mercredi 30 mars 2011

Iraqis welcome Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Iraqis hold the Turkish flag as they wait for the arrival of the convoy carrying Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan along the airport road upon his arrival in Baghdad on March 28. Erdogan arrived in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq on Tuesday, a day after he said that Kurdish rebel bases in the territory were an obstacle to strengthening neighbourly ties with Baghdad. (AFP/File/Ahmad al-Rubaye)

Crisis Group Warns Kirkuk Might Cause Break-up of Iraq



ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan: As the United States prepare for their scheduled complete withdrawal from Iraq by the end of the year, the continuation of tensions over land and resources among Iraq’s various ethnic groups could trigger a serious conflict that might pull Iraq into a state of “political paralysis” or “break-up,” warns the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) in a report on the current state of the disputed territories in northern Iraq.

The 40-page report, published on Monday, cautions against the stand-off between the Iraqi army and the Kurdish peshmarga forces in areas such as Kirkuk, which could “augur trouble for the period after US withdrawal.” In late February, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) dispatched thousands of peshmarga troops to Kirkuk and some other disputed areas in the north of Iraq, with the stated aim of trying to ward off any potential threats caused by a scheduled mass Arab protest across Kirkuk province and other areas. Kurdish officials had accused “terrorists” and elements loyal to the former regime of Saddam Hussein of attempting to use the protests as a pretext to bring down the Kurdish-controlled administrations in Kirkuk and districts in northern Diyala province.

But, the deployment of Kurdish forces created anxiety among some sections of Kirkuk’s population, according to the ICG’s report. “The Kurds are blocking Iraqi forces from entering Kurdistan without their permission, while Kurdish forces can leave their jurisdiction [at will] and come to Kirkuk,” Jamal Shan, head of the Iraqi National Turcoman Party, told the ICG. “We are concerned about the American policy, which is always right behind the Kurds. We are all aware of this American-Kurdish alliance.” The tensions in Kirkuk escalated considerably after the deployment of the peshmarga forces to the city and remarks by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, that described Kirkuk as “Kurdistan’s Jerusalem,” implying that Kurds would not let the city go.

In a statement, Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni Arab, called on all parties to “deal with Kirkuk in a way that suits its social and cultural make-up and protects peaceful coexistence among its components,” adding that the key to a solution to the Kirkuk issue was “coexistence and true partnership.” The oil-rich, multi-ethnic province of Kirkuk has been at the heart of decades-long tensions between Kurds on the one side, and other ethnic groups, particularly Arabs and the Iraqi government, on the other. Joost Hiltermann, deputy director of the ICG’s Middle East program, told Rudaw that “unless either a political deal is reached…or a workable alternative arrangement to the combined security mechanism is created without a direct US troop presence,” the chances of conflict in the ethnically-mixed areas of northern Iraq will increase.

Since August 2009, Iraq, Kurdish and US forces have formed joint patrols in the disputed areas as a confidence-building measure to pave the way for joint work between Iraqi and Kurdish troops after the pull-out of US military forces from Iraq. Hiltermann said that, despite early US “acquiescence to the Kurds' control of Kirkuk,” the US was now “increasingly impatient with Kurdish unilateral moves that could cause instability once US troops withdraw.” However, Kurdish officials say the presence of their forces in the disputed areas is meant to establish stability in these volatile regions.

Jabar Yawar, spokesman for the Kurdish Ministry of Peshmarga, said all the extra troops deployed to Kirkuk and other disputed areas had now returned to their bases in the Kurdistan region as the threats in those areas had “for the time being vanished.” But, he said there were currently four battalions of peshmarga forces in the disputed areas, in line with an agreement between the Iraqi government and the KRG. “We will have regular meetings with the Iraqi and US sides in the next eight months in order to agree on a mechanism of cooperation to ensure stability in Kirkuk and other areas,” Yawar told Rudaw. As part of a “status of forces agreement” between the US and Iraqi governments in 2008, the US has to withdraw all its forces from Iraq by the end of 2011.

But, there have been unverified media reports that the US might leave behind a residual force to train and advise the Iraqi military beyond that date. Some observers have suggested that the US should keep some troops in the disputed regions in order to avert any possibility of conflict in those areas. Yawar said that, as Kurds, they wanted the US forces to stay in Kirkuk after 2011, but “it is up to the Iraqi and US governments to make a deal on whether the US troops should stay in Iraq or not.”

In order to facilitate an agreement on the disputed areas, the ICG advises the Iraqi and Kurdish governments to “resume negotiations on the full range of pertinent issues, including the status of disputed territories, a hydrocarbons law, a revenue-sharing law, provincial elections in Kirkuk and a national census.” It also calls for Kirkuk to be granted a “special status as a stand-alone governorate, under neither Baghdad’s nor Erbil’s direct control, for an interim period,” and for the devising of a “mechanism for ultimately resolving its status with a power-sharing arrangement in which political representatives of the main ethnic and religious groups are represented fairly.” While concerns about the fate of Kirkuk persist, there are signs that a possible deal among the province’s various ethnic groups might be possible.

In what appeared to be a deal between the Kurds and Kirkuk’s main Turcoman party, the province’s top administrators were replaced Tuesday. Najmaddin Karim, a member of Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and Hassan Turhan, a senior official of the Iraqi Turcoman Front (ITF), now occupy the posts of governor and head of Kirkuk’s Provincial Council respectively. The two posts were, until now, occupied by two Kurdish officials.

The change could represent a deal between the Kurdish and Turcoman parties to divide power, perhaps reflecting the improving ties between Iraqi Kurds and Turkey. Several past agreements between the Kurds and successive Iraqi governments have collapsed because of disagreements over the fate of Kirkuk, resulting in renewed conflict. Following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kurds managed to assert control over the local administrations in Kirkuk and Kurdish-dominated parts of Diyala and Nineveh provinces.

But, their domination of those areas has met with stiff resistance from many ethnic Arabs and Turcomans, who fear the Kurds are planning a change of demography in their own favor in the disputed areas. Iraq’s constitution, drafted in 2005, has set up a roadmap for the peaceful settlement of the fate of the disputed areas. The roadmap calls for the allowing of families expelled from these areas – mostly Kurds and Turcomans – to return to their homes, while demanding Arab families brought to Kirkuk and other disputed territories by Hussein’s government to be compensated so that they can go back to their original areas in the southern and central parts of the country.

It also mandates a population census in the disputed areas, to be followed by a referendum where the areas’ residents will decide whether they want to join the Kurdistan region or be governed by the federal government in Baghdad. Although the roadmap was to be implemented by the end of 2007, the process is still in its early stages, with no clear date in sight as to when the referendum will take place.

With a comprehensive deal concerning Kirkuk yet to emerge, Hiltermann called on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to publicly release a report it had drafted in 2009 that contains recommendations for possible solutions to the disputed areas. “[UNAMI] should now release [the report] and facilitate the start of direct talks between Baghdad and Erbil. If it has been quiet, it has been because Iraqis were immersed in electoral politics, the elections, and then forming a government, but it now no longer has this excuse.

It's time for UNAMI to step up to the plate. It is not visibly doing so yet,” said Hiltermann.

mardi 29 mars 2011

Turkish Premier Erdogan in Iraq

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 BAGHDAD (A.A) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is currently visiting Iraq, met with Turkmen ministers and parliamentarians over dinner on Monday. The gathering was closed to press. Deputies; Sheikh Taki al-Mevla, Ersad Salihi, Jale Neftci, Hasan Ozmen, Mudrike Ahmet, Nebil Harbo, Muhammed Osman, Abbas Bayati, and ministers Turhan Muftu and Casim Muhammed Cafer attended the dinner.

Prior to the dinner, Erdogan separately met with Ammar al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI), Iyad Allawi, the leader of the Iraqi List, and Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the leader of the National Alliance.

lundi 28 mars 2011

Turkmen, Kurd students clash in Iraq’s Kirkuk

Turkmen, Kurd students clash in Iraq’s Kirkuk (Reuters) 28 March 2011 KIRKUK, Iraq - Hundreds of Turkmen and Kurdish students clashed on Monday in Iraq’s disputed northern city of Kirkuk after Turkmen students tried to hold a ceremony to mark the deaths of Turkmen killed under Saddam Hussein.

Kirkuk, which sits above large oil reserves and is ethnically divided between Turkmen, Kurds and Arabs, is a flashpoint of conflict.

Nine students and three policemen were wounded in the clashes at Kirkuk Technical Institute, according to sources at Kirkuk’s hospital and its military operations centre. A Reuters reporter at the scene said riot police had been deployed and the city’s police chief arrived to separate the fighting sides. The fighting broke out when Turkmen students sought to hold a ceremony to honour their dead. A similar ceremony was held last week to honour Kurds killed under Saddam in a 1988 poison gas attack in the town of Halabja. “A few days ago Kurds were marking the events of Halabja, and we did nothing to stop them. Today we have a day for Turkmen martyrs, and they prevented us from observing it because they are racist,” said Turkmen student Aydin Mohammed, 19. Ahmed Kareem, 20, a Kurdish student, blamed “people from outside the institute” for fomenting the violence. “We don’t have any problem with the Turkmen students. They asked us if they could carry their flags and we don’t have a problem. But shots were fired and Kurdish students became upset. After that there were harsh words and that developed into fighting. People who were not students created this problem.” Deputy police chief Torhan Abdulrahman told Reuters the situation had been resolved and the violence surpressed. Kirkuk’s status is one of Iraq’s thorniest political issues. Kurds would like to add Kirkuk to their nearby semi-autonomous region, but Arabs and Turkmen in the city oppose this.

بيان الجبهة التركمانية حول الاعتداء الوحشي على الطلبة التركمان من قبل ازلام الحزبين الكرديين

بيان الجبهة التركمانية حول الاعتداء الوحشي على الطلبة التركمان من قبل ازلام الحزبين الكرديين

بلغ السيل الزبى، جملة تكفي لوصف ما ارتكبته مجاميع طلابية كردية، قيل انها تتبع الحزب الديمقراطي الكردي، في المعهد الفني في كركوك في العاشرة من صباح اليوم 28 اذار اذ كانت مجاميع طلابية تركمانية تحاول احياء الذكرى العشرين لمجزرتي تازة و التون كوبري، و كانت الشرارة الأولى منع دخولهم الى المعهد و كان بينهم طلابا حضروا الاحياء الكردي لجريمة حلبجة متوقعين ان الطرف الآخر سيتعامل معهم بالمثل، و لكن! فوجيء الطلبة التركمان بأن الطلبة الأكرادكانوا مخططين للمنع و بدأوا برمي الحجارة و قطع الطابوق على الطلبة التركمان و ترهيبهم بالسلاح من قبل عناصر الميليشيات الكردية التي تصول و تجول في كركوك و امام انظار المسؤولين و تعرض العشرات الى جروح،و تمت مضايقة الطالبات التركمانيات دون أي وازع اخلاقي و ضرب بعضهن ان التصرفات العنجهية التكريدية اصبحت اكثر مما يطاق بسبب الميليشيات الكردية و التابعة للحزبين و التي تغص بعناصرها كركوك و رفض قياداتها للانسحاب برغم من وجودها او اجتياحها غير الشرعي و غير الدستوري لكركوك لابد من خطوة رسمية لتفسير ما يحدث و لابد من محاسبة الذين ارتكبوا جريمة هذا اليوم سواء ان كانوا من الطلبة الأكراد او بعض عناصرالأسايش او بعض ضباط و عناصر الشرطة من الأكراد و الذين يفترض بهم حفظ الأمن و الأمان و اعتقال مرتكبي الهجمات، لكنهم مع الأسف اصطفوا مع الطرف المعتدي، لأنهم جميعا يعملون لتنفيذ الأجندة التكريدية. ولابد لمجلس النواب ان يناقش بجدية ما يجري في كركوك و ان يتخذ قرارا حاسما ينفذ و ليس للمماطلة كما حدث مع قرارات ازالة التجاوزات او تحديث سجل الناخبين و غيرها بلغ السيل الزبى ولابد من وقفة حاسمة ضد العنجهية التكريدية. نسأل الله ان يرحم الشهداء التركمان و ان يمن على جرحى جريمة اليوم بالشفاء العاجل الدائرة الاعلامية

Sabah Al-Mukhtar, President Arab Lawyers Association/GB speaks at a protest and solidarity meeting with Iraq's manifesting people

Sabah Al-Mukhtar, president Arab Lawyers Association/GB speaks at a protest and solidarity meeting on 19 March 2011 with Iraq's manifesting people.

Everywhere, from north to south, people defy repression and barriers to make their voices heard. Many people have been shot dead, journalists, media, radio and TV stations are attacked. To the highest degree, that includes Iraqi Kurdistan. Journalists are beaten and tortured. Their offices are destroyed by security forces.160 attacks on the media reported during the two weeks demonstration of the JFO(Journalist Freedoms Observatory).

Iraqis calls the alarm, like whistleblowers.Political prisoners are being killed in prison or taken away to an unknown location. Many activists have been arrested. To the extent that they are released, the testify to Amnesty International of torture and ill treatment. In many cases, protesters are reported to have disappeared. The systematic, and since the start of the occupation, ongoing campaign against Iraq's higher education, have three professors been reported murdered in late February and early March. The protests have now spread to the universities. In the village of Huweija Saladdinprovince, American soldiers attacked several houses from the air. A doctor was killed and his brother were arrested. U.S. army reported patrol in many Iraqi cities. Four U.S. soldiers were killed last Thursday in an attack in Baghdad. The occupation is not over!

The collection for Fallujah: pg 11673-1



vendredi 25 mars 2011

Disputes Over Peshmerga In Iraq's Tamim Province Continue

Disputes Over Peshmerga In Iraq's Tamim Province Continue

On February 25, 2011, the date of the Day of Rage protests in Iraq, around 5,000 Kurdish peshmerga moved west of the disputed city of Kirkuk. Kurdish politicians claimed they were only there to protect against terrorist threats, but the real reason was to guard against the demonstrations getting out of hand. The deployment has set off new tensions not only within Tamim between the Kurds, Turkmen, and Arabs, but between the major parties in Iraq, and with Turkey. The main dispute between all the sides is over when and if the peshmerga will withdraw.

The Peshmerga Minister Jaffar Mustafa and the Speaker of the Kurdish parliament Kamal Kirkuki claimed that they would not leave until the province was stable, while the deputy Peshmerga Minister said that they were there because of an agreement between Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and U.S. forces. Later, a Kurdish politician told AK News on March 15 that the Kurdish forces would be out in two weeks. Speaker of the Iraqi parliament Osama Nujafi repeated that claim as well.

The United States was allegedly behind this deadline, but the speaker of the Kurdish Coalition in the legislature denied there was any agreement. No date has obviously been set for their removal, but the Kurdish forces are likely to be called back when the threat of more protests in Tamim is over.

While the peshmerga are still to the West of Kirkuk, others inside and outside the province continue to complain. On March 17 for example, a Turkmen parliamentarian stated that the Kurdish forces were raising tensions within Tamim, and that their presence was illegal.

A lawmaker from the Iraqi National Movement wanted the peshmerga out before the two weeks because they were only making the situation worse. A Turkish paper also claimed that a delegation from Ankara led by the deputy foreign minister traveled to Kurdistan on March 6, and met with KRG President Massoud Barzani to discuss the peshmerga presence. All of these groups are worried that the Kurds are trying to change the fragile balance between them, the Arabs, and Turkmen that exists within the province.

The new peshmerga force is probably only temporary, but the KRG will not order them home until they are sure that there will be no more demonstrations in the governorate. The statements in opposition to their presence highlight the confluence of regional, national, and international interests that are involved with Tamim. Because it is at the heart of the disputed territories within Iraq, many major parties are concerned about events there. Some want Kirkuk to be annexed to Kurdistan, some want it to remain under central government control, while still others have advocated for special status.

The new peshmerga forces threaten to change the status quo, which has existed since the 2003 American invasion. It’s exactly that fear that is inspiring all the demands for their withdrawal by Turkmen, Arabs, the Iraqi National Movement, and the Turks. The Kurds can end this dispute, but won’t until they feel their interests are secure.

Ahmed, Hevidar, “Minister rejects U.S. demand for Kurdish troops’ withdrawal from Kirkuk,”

AK News, 3/4/11AK News, “Peshmerga forces protect Kirkuk,” 3/3/11

Alsumaria, “Iraq Kurdistan Speaker defends Peshmerga Forces in Kirkuk,” 3/18/11- “Iraq Security Ministers appointment delayed,” 3/17/11

Aziz, Younis, “Kirkuk not Turkey’s business, says KRG official,”

AK News, 3/9/11Al-Jaff, Wissam, “KBC denies US demands to withdraw Peshmerga from Kirkuk,”

AK News, 3/16/11Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “More Iraqi Deputies Criticize Kurdish Peshmerga Deployment,” 3/18/11

Rostam, Nabaz, “Coalition forces set deadline for peshmerga withdrawal from Kirkuk,” AK News, 3/15/11

“ITC Başkanı Dr.Sadettin ERGEÇ,Kerkük' te ITC Başkanlık makamında, Telafer Türkmen Aşiret ve Ayan Meclisi heyetini kabul ederek görüştü”

Konu / ITC Başkanı Dr.Sadettin ERGEÇ, Telafer Türkmen Aşiret ve Ayan Meclisi'nden Bir Heyeti Kabulü...

“ITC Başkanı Dr.Sadettin ERGEÇ,Kerkük' te ITC Başkanlık makamında, Telafer Türkmen Aşiret ve Ayan Meclisi heyetini kabul ederek görüştü”

Görşmede ,Irak ve Türkmenlerle ilgili son gelişmeler ele alındı.
Dr. ERGEÇ,heyeti kabulünde,"dost ve kardeş ülke Türkiye' nin himayesinde,Telaferliler arasındas varılan uzlaşmayı,sevinçle karşıladığını" söylüyerek,"Türkiye nin etnik ve mezhepsel fark gözetmeksizin her zaman Iraklıların yanında yer aldığını" dedi .

Dr.ERGEÇ,"Irak Türkmen Cephesi,her zaman Türkmenler için, sadık bir kucaklayıcı,meşru haklarının yılamaz savuncusu,insani yaşamsal isteklerini karşılıyan şefkatlı babacan bir himayetçi olmuştu ve öyle kalmaya devam edecektir" diyerek, "Telafer' in güçlü olması Türkmenlerin güçlü olması demektir ve Allah muhafaza Telafer zayıf düşerse o zaman Türkmenlerde zayıflaşacak ve dolayısıyla Irak'ın varlığı ve istikrarının devamlılığı ve ulusal birliği zayıflıyacaktır"diye sözlerine devam etti.

Bu arada,Dr.ERGEÇ, Telaferliler arasında kardeşlik ruhuna vurgu yaparak ," ITC'nin, Telafer'de gerçekleştirilen uzlaşma sürecini sürdürmek için,her türlü hayırlı çabaların arkasında olduğunun"altını çizdi.

Telafer Türkmen Aşiret ve Ayan Meclisi Başkanı Sayın Hazım HİMMETOĞLU' da yaptığı konuşmada,"kendilerinin kardeş komşu ülke Türkiye' ye, himaye ettiği ve kucakladığı Telaferliler arasında ki uzlaşma insiyatifine karşı,minnet ve şükran duyduklarını, Telaferlilerin arasında kardeşlik uzlaşmasını sağlam bir zemine eriştirene kadar ,varılan uzlaşmanın aktivasyonunu sürdürmek ve bileşenlerini pekiştirmek için şiddetli bir şekilde istekli olduklarını",belirtti.

Irak Türkmen Cephesi
Başkan -Ofisi

الموضوع / استقبال الدكتور سعد الدين أركيج لوفد مجلس عشائر وأعيان التركمان في تلعفر

dimanche 20 mars 2011

Decline Of Iraqi Women Empowerment
Through Education Under the American
Occupation of Iraq 2003-2011

Souad Al-Azzawi, Associate Professor. Baghdad, Iraq.

Paper presented in International Seminar on the Situation of the Iraqi Academics.
Ghent University, Belgium. March 9-11, 2011.



Abdurrahman Kızılay

Türkmeneli Vatanımız…

Iraq plans $700m irrigation system to grow wheat

Iraq plans $700m irrigation system to grow wheat
Aims to increase production by over 60%
Published: 00:00 March 19, 2011

Baghdad: Major wheat importer Iraq plans to start an eight-year, $700 million irrigation programme this year, part of a plan to increase wheat production by more than 60 per cent to three million tonnes.

Anger at rising food prices has been an explosive ingredient in the mix of grievances that triggered the fall of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, and is now putting the heat on authorities in Iraq and other Arab countries.

Iraq's population of around 30 million consumes at least 4.5 million tonnes of wheat annually, with much of its imported wheat and rice going towards a huge public food ration programme.
It produced 1.86 million tonnes of wheat last year.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Gazi Al Aboudi said the plan included the installation of irrigation systems across two million acres (0.8 million hectares) of land and added 1.875 million acres of wheat would be planted.
"God willing the project will start by the last quarter of this year ... [and wheat] production will be at three million tonnes [by 2019]," Al Aboudi told Reuters in an interview, adding the project was also aimed at helping reduce the amount of water used to irrigate Iraq's lands.

Severe drought
Decades ago, Iraq's bread basket was a leading producer, but years of war, sanctions and neglect have hit the agriculture sector hard. A chronic water shortage and severe drought in recent years have also hurt production.

Aboudi said the ministry had set aside 40 billion Iraqi dinars ($34 million) to buy 3,000 sprinklers for the project and that it had recently approved a tender to buy around 500 irrigation systems from European and US firms.

Iraq complains that hydroelectric dams and irrigation in Turkey, Iran and Syria have reduced water flow in its main rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris.

Investment in dilapidated infrastructure like water pumps is vital for the agriculture and oil sectors, as well as a broader reconstruction effort eight years after a US-led invasion.
To encourage investment in the agriculture industry, Iraq's government had set up a $500 million a year fund from the federal government budget to be given as soft loans, without interest, to farmers and investors, Aboudi said.
"The efforts of the agricultural initiative fund are focused on all crops but the priority is for the strategic crops (wheat and rice)," Al Aboudi said.

He said 84 billion Iraqi dinars had also been set aside this year to give interest-free soft loans to livestock farmers and investors looking to develop the agriculture industry.

Farming is Iraq's largest employer, but it trails far behind the all-important oil sector in terms of economic output and very little investment has been put into the industry so far.

samedi 19 mars 2011

Gaza... Libye: deux poids, deux mesures

Gaza... Libye: deux poids, deux mesures
Vendredi 18 mars 2011 5 18 /03 /Mars /2011 16:47

De Bernard Cornut*
Suite à l'article du Monde daté 17 mars p. 20 sous le titre "Oui, il faut intervenir en Libye et vite!" (1), peut-on imaginer que les auteurs signent le même depuis Gaza bombardée et encerclée, pour demander que le Conseil de Sécurité donne son feu vert à "tous les moyens nécessaires " envers l'Etat israélien?

Cette expression inacceptable de "tous les moyens nécessaires" avait déjà été utilisée contre l'Iraq par le Conseil de Sécurité dont les 5 membres permanents se sont mis mutuellement à l'abri de toute condamnation par leur droit de veto.

Il y a 100 ans l'armée italienne débarquait en Tripolitaine au nom de la civilisation !
Jamais plus deux poids et deux mesures.

Il faut réformer le Conseil de Sécurité pour qu'il soit juste et représentatif, et rendre applicable le traité de Rome de la Cour Pénale Internationale à tous les Etats, sans exception.

Ingénieur, écrivain, président de l'association " Jamais plus 2 poids et 2 mesures! For a Just UNO." - Courriel :

(1) Oui, il faut intervenir en Libye et vite!
La résolution 1973 du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU sur la Libye:

Sur France-Irak Actualité :

vendredi 18 mars 2011

Kerkük’te Denge Yeniden Kuruluyor

Bilgay Duman, ORSAM Ortadoğu Uzmanı

Artık klişe haline gelen söylemle Irak’ın denge noktası Kerkük’te yeni bir dönüşüm yaşanıyor. ABD’nin 2003’te Irak’a girişinin ardından Kerkük’e yönelik Kürt gruplar tarafından yapılan haksız müdahaleler ve sonrasında ABD yönetiminin Kerkük’teki yönetim dengesini Kürt grupların lehine oluşturması, Kerkük’teki anlaşmazlıkların odak noktası haline gelmiştir.

Saddam sonrası dönemde il yönetimlerinin belirlenmesi amacıyla her vilayette olduğu gibi ve bu çerçevede Kerkük’te de seçimler yapılmıştır. Ancak seçim, ABD’nin yanlı tavırları sonucunda sıkıntılı geçmiştir. Seçim için kentteki Türkmen, Arap, Kürt ve Asurî grupların her birinden 39, toplam 156 temsilci il meclisinin 24 üyesini, ABD'nin “bağımsız” delege olarak Kerküklü işadamları ve aşiret liderleri arasından seçtiği 144 temsilci ise ABD güçlerinin onayına sunulacak 12 kişilik “bağımsız” listeyi belirlemek için sandığa gitmiştir. Her grubu temsilen altışar kişi seçilerek il meclisinin 24 üyesi belirlenmiştir.

Bağımsız olarak seçilen 12 adaydan da dönemin ABD güçlerinin komutanı General Reymond Odierno, il yönetimindeki 6 kişilik bağımsız adayı tespit etmiştir. Ancak Türkmenler ve Araplar, ABD'nin bağımsız delegeleri belirleme tarzı, seçilen 144 delegenin büyük çoğunluğunun Kürt olması ve belirlenen 6 bağımsız temsilcinin de 5’inin Kürt olmasına itiraz etmiştir.(1)

İtirazlara rağmen Odierno kararı onaylamış ve ardından belirlenen il yönetiminde vali, vali yardımcıları ve konsey başkanı seçilmiştir. Oluşturulan 30 kişilik il yönetim heyeti Kürt asıllı Aburrahman Mustafa’yı vali olarak seçmiştir. Ayrıca meclis başkanı olarak da Mehmet Tahsin Kâhya, iki vali yardımcılığının birinin Arap diğerinin ise Türkmen olması kararlaştırılmıştır.(2)

Ancak bu durumu Türkmenler ve Araplar protesto etmiş ve bu haklarını kullanmamıştır. 30 Ocak 2005’te yapılan ilk yerel seçimlerde Kürt gruplar 41 üyeli il meclisinde 26, Türkmenler 9, Araplar ise 6 sandalyeye sahip olmuştur. Kürt grupların Kerkük yönetimindeki ağırlığı elde etmeleri nedeniyle, hem vali hem de vilayet meclisi başkanı Kürt gruplar tarafından belirlenmiştir.

Türkmen ve Arap üyeler Kürt grupların Kerkük’teki haksız uygulamalarını gerekçe göstererek, vilayet yönetimini çok kez protesto ederek, yönetimden çekilmiştir. 2005’te kabul edilen anayasada Kerkük’e özel bir durum atfedilerek, 140. Maddeyle Kerkük için 2007’nin sonuna kadar bir yol haritası çizilmiştir. Buna göre Kerkük’te demografik haksızlıkların giderilerek bir nüfus sayımı yapılması ve ardından Kerkük’ün statüsünü belirleyecek bir referandum yapılması öngörülmüştür. Kerkük’teki özellikle mülkiyet anlaşmalarının çözülmesi ve demografik haksızlıkların giderilmesi amacıyla 2011’e kadar dört ayrı komisyon kurulsa da Kerkük’teki sorunlar çözülmemiştir.

Kerkük’teki sorunların giderilmemesi nedeniyle 2007’nin sonunda yapılamayan referandum Kerkük’teki süreci belirsizliğe itmiştir. Özellikle Kerkük’teki mülk anlaşmazlıklarının çözülememesi ve halen 36 bine yakın davadan sadece 5 bine yakınının sonuçlanması, Kerkük’teki sorunun çözülmesinin uzun yıllar alacağını akıllara getirmektedir.

Kerkük Mülk Anlaşmazlıkları Komisyonuna göre 2011 yılına kadar sadece 2006’daki davalar bitirilebilmiştir. Yani 2011 yılına kadar beş yıllık dava dosyaları bulunmaktadır ve her geçen gün dava sayısı artmaktadır.Öte yandan 2009 Irak’ta yapılan yerel seçimlerden önce 2008 Temmuz’un da çıkan yerel seçim yasasında Kerkük için yeni bir yol haritası daha ortaya konmuştur.

Buna göre Kerkük’teki yönetimden Kürt, Türkmen ve Araplar’a yüzde 32, Hıristiyanlara ise yüzde 4 pay verilmesi ve Kerkük Vilayet Meclisi Başkanı’nın Türkmen olması öngörülmüştür. Ayrıca Kerkük’te bir nüfus sayımı yapılarak, haksızlıkların giderilmesi ve buna göre seçmen listelerinin oluşturularak, Kerkük’te yerel seçimlerin yapılması planlanmıştır. Ancak yine Kerkük’te süreç uygulanamayınca Kerkük’te yerel seçimler yapılamamış ve yönetim aynı şekilde devam etmiştir.

Kerkük’teki yönetimdeki dengesizlik, mülkiyet sorunların, Kerkük’teki sosyal, siyasi ve ekonomik sorunlar Kerkük’teki kırılma noktalarını genişletmiştir. Son dönemde Türkmenler, Araplar ve Kürtler arasında yaşanan olaylar Kerkük’teki tansiyonu daha da arttırmıştır. Kerkük’te son 5 aylık dönemde hem şiddetin artması hem de milis güçlerin Kerkük’e yönelik müdahale çabaları da kentteki ipleri gerilmesine yol açmıştır. Tunus ve Mısır olaylarının etkisinin Irak’ta da hissedilmesi ve Irak’taki hükümet ve yerel yönetimlere yönelik protesto gösterilerinin Kerkük’te de yapılmasının ardından, silahlı Arap güçlerin şehre girmeye çalışmasına karşılık, Kürt Bölgesel Yönetimi’nin 5 bin kişi olduğu söylenen peşmerge birliklerini Kerkük’e göndermesiyle Kerkük yine Irak’taki gündemin üst sıralarına oturmuştur.

Kerkük’teki gerginlikle birlikte Irak Cumhurbaşkanı Celal Talabani’nin, KDP lideri Mesut Barzani ile yaptığı görüşme sonrasında klasik söylemini kullanarak yeniden “Kerkük Kürtlerin Kudüs’üdür” açıklamasını yapması, Irak iç siyasetinde Kerkük yoğun şekilde tartışılmaya başlamış ve hatta Irak parlamentosundaki bazı milletvekilleri Celal Talabani’ye bu açıklamayla ilgili soru önergesi vermiştir.

Öte yandan Kerkük siyasi gündeminin yanında, şehirdeki gösterilerin devam etmesi ve valinin istifasına yönelik baskılar Kerkük Valisi Abdurrahman Mustafa ve Kerkük Vilayet Meclisi Başkanı Rizgar Ali istifa etmiştir.Yaşanan bu gelişmeler hem Kerkük hem de gruplar arasındaki siyasette yeni dengeleri beraberinde getirmektedir. Zira Kerkük İl Meclisi Başkanlığına Türkmen üyelerden Hasan Turan’ın getirilmesi gündemdedir. Kerkük’te 6 yıl sonra yaşanacak bu değişim Türkmenlerin 2010 seçimleriyle Irak siyasetindeki yükselişinin devamı niteliğindedir.

Bu noktada Türkiye’nin Irak politikasındaki ve Kerkük konusundaki tutumunun da etkili olduğu düşünülmektedir. Öte yandan Kerkük Valiliğinin de değişecek olması, Kürt gruplar arasındaki siyasi dengeyi de etkileyecektir. Zira istifa eden Kerkük Valisi Abdurrahman Mustafa, KDP’lidir. Ancak Abdurrahman Mustafa’nın yerine getirilmesi düşünülen Necmettin Kerim, KYB üyesidir. Bu iki parti arasındaki dengeyi değiştirecektir. Her ne kadar Irak’ın kuzeyinde KDP ve KYB arasında ortak bir yönetim olsa da KDP ve KYB’nin yönetimsel anlamda halen bir mücadele içerisinde oldukları bilinmektedir. Kerkük’teki Kürtler arasında KYB’nin büyük ağırlının bulunmasına rağmen daha önceki valinin KDP’li olmasının, KYB’de rahatsızlık yarattığı bilinmektedir.

Bu nedenle KYB’li bir politikacının Kerkük Valisi olması, KYB’nin KDP karşısındaki kazancı olarak görülebilir.

Ancak Kerkük’te asıl sorun Arapların şehirdeki yönetimsel dönüşüme nasıl tepki vereceğidir. İlk izlenimlere göre, Arap gruplar Kerkük’teki dönüşümü, “Kürt-Türkmen anlaşmasına” bağlamaktadır. Bundan önceki süreçte Kerkük’teki siyasette Türkmen ve Arapların birlikte hareket ettiği görülmüştür. Araplar grupların bu algılamasının çapı genişlerse, Kürtlerle Araplarla arasında yaşanan gerginlikler, Türkmenler ve Araplar arasında da yaşanabilir. Bu gerginliklerin kıvılcımları son 2-3 ayda Kerkük’te yaşanan olaylarda görülmüştür. Buna en iyi örnek Kerkük’ün Tazehurmatu ilçesine bağlı Beşir Köyünde Türkmenler ve Araplar arasında yaşanan çatışmadır.

Bu nedenle Kerkük’te atılacak adımların uzlaşma araçlarını kullanarak şehirde yaşayan bütün grupların içerisinde yer aldığı bir süreç dahilinde atılmasının Kerkük’teki en iyi çözüm yolu olduğu düşünülmektedir. Daha önce Kürt grupların bazı uygulamalarında görüldüğü gibi tek taraflı çözüm çabalarının Kerkük’ü içerisinden çıkılmaz bir sorunlar yumağına dönüştürmesi muhtemeldir.

(1) Radikal Gazetesi, “Kerkük’te Seçim Kavgası”, 25 Mayıs 2003.
(2) Radikal Gazetesi, “ABD’nin Dediği Oldu”, 29 Mayıs 2007.

17 MART 2011

The middle class in Iraq destroyed. What can be done?

Christophe Callewaert,

March 16, 2011

The handing over of the Ghent Charter in Defense of Iraqi Academia by Hans von Sponeck to Ms Marie-Paule Roudil, representative of UNESCO in Brussels, during the official signing ceremony, 8 March 2011

In the past eight years hundreds of academics have been killed in Iraq. They were not accidental victims of the violence prevailing in the country, but the target of a focused and systematic campaign to destroy the Iraqi state, researchers say. In Ghent specialists from all over the world gathered to investigate the humanitarian catastrophe.

MENARG (Middle East and North African Research Group) of Ghent University, the BRussells Tribunal, and numerous other organizations brought together the cream of Iraq specialists at the Aula in Ghent. For three days they have talked about the "least known humanitarian crisis" (in the words of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres).

These figures are staggering. The BRussells Tribunal collected 455 files on murdered academics. The number of teachers in Baghdad has fallen by 80 percent. In the two years after the start of the war in Iraq 84 percent of higher education institutions were looted, destroyed or burned. More than 335 students and staff died or were seriously injured by bombings of Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. Approximately 40 percent of the Iraqi middle class has fled the country.

The researchers say the destruction of academic life in Iraq is no side effect of the war. "This is the official theory of the Iraqi government. The academic community was -like the rest of Iraq- victim of ethnic and sectarian violence after the invasion.

Our research shows that academics as a group are the target of violence," said Pedro Rojo from CEOSI, who has written several books on Iraq.

Who was and is behind that violence?

Pedro Rojo: "Firstly, the militias aligned to the government. They want to destroy the education system. There is also the Mossad (Israeli Security Agency, ed) that targeted scientists who have or may have had a hand in the production of weapons of mass destruction."

Why?But why would someone destroy the education of a country?

According to the American Professor Raymond Baker Iraq is a clear case of "state ending". The aim of the war was the destruction of the Iraqi state. The killings of academics are a part of that war strategy.

Former UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Hans von Sponeck, said the attempt to destroy the Iraqi state started much earlier. "It started in 1990 with the sanctions after Iraq invaded Kuwait. The oil for food program could have been adequate, but it was not. The UN was simply abused as a tool to destroy Iraq. They could have saved at least primary education, but they did not. Then I realized that the US wanted to destroy the old Iraq to create a new Iraq," said von Sponeck, who resigned in 2000.

The researchers in Ghent do not only want to accuse, but also try to formulate solutions. "We need a network of Iraqi and European researchers who through a thorough research can map the situation in Iraq," said Pedro Rojo. "It is not enough to say that there is now a "blossoming" democracy in Iraq and that we can rebuild the country. The murderers are still waving the stick. Impunity is the problem. "

Von Sponeck also calls for objective and fair research and investigation. "Non-ideological and no hidden agendas. So other people can better defend the Iraqi cause. Ending the occupation seems to be a prerequisite to have hope for change. At this time throughout the Arab world, young people are on the streets. An ideal time to those who give objective information," said von Sponeck. The Arab riots are encouraging.

The Iraqi writer Haifa Zangana has hopes for her homeland. "Over the last two months there were constant demonstrations. Even in areas where there were never demonstrations before, like in the Kurdish provinces. The people on the streets formulate a rainbow of demands. But the repression has been merciless. 31 protesters have already been killed. And in the Western media there is a total blackout. As if there is no more occupation, as if democracy flourishes in Iraq again."

(Translation: Dirk Adriaensens, member of the BRussells Tribunal executive Committee)

Helva biş ağzıma düş

Posted in Biz Turkmeniz

Discussion about the objectives of the Turkmen

Discussion about the Objectives of the Turkmen

The 12th of the Meeting of Turkmen Intellectuals which is periodically organized by the ORSAM was held on Saturday, March 5, 2011 in the ORSAM conference hall. The students who are in Turkey for education showed a great interest to the meeting that was directed by the ORSAM Adviser Habib Hürmüzlü and which was entitled as “Perspectives About the Objectives of the Turkmen” . In the meeting which was organized as two sessions, the speakers shared their knowledge in the first session; in the second session the negotiators stated their opinions and this session was ended with the question and answer period.

The speakers participating in the meeting:

• Associate. Prof. Dr. Tarık Gündüz,
• Dr. Cüneyt Mengü,
• Hasan Demirci,
• Haydar Hadi Dakuklu,

And the negotiators participating in the meeting:
• Aydın Beyatlı,
• Mehmet Behcet İzzet,
• Adil Selbi,
• Mehmet Suphi

Tarık Gündüz, the first at getting the floor, told that for the aim of reaching an objective the language phenomenon must be protected and it must be transferred from generations to generations. Stating that the objective that was clearly declared in written for the first time by the Turkmen was presented by the National Turkmen Party, Tarik Gündüz said that this objective was about Turkmen’s obtaining their social, cultural, political and economic rights in the territorial integrity of Iraq. Claiming that the objective unity was weak among the Turkmen, Gündüz explained that the Turkmen institutions and the Turkmen leaders in Iraq and the other countries must establish a platform by coming together and draw a road map after agreeing upon the objectives.

Supporting his ideas by giving examples in history, Hasan Demirci who took the floor after Tarık Gündüz, said that the Turkmen proved their existence in the process of history, but the Turkmen abstain from the Iraqi identity, which harms to the Turkmen, and for this reason the Iraqi administration alienates the Turkmen. “For an objective, you need to have belief” said Demirci and added that the Turkmen have an immediate need for a decision mechanism that they believe in. Pointing out that all the groups that shape the Turkmen policy and try to be effective in it have different priorities from each other, Demirci stated that all these priorities must be combined and canalized to a single institution, and all these groups must work collectively.

Haydar Dakuklu, one of the Turkmen students, said that the objectives of societies generally correspond to the social objectives; however the Turkmen do not meet in a common point in terms of the political objectives. Emphasizing that in respect of the current situation, the territorial and national integrity in Iraq has been broken, Davuklu questioned why the Turkmen insist still on the territorial and national integrity of Iraq. Stating that the objectives of the Turkmen must be realistic, sustainable and long termed, Davuklu expressed that the Turkmen must be in agreement in terms of their objectives. Davuklu also mentioned that defending the Turkmeneli Region is of utmost importance and added that the objectives of the societies must be oriented towards the social motivation and the youth.

Defining the objective as an indispensable reason of life for people, Cüneyt Mengü, the final speaker, said that the power should be parallel to the objective. Stating that the first objective of the Turkmen is to be mentioned in the Constitution as the third nation in Iraq, Mengü told that the main objective of the Turkmen must be to obtain some privileges in the regions where there is an intense Turkmen population, which was defined as a legal autonomous by Mengü.
After the speakers, Aydın Beyatlı, one of the negotiators, stated that the strategy and the objective must be dealt separately and the Turkmen have adopted different objectives depending on the conditions of the period. Supporting that it will be more realistic if the Turkmen choose an objective in accordance with their force, Beyatlı said that in the meetings of the opposition during the 1990s all the groups in Iraq had accepted that the Turkmen population constituted the 6% of the Iraq population, and now this percentage of %6 can be brought forward as an administrative, economic, social and political demand. Beyatlı said also that a portion of %6 taken from the Iraqi government will be a significant step for the Turkmen and then the real percentage of the Turkmen existence which is 13% can be demanded.

Another negotiator Mehmet Behçet İzzet said that the foremost objective of the Turkmen is the constitutional recognition. Stating that the Turkmen should be ready for any kind of possibility in Iraq, İzzet argued that there may be a change in Iraq as well like the ones having happened in the Middle East. Expressing that in that context the Turkmen must possess an economic and political force, İzzet opposed to the claim that Turkey has not made any contribution for the Turkmen and said that the Turkmen should consider about what they have demanded from Turkey until today.

One of the Turkmen students, Mehmet Suphi said that the Turkmen youth also must play a role and asked to the Turkmen elders for letting the Turkmen youth for this. Supporting the idea that the Turkmen must be realistic, Suphi claimed that in these conditions the Turkmen do not have enough power to determine their national interests. “The Turkmen policy is indexed to the individuals.” said Suphi and added that every Turkmen politician talk about the necessities, but these necessities are not supplied even by them. “If there is an anthem, a flag, a regional map, why is not this defended?” asked Suphi and underlined the importance of that the Turkmen follow the policies which are appropriate to the current situation.

The final negotiator Adil Selbi emphasized that the first objective of the Turkmen in Iraq is to conserve their existence. Stating that he can draw various strategies, Selbi said that a partnership commission must be founded among the Turkmen institutions for the aim of determining the objectives and the strategies. “The Turkmen must act in an organized manner.” said Selbi and mentioned the importance of strengthening the Turkmen identity. Expressing that the Turkmen have some problems at determining their objectives, Selbi said that there is not a communication or connection among the Turkmen regions, the people living in the Turkmen regions are unaware of each other, and there is rivalry among these regions.

MARCH 9 2011


Modern Irak devleti kuruluşundan itibaren güçlü aşiret konfederasyonları tarafından yönetilmiştir. Irak’ın işgalinden sonra eski rejime bağlı aşiretlerin bir kısmı direnişe katılmış, bir kısmı ise farklı siyasi çevreler üzerinden kendisine siyasi yelpazede yer bulmuştur. Bugün Irak parlamentosunda ve vilayet meclislerinde çok sayıda aşiret reisi ya da önde geleninin görev yaptığı gözlenmektedir.

Savaştan sonra Irak iç politikasında ön plana çıkan temel gerçeklik, ülkenin etnik ve mezhepsel çizgilerle birbirinden ayrılmaya başladığı ve ülkedeki siyasal oluşumların da bunun önünü açtığıdır.Eski rejimin hakim gücü olarak görülen Sünni Araplar savaş ertesinde Irak siyasal yaşamından dışlanmaya başlamıştır.

Ancak, direnişe askeri anlamda çözüm bulunamamasının sonucunda, Sünni Arapların sisteme döndürülmesi süreci hayata geçirilmiştir. 2010 yılındaki genel seçimde ise Sünni Araplar yanlarına bazı milliyetçi Şii Arapları da alarak El Irakiye adlı bir koalisyon oluşturmuş ve bu koalisyon seçimden birincilikle çıkmıştır. Koalisyonun başbakan adayı Eyad Allavi yapılan pazarlıklar ve İran’ın karşı çıkması sonucunda hükümeti kurmakla görevlendirilmemiştir.

ABD’nin Saddam Hüseyin’i devirmesinden sonra Şiiler Irak’ı yönetmek için tarihî bir fırsat yakalamışlardır. Şiiler, yeni Irak yönetiminde yer alma ve Irak’ta “başat olma” hedefini benimsemiştir. Ancak, Iraklı Şiiler siyasal tutum ve görüş açısından bir bütünlük içerisinde değildir.

Iraklı Kürtlerin işgal sonrasında altı ayaklı bir strateji izlemektedirler. Bunlar; işgal sayesinde elde ettikleri ABD desteğini yitirmemek, 1991’den beri Kuzey Irak’ta elde ettikleri kazanımları korumak, bölge ülkelerini Irak’ın iç işlerinin dışında tutmak, birleşik bir liderlik yaratmak ve kendi bölgelerinde tam kontrolü sağlamak, diğer grupların zaaflarından yararlanarak Irak içinde çeşitli ad hoc ittifaklar kurmak, bölgedeki diğer Kürtlerle yakın ilişkiler geliştirmeye çalışmak ve onlar üzerinde etkili olmaktır.2010 yılında yapılan seçimin sonucunda hiçbir parti tek başına iktidar olabilecek kadar çok milletvekili çıkartamamıştır. ABD ve İran’ın baskıları diğer yandan partiler arasındaki güç dengesi nedeniyle ulusal birlik hükümeti kurulması kararlaştırılmıştır.

Özellikle son dönemde Ortadoğu ülkelerini sarsan ayaklanmaların Irak’a yansımasıyla hükümetin sorgulanması sonucunda yeni koalisyon arayışlarına girebilir. Bu nedenle mevcut Irak hükümeti istikrarlı gibi görünse de istikrarsızlığa açıktır.Günümüz Irak siyasetinde öne çıkan sorunlar; güvenlik, Kerkük sorunu ve Ortadoğu’daki gelişmelerin Irak’a yansıması şeklinde sıralanabilir.

mercredi 16 mars 2011

ITF EU Representative informs MEP about the latest developments in Turkmeneli

At the D-IQ meeting on 14th March 2011 at the EU Parliament, Dr. AYDINLI updated The Chair Mr. Struan STEVENSON about the latest developments in Iraq in general and in Turkmeneli and Kerkuk Province in particular, especially since the demonstrations of 25th February 2011 which took place in Kerkuk and all over Iraq, asking for better services (electricity, water); asking to put an end to corruption; asking for the improvement of food rationing; asking for employment opportunities for tens of thousands of graduates who have been out of work since years; asking for a fair distribution of wealth in Iraq.

Dr. Aydinli informed MEP Struan Stevenson and denounced the following:

1. Barzani’s decision to send 5000 Peshmerga in and around Kerkuk city, pretending it was to protect Kerkuk’s inhabitants from terrorist attacks, while in reality it is to further increase Kurdish hegemony in Kerkuk city and Kerkuk Province in general.

2. The unacceptable declaration of Jelal Talabani, the “President of the Republic of Iraq” about Kerkuk and its belonging, that Kerkuk is the “Jerusalem of the Kurds” and asking the Kurdish demonstrators to calm down in order for him to incorporate Kerkuk into the Kurdish region.

3. The unwillingness of the Iraqi authorities to resolve the property claims for thousands of dispossessed Turkmens, despite the creation of the Property Claims Commission since 2004 and the allocation of 200 million USD to compensate the illegally dispossessed Iraqi citizens under the Baath regime.

Dr. Aydinli informed MEP Struan Stevenson that the Turkmen Representative in the Iraqi Parliament had demanded the withdrawal of the Peshmerga from Kerkuk, as there is no legal justification for the presence of Kurdish Peshmerga outside the Kurdish autonomous region.

Dr. Aydinli asked the Chair to inform his colleagues and to put pressure on the Iraqi government to take the necessary measures to stop these abnormalities and irregularities happening in Turkmeneli, against the will of the Turkmens.

Barzani prevent people from Slemani entering Erbil - By Shwan Zulal

Many news papers and individuals are reporting that if people from Slemani (Sulaimaniyah) try to enter Erbil, the check points set up by KDP would not let them through. Many students and businessmen have been turned away from entering the capital last night and today. This has not happened in Kurdistan even at the time when Saddam was in power. This cowardly act by the authorities amounts to a clear discrimination and an absolute contempt to the rule of law. What people in Kurdistan are witnessing is history repeating itself. Because, it is clear the people who are responsible for this ill conceived initiative, are the same people who went to bed with Saddam in 1996 and brought back the dictator to Kurdistan in order to save their own skins.

Maidani Azadi protesters have declared that on 16 March, they intent to go to Erbil and start protest in the Capital. The Authorities in Erbil have reacted by stopping anyone from Slemani and the surrounding areas entering the Erbil and areas north of it. This overreactions by KDP further exposes the length the authorities in Erbil are will to go to cling on to power. Behaving in this manner angers the public further and shows that the current people running Kurdistan Region are only interested in protecting their seats rather than having the interest of people in mind.

Meanwhile PUK forces have been reported to have kicked and battered protesters in Said-Sadiq and shots have also been heard in the town. There are reports of 4 injuries in the town including a Journalist who has suffered a fractured arm and ribs. This act of thuggery continues while yesterday the PM has said sorry for the past weeks heavy handed approach by the security forces. Today's incidents only confirms that PM and KRG does not have any real powers and the militia is in charge.

The strongest opposition movement, Goran have said that they are willing to sit down and talk to the main two political parties but earlier today Sbeiy media has been reporting that Goran office in Khanaqin have been attacked and their officials have been arrested. Barzani and Taliban are calling for calm while at the same time they are the only ones who have been violating laws, attacking people and ransacking property.

The protests are continuing in Slemani, Chamchamal, Koya Said-Sadiq and most of Slemani and Garmyan area. The actions of both incumbent parties are making the protesters even more determined and resolute to carry on protesting and bring an end to this irresponsible government and shambolic state of affairs.

lundi 14 mars 2011

Ghent Charter gains momentum in an International Conference

Ghent Charter gains momentum in an International Conference

A 3-day Conference at Ghent University 9-11 March 2011, examined the background and current facts of the ongoing catastrophe in Iraqi academy and education in general, notably the targeted killing of academics, and formulated initial key proposals for actions by various national and international bodies.

The Conference, organised by BRussells Tribunal together with MENARG – Middle East and North Africa Research Group of the Ghent university in collaboration with many other organisations, started with a solemn ceremony of the signing of the Ghent Charter in defence of Iraqi Academics at the historic Peristilium of the Ghent Aula by prominent Belgian and Iraqi academics and other personalities. This was followed by the formal presentation of the signed document to a UNESCO representative.

Up to 200 participants attended the conference’s opening ceremony and sessions, worked in group to discuss the 30 plus papers presented, and then in workshops to formulate recommendations. Iraqi contributions comprised about half of the total proceedings. It was an example of a commitment across the world to defend academic freedoms and education in general, working and pressuring international bodies on a substantive basis. This is a key public-responsibility role of all universities especially on issues that may be forgotten by media, as is the case with Iraq. The assassination of Iraqi academics continues, and so is the decimation of Iraqi schooling, so that keeping the issue alive is a concern for all citizens, especially educationists.

The search for justice in Iraq includes seeking compensation for the crimes committed by the occupying powers, with education being a main area for such recompense. Without Iraq’s academics and educated middle class, a viable Iraqi society cannot be built.

A unique feature of the conference was the participation of 35 Iraqi academics and activists from inside the country and the Diaspora. There was a close attention to the contributions of colleagues from inside Iraq. Their special situation was fully recognised as seeking reforms to unroll the effects of occupation and stop the ongoing campaign of murder and destruction of education through dealing with the de-facto powers. At the same time there was an insistence in upholding the principles of truth, and of international and humanitarian law in all possible ways.

A creative aspect of the conference was that the recorded proceedings of discussion in the first two days, and the fringe meetings, were summarised overnight into lists of key points that were then presented in two workshops with the specific aim of drafting of proposals during the third day. These proposals are currently being refined with a view to address them to UNESCO, UNICEF, other international and regional bodies, agencies and NGOs, the media and the public.

Against the back drop of the ongoing revolutions in the Middle East and news of mass demonstrations all over Iraq, the final speeches expressed the hope that one day Iraq also will know peace, justice and freedom.

vendredi 11 mars 2011

Dying Education In The “Blossoming” Iraqi Democracy

Dying Education In The “Blossoming” Iraqi Democracy
By Dirk Adriaensens

17 February, 2011

While Anglo Saxon universities are boasting of their so-called “glorious role” in the reconstruction of Iraqi academia (See f.i. U of A helping create an education revolution in Iraq)[1], Iraq’s education is dying. From August 1990 onwards, UN sanctions excluded Iraqi education from international scientific developments and banned import of essential educational material such as books and even….. pencils. Many Iraqi professors and scientists left the country during that period.

Then came the 2003 invasion….

First the US/UK invaders and their Iraqi stooges transported mobs of looters in 2003 to the educational institutions to destroy scientific education research centers, confiscate all papers and documents to stop any Iraqi scientific renaissance before it had a chance to begin[2].

Second they burnt, looted or destroyed 84% of Iraq's higher education institutions.[3]

John Agresto, in charge of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in 2003-2004, initially believed that the looting of Iraq’s universities was a positive act in that it would allow such institutions to begin again with a clean slate, with the newest equipment as well as a brand new curriculum.[4] John Agresto knew next to nothing about Iraq's educational system. Even after he was proposed and selected by Donald Rumsfeldt, he did not pore through a reading list. "I wanted to come here with as open a mind as I could have," he said. "I'd much rather learn firsthand than have it filtered to me by an author." He did a Google search on the Internet. The result? "Not much," he said. This ignorant man, neocon republican, was assigned as the CPA's senior adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education.[5]
Currently he works full-time with the (private) American University of Iraq – Sulaimani as its Interim Provost and Chancellor. He is also a member of the University's Board of Trustees and Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, in the company of Kanan Makiya, a "close friend" of Ahmed Chalabi, and an influential proponent of the 2003 Iraq War6.

Third they sacked, threatened, kidnapped, drove into exile and assassinated Iraq’s best and brightest educators. This destructive process is ongoing. On 26 January 2011, Iraqi security forces arrested more than 100 intellectuals from the Province of Diyala of which Baaquba is the capital. Among those arrested are four top medical professors teaching at the Diyala University’s Medical College, professors Mazen Razzouqi, Adel al-Hussaini, Ali al-Husaini and Bahaa Abed. It is not clear why Iraqi security forces arrested the intellectuals at a time the Diyala University suffers from severe faculty shortages.[7]

Fourth they attacked educational institutions to intimidate, frighten, kidnap, arrest and kill students. As a consequence school attendance decreased dramatically. And apparently school attendance is still considered too high by the Iraqi government as the army now prevents students from going to school. On 3 February a source in the Directorate of Education in Abu Ghraib told news agencies that the Muthanna Brigade of the Iraqi army prevented students of the Isra school for boys and from the Ascension High School for Girls in Haswa area of the district of Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, from going to school to perform their mid-term exams. He also noted that “the army used force to prevent teachers and also the observers from the exams to reach their schools and ordered them to return to their homes." The source added that "the army struck terror into the hearts of students and citizens alike, amid the apparent absence of human rights and law."

Fifth they changed the history books. Contemporary Iraq history is taught in sixth, ninth and 12th grades. Now, in all three text books history suddenly comes to an end after the 1958 revolution. Fifty years are being erased from Iraq’s memory. "History is always affected by politics – and the winner gets his version into the text books”, said Ms Nadia, an Iraqi history teacher. What’s more, even the old glorious past of Iraq is being erased from the collective memory. “Seventh graders studied ancient civilizations, focusing on Mesopotamia. It was a rich study that caught the imagination of the pupils and inspired them. Now the focus on Mesopotamia is very little – Hamurabi is just another king who wrote the law on an obelisk – and greater focus is given to neighbouring civilizations".[8] The Iraqi history books no longer mention the occupation of Palestine.

Sixth they appointed academics, loyal to the US occupation authorities and the Iraqi Quisling government. These appointments were made on a sectarian basis. Some even with falsified curricula and purchased fake diplomas. Corruption in higher education is rampant.
Seventh the Iraqi government shows no desire to rebuild Iraqi education, neither the destroyed infrastructure, nor the quality of education. Instead, the Iraqi government has committed to fully fund $1 billion a year to a program that will send over 50.000 students abroad over the next 5 years, selected on sectarian grounds.[9] The students are studying in the U.S. and London[10] and pay for tuition and fees, as well as room and board, meaning that Iraq is sponsoring US and UK universities. All this while only few funds are allocated to reconstruct the educational sector inside Iraq: schools, universities and research.

Some “revolution” in education! Quite an achievement!

Nouri al-Maliki has asked the diaspora elite and academics in exile to return to Iraq to help rebuild the country. But the BRussells Tribunal warned on 26 April 2009 already that “those academics who return are finding jobs few and the welcome far from warm”[11]. The statement further alarmed the academics who are invited or forced to return, to be aware of criminal acts like kidnappings or assassinations.[12]

Iraq’s Universities now the worst in the Arab World.

The results of these policies are disastrous. Iraq’s universities, once the showcase of the Arab region, are now probably the worst in the Arab region, Asia and the world. The Ranking Web of World Universities is published twice a year (January and July), covering more than 20,000 Higher Education Institutions worldwide.[13]

On the Arab level only 3 Iraqi universities are in the top 100 of Arab universities in the latest ranking of January 2011:

The University of Kufa ranks 77th, the University of Technology ranks 86th and the University of Sulaymaniyah ranks 91th.[14]
On the global level only 8 Iraqi universities figure in the top 12.000:

Kufa University 6097
University of Technology Iraq * 6503
University of Sulaimani 6664
University of Dohuk 8781
University of Mustansiriyah 10264
Foundation of Technical Education 10327
University of Mosul 10738
Kurdistan University 11240
College of Medicine Basrah University 11338
University of Basrah 11406
American University of Iraq Sulaimani 11591

The show-piece of Iraq: Baghdad University, doesn’t even figure in the top 12.000.

That’s the fantastic revolution in education, predicted by some unworldly Western academics and mala fide US politicians.

The facts on the ground in Iraq show that there is no “revolution” whatsoever in Iraq’s education system, no reconstruction worthy of the name. There is only destruction, corruption and decline.

How can there possible be progress when sectarian militia’s still roam the campuses, when there’s no serious investigation into the assassinations of Iraqi academics, when attacks on educational institutions are assigned to “insurgents” while it is well known that the destruction of the Iraqi education system is part of the plan to culturally and ethnically cleanse Iraq, to “end the state” as Paul Wolfowitz declared in 2003.

25th of February: Iraqi youth declare “Day of Rage for Change and Freedom in Iraq”

Following the example of their Tunesian and Egyptian fellow Arabs, Iraqi youth declare the 25th Feb a day of rage and they call for demonstrations in Baghdad. Their slogans:
* Enough with our silence, our patience has ran out.
* We are like camels, we eat weeds and transport gold
* Our annual income from oil is $100 billion, yet we cannot find bread to eat.
* Death to democracy that takes us from bad to worse
* Death to democracy that does not recognise impeccable qualifications
* Death to democracy that has made people strangers in their own homeland
* Death to democracy that looks the other way while the ministers steal and embezzle billions and facilitate their escaping justice (reference to the minister for electricity, commerce..etc.)
* Death to democracy that robs the bank in daylight (reference to the robbing of the bank of Rafidain in Zuwiya)
* Death to democracy that has promised transparency but created foggy atmosphere.
* Death to democracy that has turned into a religion of worshiping positions of power
* Death to the democracy of assassinations with silenced guns
* Death to the democracy that assassinated our best academics and scientists and is replacing them with ignorant people who can hardly read and write.
* Death to the democracy of death and beheading
* Death to the democracy of poverty, backwardness and murder
* Death to the democracy that arrests the murderers, then set them free and claims they escaped!
* Death to the democracy that assassinated the opposition writers and those who stand by the truth
* Death to the democracy of the ethnic and sectarian quotas
* Death to the democracy that brought us a cancer of separation walls in our beloved Baghdad.

As you can read, some of these slogans are related to the dreadful state of Iraq’s Higher Education and the killings of academics. Others are directed against the poor quality of public services. Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, home to more than six million people, hardly gets one hour of non-interrupted electricity supplies every 24 hours.[15] Iraq has run out of money to pay for widows' benefits, farm crops and other programs for the poor, the parliament leader told lawmakers who have collected nearly $180,000 in 9 months in one of the world's most oil-rich nations.[16]

Every day there are demonstrations and protests in many Iraqi towns, not covered by the mainstream press. Police shot randomly at hundreds of protesters in al-Hamza district in Iraq’s southern province of al-Diwaniya on the 4th of February, killing one person and injuring four. The incident came after a statement released on 3 February by the Iraqi parliament condemning the use of violence against demonstrators in Egypt and urged for the respect of human rights. The protesters who followed up with their demands from a previous demonstration on Thursday called for the removal of al-Hamza head official and for the Iraqi government to provide basic services. In addition to demanding employment, the protesters carried lamps and small sacks of sugar to symbolize their demands for food and electricity.[17]
Richard Falk’s comments on the International Seminar: “Defending Education in Times of War and Occupation”.

“The shocking portrait of what occupation has meant for academicians and students is depicted by the Ghent Charter that has been endorsed by prominent educators in Europe and elsewhere, including the Rector of the University of Ghent. The BRussells Tribunal has played a leading part in exposing these realities afflicting Iraqi universities, and has organized a seminar to take place in Ghent, Belgium, March 9-11, 2011, with the title “Defending education in times of war and occupation.”

“It is important that all of us, especially those paying taxes in the United States to pay for this occupation, understand that our silence is complicity. Especially those of us associated with teaching and research in American universities bear an additional responsibility to exhibit even now our solidarity with those who have suffered and are suffering in Iraqi academic communities. We know that many faculty members have been murdered since 2003 (over 500 confirmed cases), particularly those who spoke out and acted against the occupation, and many more have fled the country permanently. The departure of university personnel is part of a wider exodus of middle class Iraqis, estimates are over two million, leaving the country deprived of the sort of national social fabric essential to avoid predatory forms of foreign economic exploitation of the country.”

“We who devote our lives to higher education realize the importance of educated and dedicated young people for the wellbeing of a country. If Iraq’s future is to be restored to some semblance of decency, its institutions of higher learning will need to become safe and hospitable for students and faculty.”[18]

In the meantime, read the Ghent Charter in Defense of Iraqi Academia and weep![19]

Objectives of the Ghent international seminar on Iraqi academics

While the mainstream media continues to ignore or conceal information vital to any reasoned understanding of why the United States and its allies attacked Iraq, occupied it, and continue to occupy it, the urgent task of the proposed seminar is not only to give reasons for the destruction of Iraqi academia, but also to propose ways of saving it, highlighting the duty of international organisations to respond, and the moral responsibility of non-Iraqi educators to stand in solidarity with their Iraqi counterparts.

Thus in Ghent, in cooperation with other Belgian universities and international organisations, the aim is to alert the international academic community to the ongoing nature of the crimes against Iraqi academics and to propose and explore practical remedies.

The introductory content of the seminar would cover a number of elements:
• Introduction to the results of “state-ending”: the killing of academics and destruction of Iraqi academia as exemplary of a strategy of cultural and political destruction;
• Testimony on the killing of Iraqi academics and the destruction of the educational system in Iraq and its current status under occupation and a client government;
• Special attention to the situation of the forcibly displaced: the challenges faced by Iraqi refugees in securing their rights to education, financing their education, and the right to work for displaced Iraqi academics;
• An assessment of the practical challenges to education in Iraq today, spanning facilities and the loss of persons, as well as the general deterioration of social culture and public safety amid the collapse of the state and the reign of violent militias and associated leaders.
• An analysis of the extent of discrimination, corruption and oppression in Iraqi universities and the educational system and how these might be stopped.
The objectives — and main content — of the seminar would be:
• To provide the international academic community, wider public and relevant institutions with an opportunity to hear the truth about the destruction of Iraq, and the plight of Iraqi academia and academics in particular;
• To provide, within the framework of an accurate, non-partisan understanding of the destruction of Iraqi academia and the killing of academics, an opportunity for those who stand in solidarity with Iraqi academics and promote education in general to propose and discuss practical means of helping Iraqis recover their rights to education, and defending Iraqi academics;
• To provide, in particular, a forum for educational leaders — whether deans, professors, department heads or administrators — to establish a practical network of opportunities for displaced Iraqi academics, thus helping to save what remains of Iraqi academia outside Iraq;
• To formulate, alongside the practical initiatives discussed or adopted, the insistence that politicians, governments, civil servants and associated institutions, at national and international levels, take immediate steps to uphold international law, the rights of education embraced by the United Nations, and to stop the ruthless repression and killing of Iraqi academics.
The main objective of the seminar should be to make a solid step towards relieving the suffering of the Iraqi people. They are the ultimate targets of the destruction of Iraqi academia.
One of the best means of bringing closer an end to their suffering is to participate in efforts to propose, map, plan and outline the steps necessary for rehabilitating Iraq’s educational system. Saving Iraqi academics is a keystone in stemming any further destruction of Iraq and its people, and to rebuilding what remains.

Only Iraqis can rebuild Iraq, and for Iraq to be sovereign these Iraqis should be skilled, capable and independent, so the destruction wrought can be repaired. Iraq’s educators are vital to Iraq’s future.

The time is long past for speeches and assurances from those in positions of power. Practical action must be demanded, of those in power and from ourselves.

More information and possibilities to register:
[2] See “Cultural Cleansing in Iraq”, Dirk Adriaensens, page 119, Pluto Press, ISBN 9780745328126
[4] Nabil al-Tikriti in “Cultural Cleansing in Iraq” p 98,
[12] See the list of 451 assassinated academics:
(Dirk Adriaensens, member of the BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee, 16 February 2011)

mardi 8 mars 2011

Yörük Türkmen Oğuz Boyları Kültür Dernekleri Federasyonu Sadun KÖPRÜYE Onur Ödül Plaketi verildi.

Yörük Türkmen
Davasına hizmet edenler ile dallarında başarılı olanlara 6 Mart Pazar günü Ankara Yenimahalle belediyesi 1no’lu kongre salonunda
Türkiye bulunan Türkmen Yörük
Oğuz Boyları Kültür Dernekleri Federasyonunu

Tarafından onurluk şöleninde tanınmış Türkçü, Milliyetçi Türk şahsiyetlerine onur Ödül Plaketi verildi

Türkiye’nin her bir yerinde dernekleri buluna Türkmen Oğuz Boyları bir araya gelerek

Oğuz Boyları Kültür Dernekleri Federasyonunun düzenlemiş olduğu geleneksel Onurluk sonumu, ödül onurluk Töreni kalabalık bir Türkiye ve dünya Türkmen topluluğunun katılımıyla Ankara’da yapılmış olan

Törende Türkiye’nin her bir yöresinden, yerinden gelen dernek başkanları, üyeleri ve dernek yetkililerinin yanında aynı amaçla milli, Türkçülük duygusuna sahip olanları bir erek içinde etrafında toplayarak, ayrıca birçok kişiler ile siyasi parti temsilcileri, akademisyenler, yazarlar ve sanatçılar birleşmişlerdir.

Saygı duruşu ve İstiklal Marşı okunmasıyla başlayan törende.. Federasyon Genel Başkanı Durhasan Koca yaptığı açış konuşmasında

Yörükler ve Türkmenler Türk milletinin asli unsurudur.
Özüdür, Türk milleti birdir demiştir.

Türk milletinin bu topraklarda bin yıldır var olduğu, sonsuza kadar var olacağı ve Cumhuriyetimizin kurucusu önderi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’ün de bir Yörük Türkmen olduğunun törende vurgulanmıştır.

Uzun yıllardan Türk milletine ve Türk dünyasına verdikleri çeşitli amaçlardan, hizmetler dolayı Onurluk ödülü hak eden yaklaşık 150 kişiye sırasıyla ödüller, onurluk verildi.

Ödül törenine katılanlardan
MHP Gurup Başkan Vekili Mehmet Şandır, Mersin Milletvekili Behiç Çelik, Antalya Milletvekili Yusuf Ziya İrbeç, MYK üyesi M. Hidayet Vahapoğlu, Prof Dr. Yusuf Halaçoğlu. MHP eski milletvekillerinden Prof Dr. Abdurrahman Küçük ve Müjdat Kayayerli ile Kamu-Sen Genel Başkanı Bircan Akyıldız, ayrıca

Bayram Meral DSP’den Hasan Erçelebi, Hasan Macit ile D.P’nin Genel Başkanı N.Kemal Zeybek ve Türk Boyları Konfederasyonu Genel Başkanı Mustafa Özbek. Gürbüz Evren

Akademisyenlerden G.Ü. Rektörü Prof. Dr. Rıza Ayhan, Prof Dr. Mustafa Kafalı ve Prof Dr. Taciser Onuk ile Irak Türkmenlerinden Sadun Köprülü ve Mahmut Kasapoğlu katılmıştır.

Araştırmacı yazar Sadun Köprülüye Ödül plaket aldıktan sonra bir konuşma yaparak Köprülü Irak Türklerine göstermiş oldukları destek, ilgiden ve içli Milli davadan dolayı tüm Türk milletine ve Yörük Oğuz Boyları Federasyon Genel Başkanı Durhasan Koca beye sonsuz teşekkürlerini sunarak bugün Irak’ta Türkmenler Saddam döneminde olduğu gibi yene haksızlığa uğrayarak Araplaştırma politikası yanında Kürtleştirme politikası ve asimilasyon uygulanarak Kerkük Türk şehri zor durumunu yaşayarak elden gedmektedir, ayrıca Arap devletlerinde Diktatörlere karşı ayaklanmalar, sokağa her bir alana milletin, halkın inmesi bu emperyalistlere karşı büyük bir zarbadır, derstir, Tunus, Mısır, Lübnan, Suriye, Urdun, Filistin, Irak’ta dünyada yüz milyonlarca Türk yaşamaktadır özellikle İran’da 55 Milyon Türk olmasına rağmen hiçbir Türk’ün anayasal hakları bulunmamaktadır konuşmasında tüm dünya Türklerinin acılarınki, işkencelerini kısa bir konuşmayla Sadun Köprülü dile getirerek önemli vurgulamalarda bulunmuştur.

Ödül, plaket töreni sonunda çeşitli sanatçıların sahnede her yöreden türküler ve deyişlerini seslendirildiler. Tören, toplantı gecenin son saatlerine kadar sürdü.

Türk öğün çalış güven

Türk milleti tarihinle övün çünkü senin ecdadın medeniyetler kuran devletler imparatorluklar yaratan bir mevcudiyettir sen Anadolu denilen bu yurda sonradan gelme değil ilk yerleşip medeniyet kuranların çocuklarısın fakat geleceğine güvenebilmek için bugün çalışman lazımdır çünkü yalnız tarih övüncü bir meziyet sayılmaz
Deme bana kayı oğuz ilhanlı türküm bu ad her ünvandan üstündür yoktur Azeri Kırgız Özbek kazanlı türk milleti bir bölünmez bütündür.

Tensions Rise In Iraq’s Kirkuk Over Protests And The Peshmerga

Tensions Rise In Iraq’s Kirkuk Over Protests And The Peshmerga

Tensions Rise In Iraq’s Kirkuk Over Protests And The Peshmerga
A new deployment of Kurdish peshmerga outside of Kirkuk has set off tensions between Iraq’s Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen. During national protests peshmerga were sent to just outside of the city. While security against terrorists was the official reason for their presence, they were actually deployed to help quell demonstrations. Since then Arab and Turkmen politicians in Kirkuk have demanded that they leave, while Baghdad has sided with the Kurds.

On February 23, 2011, Kurdish politicians in Tamim claimed that they had evidence of plots against Kurds in the province. A Kurdish parliamentarian said that the Arab Council, a tribal group, planned on attacking the Kurdish Asayesh, government offices, and police stations run by Kurds. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was also worried about the upcoming Day of Rage protests planned across the country, and requested 1,000 peshmerga to be deployed to the west of Kirkuk on February 25 as a result. The matter was discussed with the governor of Tamim, and welcomed by the United States military. Provincial and national leaders were obviously nervous about what might happen during the demonstrations.

(Asia Times)
On the 25th there were three protests in the governorate, all of which turned violent. In Kirkuk, mostly Arabs with a few Turkmen turned out. They called for better services, the end of Article 140 that sets up a process for the Kurds to annex the disputed territories in northern Iraq, more jobs, and to fight corruption. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) warned Kurds not to participate. Protesters ended up storming a police station and the governor’s offices, which led the security forces to fire shots to disperse them. Three people ended up dying, and ten policemen were wounded. A curfew was imposed immediately afterward. Protests also occurred in Riyadh, where the city council and municipal offices were set on fire, and Hawija where the crowd held pictures of Saddam Hussein and waved the old Iraqi flag. Police opened fire in Hawija as the masses moved towards the town hall, leading to three deaths, and fifteen being wounded. Similar events happened across the country that day in nine other provinces and fifteen different cities.

In the following days the PUK and KDP condemned the Day of Rage in Tamim. They claimed that the Arab Council was trying to exploit the demonstrations for their own ends, condemned the attacks upon government buildings and the pictures of Saddam shown in Hawija, and went as far as to accuse the people of trying to stage a coup. The Kurdish Peshmerga Minister also noted that his forces were going to stay in the governorate until it was stable, meaning free of protests. The ruling Kurdish parties were already facing growing protests in Sulaymaniya, and were now confronted with angry Arabs and Turkmen in Tamim. If they grew in intensity, they could disrupt the fragile status quo between Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen in the governorate.

Arabs and Turkmen responded by attacking the new peshmerga presence outside Kirkuk. Arab members of the provincial council called for the Kurdish forces to withdraw on February 26. On March 1, the Iraqi Turkmen Front made the same demand, saying that the peshmerga were illegally in the area. They too were worried that an increased peshmerga presence in Tamim would be a step towards greater Kurdish control there.

Baghdad came down on the side of the Kurds, showing that the protests had scared all those in power. The Deputy Interior Minister condemned the Day of Rage as a coup attempt as well, parroting the KDP and PUK. He mentioned Tamim as one province where protesters were trying to undermine the political process, and criticized the Arab leaders in Kirkuk who called for the peshmerga to withdraw. In turn, he blamed the Day of Rage for the peshmerga being deployed to Tamim in the first place, and that they were only there to help with security. Maliki has increasingly attacked the motivations of the protesters, and tried to limit their scope by using the army and police. Like the PUK and KDP, the premier is worried about the consequences of growing demonstrations.

The 1,000 peshmerga in Tamim has upset the balance within the governorate. Previously, the Kurdish forces were only north of Kirkuk, while the Iraqi army was in the south. Now there are peshmerga to the west of Kirkuk as well. National leaders such as Prime Minister Maliki and Kurdish President Massoud Barzani support the new move out of fear that the protests might challenge their power. Local Arabs and Turkmen however, are afraid that the peshmerga may stay, providing greater Kurdish control over the province, and another step towards annexing Kirkuk and other disputed areas of Tamim to Kurdistan. The new Kurdish forces are probably only in the area as long as there are threats of demonstrations. The arguments they have caused however, show the tensions that exist in the province between the three main ethnic groups that result from the disputed territories. They also display how those in power have found common cause in putting down demonstrations. This intersection of local and national concerns has always been present in Tamim, and this is just the latest example.


Ahmed, Hevidar, “Minister rejects U.S. demand for Kurdish troops’ withdrawal from Kirkuk,” AK News, 3/4/11

AK News, “Peshmerga forces protect Kirkuk,” 3/3/11

Aswat al-Iraq, “Iraq’s Turkoman Front demands Kurdish Peshmerga forces withdrawal from Kirkuk:,” 3/1/11
- “Kurdish Peshmerga Minister denies his forces entered Kirkuk,” 2/28/11
- “Peshmerga forces stationed near Kirkuk,” 2/26/11
- “Two wounded demonstrators die in Tikrit, hundreds demonstrate in Balad city:,” 2/26/11

Davis, Aaron, “In Kirkuk, a test of U.S. peacekeepers’ lasting impact,” Washington Post, 2/8/11

Hamad, Qassim Khidhir, “ethnic division makes any protest suspicious,” Niqash, 3/2/11

Hameed, Leila, “Protesters control part of Kirkuk,” AK News, 2/26/11

Horami, Sirwa, “Kurdish ruling parties news statement on Kirkuk,” AK News, 2/27/11

Karim, Karzan, “Interior official: Recent demos were coups against Iraqi govt.,” AK News, 3/1/11

McCrummen, Stephanie, “13 killed in Iraq’s ‘Day of Rage’ protests,” Washington Post, 2/25/11
- “23 killed in Iraq’s ‘Day of Rage,’” Washington Post, 2/25/11

Rostam, Nabaz, “Second curfew imposed in Kirkuk,” AK News, 3/1/11

Salaheddin, Sinan, “6 killed in as Iraqis protest in ‘Day of Rage,’” Associated Press, 2/25/11

Mortar shells wound 2 civilians in Baghdad Civilian gunned down in eastern Mosul Kurdistan parliament adjourns session until Tuesday U.S. embassy condemns attacks on media institutions U.S. forces arrest 2 cops south of Amara - security commission
Iraq’s Turkoman Front demands Kurdish Peshmerga forces withdrawal from Kirkuk: 3/1/2011 10:24 AM

KIRKUK / Aswat al-Iraq: The Iraqi Turkoman Front has demanded on Tuesday the withdrawal of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces from the city, considering their presence in the city as “illegal and unconstitutional.”

“The spread of the Peshmerga elements in Kirkuk is illegal and stands counter to the constitution, which allows such spread of those elements in the three provinces of (north Iraq’s) Kurdistan Region only,” a Front’s statement said, adding that “the Kurdish side had informed the Front with this position, during the Kurdish Peshmerga Minister’s visit to the Front.”

The statement, copy of which was received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency, pointed out that the Front’s leadership “does not accept the presence of the Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk, and we shall continue demanding their withdrawal from the city.”

“We have informed the Kurdish side that the presence of the Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk was causing a lot of problems and had become a source for the loss of trust towards them,” the statement

Arab and Turkoman Members in Kirkuk’s Provincial Council, had informed Aswat al-Iraq few days ago that “the Peshmerga forces have entered in Kirkuk, in response to an Iraqi government’s demand, as part of its fear that armed groups might enter the Province,” thing that was denied by the Peshmerga Minister in Kurdistan Region’s government, Sheikh Jaafar Sheikh Mustapha.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chairman of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Nichervan Barzani, had stated that the Peshmerga forces, stationed outside Kirkuk, “were defending the components of the city,” pointing out that their presence had been decided in coordination with the Iraqi government.

In conclusion, the Iraqi Turkoman Front reiterated “necessity for the withdrawal of the (Peshmerga) elements from Kirkuk, and to lean to talks and consultations to settle all issues, based on laws and legal documents, being an initial step to achieve stability in Kirkuk and the whole country of Iraq."