around 5,000 Yazidis and 1,000 Turkmen have been killed in ISIL attacks, said the same report, state-run Anadolu Agency reported earlier this month.

The report puts the number of displaced people at 1 million, including 400,000 Yazidis, and 600,000 Turkmen who have fled to safer regions.

Saturday, 6 December 2014



Who are the Iraqi Turkmens

The Turkmens of Iraq are a Turkic people, they are the descendants of the Turkish OGUZ tribes originating in Central Asia. They arrived in Mesopotamia (Iraq) in several successive waves and settled there more than 1400 years ago. The overall Turkmen region in Iraq is called Turkmeneli, it lies between the Kurdish region in the northeast and the Arab region in the southwest. It includes territories in the provinces of Mosul, Erbil, Kirkuk, Salaheddin, Diyala and Kut.


Since there is no accurate and reliable census data in Iraq, one cannot be sure about the exact numbers of the Turkmens, however, it is estimated to be around three million, which is roughly 9% of the Iraqi population. in the 1997 census, ‘Turkmen’ as a nationality was removed from the official census forms, Turkmens had to register either as Arabs or Kurds. The largest concentration of Turkmens lives in the city of Kirkuk, which they consider as their capital city and main cultural centre. A great number of Turkmens also live in Baghdad. We are a clear majority in Tal Afar, Tuzhurmatu and Kifri.

Demographic changes and confiscation of Turkmen lands

Several demographic changes have taken place in the Turkmen region, especially in Kirkuk province  and Kirkuk city. In the 1980s the Baath regime installed tens of thousands of Arab families on Turkmen lands, several Turkmen villages were totally destroyed and their inhabitants were forcedly displaced without receiving any compensation. The largest demographic change happened in Kirkuk under U.S. occupation in 2003 when the Kurdish leaders brought over 600.000 Kurds from other areas in Iraq and settled them in the city. Today, there is ongoing pressure by Kurdish and Arab authorities to shift the Turkmen population to different areas to continue the demographic change.

Human rights violations

Since the beginning of the Iraqi state in 1921 Turkmens were treated as second class citizens, their basic human rights were denied and their political leaders and intellectuals were killed. Since 2003 the Turkmen political leaders, academics, professionals have been especially targeted and assassinated, dozens of them were kidnapped for ransom. Turkmen areas are suffering under targeted attacks. Turkmens are easy targets as they are not allowed to have their own self-defence forces. Arabs and Kurds can get benefit from governmental financial sources while Turkmens do not. Even at 1stNovember 2014 the new Iraqi Parliament rejected the one bill that would recognize Turkmens’ rights. This proves that the discrimination against the Turkmens continues.

Internally displaced Turkmens due to IS attacks

Since June 2014, many Turkmen cities and villages have been attacked and occupied by IS. 350.000 Turkmens had to flee leaving everything behind and many were tortured and killed (in Tel Afer, Bashir, Biravceli, Amerli, Kara Tepe, etc). Neither the Iraqi army which was supposed to protect them nor the Kurdish Peshmerga forces came to their help. Thousands of these Turkmen IDPs are now living under dire conditions in transit camps in the Kurdish region and in mosques and schools in Kirkuk. Thousands of other Turkmen families were taken to the south of Iraq where they were given shelter in schools and mosques. Wherever they are these internally displaced Turkmen families have hardly received any help from the Iraqi government, to survive they can only rely on humanitarian help from fellow Turkmens, Turkmen and Turkish NGOs.

What is needed for our survival 

To survive and be recognised as part of Iraq we formulated the conditions for our survival as an Iraqi people in the Common ‘Declaration of the Turkmen, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Ezidi Kurdic people of Iraq’ which has been signed and presented at 19 November 2014 in the European Parliament.

Brussels, 4th December 2014

Contact: Dr. Hassan Tawfiq Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative
e-mail :

Friday, 5 December 2014

UNPO Briefs Delegation for Relations with Iraq at European Parliament


Yesterday, 4 December 2014, the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Iraq (D-IQ) convened its 5th European Parliament – Iraq Interparliamentary Meeting to discuss the security, political and human rights/humanitarian situation in Iraq. UNPO, who recently concluded a 10-day fact finding mission in Iraq together with the Institute for International Law and Human Rights (IILHR), was invited to brief the D-IQ on the human rights situation in Iraq and the preliminary findings of the mission.
The meeting was chaired by MEP David Campbell Bannerman and brought together a number of MEPs, Iraqi parliamentarians and government officials, as well as expert speakers, who discussed a range of different elements on the crisis in Iraq.
Although the speakers represented a variety of organizations and discussed different elements, they all emphasized two things in particular. First of all, the dire humanitarian situation of minorities and internally displaced people and the horrendous human rights violations that they have endured were acknowledged and emphasized by all speakers. The importance of unity was also highlighted: how the crisis must continue to unite Iraq’s many ethnic and religious components against the threat of the IS and how the international community must stand with Iraq in dealing with both immediate and long-term security, humanitarian and rule-of-law challenges.
Dr. Humam Baqer Hamoodi, the Vice President of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, made the point that the response to the current crisis in Iraq should and must include the whole international community: “Such is the severity of the current situation, that the entire international community has a responsibility to assist Iraq in dealing with its humanitarian crisis and providing for the millions of IDPs”.
Ambassador Brett McGurk, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and General John Allen’s Deputy Senior Envoy (Global Coalition to Counter ISIL) gave a detailed explanation of the security situation in Iraq and the coalition’s military action, stating that the situation is getting better, but fighting the Islamic State will be a long process and counter offensives are planned for this coming spring.
Mr. John O’Rourke, Head of Division for the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq at the European External Action Service and Mr. Jean-Louis de Brower, Director of Operations in the European Commission’s DG ECHO, explained the EU’s political and humanitarian response to the crisis, respectively, while Mr. Jean-Claude Boidin, the Head of Unit for Geographical Coordination for Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf, Asia Regional Programs at DG DEVCO in the European Commission stated that thinking about Iraq’s long term future and building on EU development programs already undergoing in Iraq are essential to addressing the root causes of the current crisis. The work and challenges facing theUN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Iraq were explain by Ms. Rebecca Blackledge, who highlighted that the utmost priority for IDPs now is winterization assistance.
Civil society also spoke on the humanitarian and human rights situation in Iraq. UNPO Program Manager Johanna Green, briefed the delegation on the findings of UNPO and IILHR’s fact finding mission, including the humanitarian situation and specific human rights violations, particularly focusing on Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities. In her speech, Ms Green gave a first-hand account of the terrible conditions in the IDP camps that individuals from ethnic and religious components, particularly the Yezidis, are forced to endure. She also drew attention to how the discriminatory practices which have been an unfortunate reality for ethnic and religious minority groups in Iraq – including the Turkmen, Assyrians, Shabakis and others – for most of the country’s recent history, have been reflected in the response of the authorities, in the wake of the IS attacks.
UNPO's Johanna Green briefing the EP Delegation for Relations with Iraq
As the world has turned its focus to Iraq’s security situation and combatting Daesh, or the so called Islamic State, the horrific human rights violations and dire conditions facing Iraq’s 2 million internally displaced persons risk being overlooked and ignored. Therefore, UNPO, IILHR and Minority Rights Group (MRG) have launched a joint initiative culminating in the publication of a comprehensive report on the human rights and humanitarian situation in Iraq since 1 June 2014, which will be presented before the European Parliament at a date to be confirmed. The joint UNPO-IIHLR mission between 8 and 18 November 2014 to Erbil, Dohuk and Baghdad, where the mission delegates talked to minority leaders, senior Iraqi government officials, parliamentarians, local NGOs and IDPs, aimed at collecting first-hand information for the said publication.
To download UNPO’s speech before the D-IQ on the situation of Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities please click here.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

ORSAM : Kerkük Valisi Necmettin Kerim ile Söyleşi

Kerkük Valisi Necmettin Kerim ile Söyleşi

Kerim: “Siyasi olarak nerede nihayete ereceği fark etmeksizin Kerkük’ün özel statüye sahip olması gerekmektedir.”

Necmettin Kerim ile Türkiye Irak ilişkilerini, yeni kurulan Irak hükümetinin durumunu, Kürt Bölgesel Yönetimi IŞİD ile mücadele sorunu ve Kerkük üzerine konuştuk.

Söyleşi metnine ve İngilizce ile Arapça versiyonlarına ekli dosyalardan ulaşabilirsiniz.

Metnin Tamamı
Ekli Dosya
Ekli Dosya

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Prof.Dr. İlber Ortaylı gave a lecture 'A Historical View on the Conflicts of the Middle East' at VUB

It was full house on Friday at Vrije 

Universiteit Brussels (VUB) to listen

to Prof. Dr. İlber Ortaylı on 

'A Historical View on the Conflicts 

of the Middle East'

Monday, 1 December 2014

VIDEO - Iraklı Türkmenler, Keldaniler, Süryaniler, Asuriler ve Kürt Yezidilerin ortak bildirgesi - Hükümi varlığı olmayan kadim Irak haklarına insan haklarının düzeltilmesi için çağrı

VIDEO - Turkmen, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Yazidi people of Iraq’s conference and signing of the common declaration at the European Parliament on 19th November 2014.

 Iraklı Türkmenler, Keldaniler, Süryaniler, Asuriler ve Kürt Yezidilerin ortak bildirgesi

Hükümi varlığı olmayan kadim Irak haklarına insan haklarının düzeltilmesi için çağrı


To watch excerpts of the Turkmen, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Yazidi people of Iraq’s conference and signing of the common declaration in the European Parliament on 19th November 2014

Please click on this link: 

TD Konferans ESU Parlamento Urifi

With thanks to Suroyotvnews.

Please note that the speeches of Dr. Hassan Aydinli and Prof. Mahir Nakip were accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation showing maps and photos of Turkmen confiscated lands, internally displaced Turkmens and Turkmen martyrs.

The original written presentations of both Dr. Hassan Aydinli and Prof. Dr. Mahir Nakip had to be shortened during the conference because of lack of time as the conference had started later than expected.

Avrupa Birliği Temsilciliği

 Iraklı Türkmenler, Keldaniler, Süryaniler, Asuriler ve Kürt Yezidilerin ortak bildirgesi

Hükümi varlığı olmayan kadim Irak haklarına insan haklarının düzeltilmesi için çağrı

Biz Irak halklarından Kaldaniler, Süryaniler, Asuriler, Türkmenler ve Yezidi Kürtler, bu ülkeye ait bireyler olarak bir araya geldik. Halklarımız, Irakta yaşayan milletimizi teşkil eden diğer halklar ile birlikte aynı haklara sahip, Irak’ın kadim yurttaşlarıdır.

Halklarımızın her biri, gerçekte mevcudiyetleri Irakta ve uluslararası toplumlarda yeterince tanınmamalarından dolayı, on yıllarca mağdur olmuşlardır. Bu etnik, kültür ve inançlarımızın yeterince tanınmaması hepimizi, ayırımcılık, aşırı derecede kötü muamele ve etnik ve kültürel yok etme ile karşı karşıya bırakmıştır.

Şimdi bizler, ISIS (IŞID)* denilen Şerir tarafından, Irakta ki yerleşkelerimizden sürülmüş durumdayız. Tahrip etmekten ve öldürmekten başka bir şey bilmeyen bu Şerir hayal edilemeyecek bir şekilde halklarımıza saldırmıştır. Çocuklar boğazlanmış, kadınlar tecavüze uğramış ve satılmış, erkekler katil ve işkence edilmişlerdir. IŞİD’e karşı savaş bir dinsel savaş değildir fakat temelde insanlık adına bir savaştır. 
Bu mevcut krizin ışığında, içinde halklarımızın her birinin ülkemizin bir parçası olarak tanınması ve etnik, kültür ve inanç kimliğimizin korunabilmesi yönünde çalışmak üzere ortak bir gelecek için bütünleştik.
Amacımız ülkemizin zengin çeşitliliğini sürdürmek ve katkıda bulunmak ve barış dolu ortak bir gelecek için aynı arzuları paylaşan komşu halkaların çabalarını desteklemektir.
Biz mağdurlar olarak işlem görmek istemiyoruz, biz Irak’ın eşit haklara sahip vatandaşları olarak tanınmak istiyoruz. 

Biz; tarihsel (ve hâlihazırda) yaşamakta olduğumuz topraklarımızda komşularımız için korkmadan ve kendi kimliğimizi gizlemeye gerek duymadan Türkmenler, Yezidi Kürtler ve Kaldaniler-Süryaniler-Asuriler kimliği ile Irak’ın eşit haklara sahip vatandaşları olarak tanınmaya ve kendi idari yönetimimize sahip olması gerektiği olduğu sonucuna vardık.
Biz Yezidi Kürtler Sinjar’a dönmek ve orada yaşamak istiyoruz, biz Türkmenler Irak’ta** ki kendi ana yurtlarımıza dönmek ve oralarda yaşamak istiyoruz ve biz Kaldaniler-Süryaniler-Asuriler Ninova yaylasına dönmek ve orada yaşamak istiyoruz. Biz hepimiz kendi yurtlarımızda dışlanmış azınlıklar değil fakat Irak yurttaşı ve Irak’ın kabullenilmiş halkları olarak yaşamak istiyoruz. Bu üzücü durumdur ki şimdi bizler karşı karşıya bırakılmaktayız.

Bu nedenledir ki bizim, hem Irak Kürdistan Bölgesi hükümeti hem de Irak Merkezi hükümeti ile uyumlu olan, yöresel bağımsızlığımızın ve kendi yönetimimizin olması gerekecektir.
Bu; Sinjar, Tal Afar, Tezehurmatu, Tuzhurmatu, Kifri ve Ninova bölgelerinde kendi meclisimizi seçecek ve bu meclislerin sorumluluğu altında kendi savunma gücümüzü oluşturacağız. Bu meclislerle biz kendi yönetimlerimizi kontrol edeceğiz***. Meclisler bu bölgelerde ki yaşayanlar söz sahibi olacaklar ve temsil edileceklerdir. Hepsi de eşit demokratik ve temel haklara sahip olacaklardır.

Bu bildirgede bahsedilen bölgelerde ki halklarımız**** ayırımcılık nedeniyle kendi gelişimlerinde geri kalmışlardır. Bu bölgeler için halklarımızın paylaşacağı Irak’ın varlıklarından özel yatırım fonuna ihtiyaç olacaktır. Daha fazlası, IŞİD’in sebep olduğu hasarlar ışığında AB’yi ve ABD’yi, bu bölgelerde gerektiğinde yeniden inşada kullanılmak için, kısa süreli ortak bir yeniden inşa fonu tahsis etmeye çağırıyoruz. Halklarımız bu fonlarla kendi topraklarını yeniden inşa etmek için çalışmayı dört gözle bekleyeceklerdir. Son olarak AB’den Irak’a tahsis edilen mevcut AB fonunu bizim halkımızın da paylaştığını gözlemesini talep ediyoruz. Bu yeni uygulamayı önerirken komşularımızdan izole edilmiş bir şekilde yaşamak istemiyoruz. Biz halklarımızın Iraklı Arap ve Kürt komşularımız birlikteliğimizi devam ettirmek istiyoruz. Dünyamızın muhteşem mozaiği, medeniyetler beşiği Ortadoğu’da, değişik halkların oluşturduğu emsalsiz birliktelikle yaşamak bizim en derin arzumuzdur.

AB’yi ve ABD’yi biz halklarımızla ve Kürt Bölgesel Yönetimiyle ve Irak Yönetimiyle birlikte çalışarak bu hedefleri gerçekleştirmeye davet ediyoruz. Kürt Bölgesel Yönetimini ve Irak Yönetimini, Irak’ın kültürel zenginliklerini muhafaza etmek ve başarıya ulaşmak için, bu sonuca ulaşmanın önemini idrak etmesini talep ediyoruz.

Federation of Ezidi Associations, Fikret Igrek – Head of Foreign Affairs: _____________________
Iraqi Turkmen Front, Dr. Hassan Aydinli – EU Representative: ________________________
European Syriac Union, Lahdo Hobil – President: ________________________________________

Dip notları :-

* Biz  Ninova Vilayetinde ki, Sinjar, Tal Afar ve Ninova Düzlüğünden; Kerkük vilayetinde ki, Türkmen alt idari bölgeleri Beşir ve Taze’den; Salahaddin Vilayetinde ki, Türkmen  alt idari bölgeleri Biravcili, Kara Naz, Çardağlı, Bastamlı ve Tuzhurmatu bölgesinde bulunan Türkmen Bayat kabilesine ait birçok köylerden; Diyala Vilayetinde ki, Kifri, Karatepe, Jalawla ve Salman Beg idari ve alt idari bölgelerinden sürüldük.

**Tal Afar, Beşir, Tazehurmatu, Biravcili, Amerli, Kara Naz, Kifri, Kara Tepe, Jalawla ve Salman Beg vb.

*** Türkmen halkı; Tal Afar’ın ve Tuzhurmatu’nun iki büyük idari bölgesinin Irak’ın 19ncu ve 20nci vilayetleri statüsüne yükseltilmesini ve Kerkük Eyalet anlaşmazlığının, Irak’ın 8 Mart 2004 tarihli Geçici İdari Kanununun 53 ncü Maddesi C. Fıkrasına göre (Kerkük’ün Özel Statüsü)  ve üç ana etnik toplum arasında eşit güç paylaşımı ile çözümlenmesi arzu ederler. Kaldani-Süryani-Asuri (CSA) halkları; Özerklik bölgesinin Ninova Düzlüğünün 3 idari bölgesinden ve Ninova Düzlüğünde ki Alqosh’tan başlayarak Musul Barajına, Fayda’dan Fishaboor dahil Simele’ye kadar olmasın arzu ederler.  Bu özerk bölge bahsedilen şartarla Irak Kürdistan’ının bir parçası olacaktır.  Birçok CSA halkı Kürdistan’nın Kanimasi (Berwari Bala coğrafyası),  Sanrsing (Wadi d’Sapna coğrafyası) ve Aqra (Nahla Düzlüğünde) idari bölgeleri ile birlikte, Erbil ayaletinde ( Shaklawa, Ankawa, Diyana ve Hawdiyan) ve Sülemaniye ayaletinde (Armota ve Köysancak) bölgelerinde yaşamaktadırlar.  CSA halkı bu bahsedilen bölgelerin kendi özerk idare ve kanunların altında olmasını arzu ederler. Bağdat, Basra, Kerkük ve Musul’da yaşayan CSA halkı bu özerkliğe sahip olacaktır. CSA halkı ve Yezidi Kürtler, Ninova Düzlüğünde (Shekhan idari bölgesi ve Lalesh) ki Yezidi çoğunluğun bulunduğu yerlerde mahdut ve eşit haklar sağlayan çözümlere erişmek için, birlikte çalışacaklardır. Yezidi Kürtler, bahsedilen şartlar altında, Sinjar’ın Irak Kürdistan’ına dâhil edilmesini arzu ederler. Ek olarak Akra idari bölgesinde Hanik’in ve Duhok vilayetinde Shariya’nın kendi özerk idare ve kanunların altında yaşamasını arzu ederler. 

**** Sinjar, Tal Afar ve Ninova Düzlüğü ; Kerkük vilayeti ve etrafında ki Türkmen idari bölgeleri ile birlikte; Salaheddin vilayetinde Tuzhurmatu idari bölgesi ve Diyala vilayetinde Kifri idari bölgesi.

                                  (Dip notları bu bildirgenin tamamlayıcı unsurlarıdır)