From: Haluk Demirbag, BSc [mailto:[email protected]]
IRAQI TURKMEN MESSAGE TO THE EUROPEAN UNION
By Ayoub Bazzaz (BSc, MSc, PhD, DPSI) The Chairman of Iraqi Turkmen Rights Advocating Committee (ITRAC)-UK, and UN-NGO.
The halls of the European Parliament in Brussels witnessed on June 23rd 2008 a remarkable conference over the Kerkuk crisis regarding the invalidity of article 140 of the Iraqi referendum and the possibilities of finding fair alternatives. The one day conference has been organised by the Unrepresentative Nations and People Organization (UNPO) via a personal effort of Dr. Sheith Jerjis, the chairman of SOITM (Iraqi Turkmen Human Rights Research Foundation) based in the Netherlands. The total number of delegates, Turkmen activists and attendees were over one hundred gathered from Iraq and the European countries representing various Turkmen National and human rights organisations and personnel. The conference started at 1.00 pm by a speech being delivered by the deputy of Mr. Marino Busdachin, the general secretary of the UNPO addressed to highlight the objectives of the conference and raised the concerns to the necessities of solving the Kerkuk’s problem in a peaceful way and to raise awareness within the European communities. The speech also implied suggestion to protect the Turkmen human rights from breach due to the unlawful Kurdish occupation of Turkmen lands within the Iraqi territories and to prevent any violence which may erupt should the situation further worsens.
Dr. Jerjis highlighted the demographic history of Kerkuk and its Turkmen people human rights which have been dissimilated by the two main Kurdish parties the PUK and KDP, their militia and the Kurdish occupants since April 2003. He referred to many previous published sources in different languages i.e. Arabic, Iraqi and Western publications to confirm the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk and its surroundings and its original people to be of Turkmen majority with very few tribes of both Arabs and Kurdish resided mainly in a small town to the North East of Kerkuk i.e. Chamjamal (Forest of Jamal, in Turkmen language). The interest of Kurdish leaderships in Kerkuk, the oil rich city, the best oil qualities with natural gas and sulphur and the vast fertile lands had attracted a huge wave of thousands of Kurdish population on politically oriented objectives by the Kurdish leadership of KDP and PUK. His speech also referred to Mosul province so as to Erbil, Diyal and Salahaddin cities to be of majority of Turkmen. Since the occupation in 2003, the demography of particularly the city of Kerkuk has reversely been changed via regular kurdification procedure (importing over half million of Kurds to the Turkmen lands (Turkmeneli), forcefully displacing them from their properties and replacing them with Kurdish immigrants who have never seen or been in Kerkuk before. Followed by the deportation of thousands of local Turkmen families and importing over half a million Kurdish families from the neighbour countries i.e. Turkey, Syria and Iran apart from Northern Kurdish villages. The latest two elections of Kerkuk were forcefully and dramatically forged too by the irregularities conducted by the Kurdish occupants. The Kurdish media also played a dirty role in misleading the Westerns and Americans by publishing untrue information about the history of the region geography and the Kurdish sufferings in order to attract their sympathy to the Kurds i.e. the victims of Halabja has been magnified to 5000 while the actual number did not exceed 50 only. In addition, the racist mentality and the unwise policy adopted by Kurdish occupants and their armed forces (Peshmerga) would amplify the extremism leading to further complications of Kerkuk problem if it is not fairly sorted.
Dr. Musaffer Arsalan, the chancellor of the Iraqi President for Turkmen affairs, focused on the injustice policy of Kurdish occupation against other ethnicities in the north to establish an ever lasting crisis. He demanded the European Union, European Governments, European Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to pressurise the Kurdish leadership, the present Iraqi Government as well as the American administration to replace the mentality of the force with justice, fairness and equality. He also referred to the possible ethnic conflict should the following are not adopted:
1). To stop claiming Kerkuk, Salahaddin, Diyala and other Turkmen lands as part of Kurdistan;
2). To remove all armed Kurdish militia (Peshmerga) as well as the Kurdish administration from the Non-Kurdish areas and replace them with local forces;
3). To allow the Turkmen and Keldoassyrian of the north to establish their own self-governing territories;
4). Establish a Federation of Northern Iraq as independent from the above ethnicities to be a part of federal Iraq.
Dr. Arsalan also focused on the fact that application of unfavourable decisions by the Kurds upon others will lead to intimidation, vengeance, hate and an endless conflict to the Northern Iraq. The option of establishing a Turkmen government of a secular, peaceful and democratic one based on human rights would be even more advantageous as an alternative.
It was followed by a speech delivered by Miss Anne M. Gomes (Portuguese) from the European Parliament who had visited the Northern Iraq and confirmed the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk and its surroundings also tackled the woes and crisis of Kerkuk should a peaceful solution is not put in place.
Mr Yakob Jaiio, representative of the Iraqi Keldo-Assyrians emphasized on the ancient Iraqi history and the role of Keldo-Assyrian in referring to many towns and cities i.e. Dehuk, Sinjar, Mosul surroundings etc being occupied by the Kurdish occupants. He also invited the UN to interfere and play a stronger role in adopting a fair policy in solving their issue in Iraq.
Delegates from Iraq i.e. Mr. Ali Medi Sadiq tackled the whole demographical changes by the Kurdish occupants since April 2003 in a way that Saddam’s Government failed to achieve within 35 years. His speech was confirmed and backed up by Mr. Muhammed Khaneef, the Arabic member of Local Kerkuk Council who also referred to the comprehensive domination of the Kurdish authorities on every single aspect of Kerkuk administration.
Mr. Akram Al-Ubaidi the UK representative of Kerkuk Arab group referred to the unfair and uneven allocation of posts and the domination of Kurdish member of staffs over Kerkuk’s local government which does cause further irritation and chaos between Turkmen and Arabs. Dr. Hassan Aydinly (ITC representative of Belgium) showed the attendees pictures and a list of names for Turkmen activist being assassinated in the day light by the Kurdish militia since April 2003. He also emphasized on several thousands of hectares of lands being confiscated by the Kurdish administration to Kerkuk.
Mr. Ameen’s speech delivered by Muhammad Koja (in Arabic) focused on the various irregularities and the unfair treatments so far since 2003 being carried out by Kurds. Unfair disposition of Turkmen families and occupations of their lands in Kerkuk province i.e. occupation of houses, military units factories, plants football stadium, Khalid camp houses of previous army officers and many are still continued by equal supervision of the two Kurdish leading parties PUK and KDP.
Dr. Ayoub Bazzaz the chairman of Iraqi Turkmen Rights Advocating Committee (ITRAC)-UK intervened by highlighting the fact that the original crisis of oil and mineral rich Kerkuk city began in late fifties upon Kurdish intention to establish a Kurdish State in the future. It is a creative crisis in order to claim possession and then to corporate it to their state as without its wealth such a state cannot be established. Kerkuk has not been a multicultural city but rather a majority Turkmen city. The multi-cultural (or multi ethnicity) nature; again, is creative idiom being abused to achieve political interests by the Kurdish and previously by Arabs. The present so called “federalism” is established to be a first step to divide Iraq into parts and prior to declare the Kurdistan as an independent state in a few years time. If the so called referendum over Kerkuk is held will no doubt be for the favour of Kurds as the ethnic demography of Kerkuk has completely been changed upside down towards the favour of the Kurds. The previous elections have also been forged by the Kurds for their favour so as the article 140 which was dictated by Kurdish member of the Iraqi Parliament to guarantee Kerkuk as a part of Kurdistan. We also condemn the unfair and the comprehensive and the unlimited support of the USA administrative towards the Kurds which clearly is against the will of other Iraqis particularly the Turkmen. There also is no role of Turkey in the present Kerkuk crisis except that Turkey does always call for the unity of all Iraqi ethnics to establish a peace and prosperity to the region. However, we look forward that Turkey plays more direct diplomatic and positive role in solving Turkmen crisis. We strongly dispute the call of Najerfan Barzani for Power sharing statement as it is absolutely a trick to compromise the situation.
An in-advanced paid gang of Kurdish scum infiltrated to the conference in order to raise suspicions over the creditability of the speeches being delivered by the delegates and to create a chaos. However, their allegations were disputed, and was challenged who therefore vanished from the seen.
The role of UNPO will be appreciated in raising awareness to the very injustice occupation of Turkmen lands by the Kurdish militia who are lead by the two Kurdish parties; the PUK and KDP. While the article 140 has failed to achieve its goal within the time scale being fixed and therefore is no longer valid, the referendum over Kerkuk destiny should be absolutely unacceptable. The fair solution would therefore be by withdrawal of all Kurdish militia from the Kerkuk and other Turkmen lands and let Kerkuk be governed by its majority Turkmen people shared by the minority Kurds and Arabs. Otherwise, there might be a strong call for establishing a Turkmen Regional State (Turkmenistan) to be a part of Iraq and entirely independent of Kurdish region.
We also urge all the Human Rights Organization Groups to consider the attention to the long lasting and the continuous sufferings of the Iraqi Turkmen who have always been victims of successive Iraqi Governments as well as the occupant Kurds. The Turkmen crisis has recently further escalated by the Kurdish occupants by claiming their lands and does alert the world to clear breach of human rights.