European Parliament Urges Protection For Iraqi Turkmen
On Thursday 14 March 2013, the European Parliament adopted the resolution "Iraq: plight of minority groups, in particular the Iraqi Turkmen", urging the Iraqi government to provide the Iraqi Turkmen with "security and protection".
PRESS RELEASE for immediate release
UNPO Welcomes European Parliament Resolution On The Plight Of The Iraqi Turkmen
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European Parliament Puts Pressure On Iraqi Government To Do More To Protect The Iraqi Turkmen Community
Brussels, 15 March 2013
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) welcomes the decision, made yesterday (14 March) at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, to adopt the Resolution on the plight of minority groups in Iraq, in particular the Iraqi Turkmen.
The resolution states that the European Parliament condemns the recent attacks on the Turkmen community and affirms that ‘despite the reference in the Constitution to the rights of Turkmen and other minorities, these minorities continue to be plagued by ethnic sectarian violence and discrimination’. The European Parliament also calls on the Iraqi government ‘to take the necessary measures to provide security and protection for all Iraqi citizens in general and members of vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities in particular’.
This resolution was supported by MEPs from across the political spectrum and was passed unanimously, apart from one abstention. The UNPO welcomes the breadth of support shown for the Iraqi Turkmen within the European Parliament.
This comes at a crucial time for the Turkmen community in Iraq who are being targeted in frequent and bloody sectarian attacks. On 23 January 2013, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded mosque during the funeral of a Turkmen civil servant – himself the victim of sectarian assassination the previous day – killing 42 and injuring a further 117. Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated incident. Attacks on the Turkmen have seen a dramatic increase since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and there is currently no sign of an end to this violence. Violence and intimidation have become a part of daily life for the Iraqi Turkmen, who have been caught up in the collateral damage of the conflict between the Arab and Kurdish populations of Iraq.
The UNPO now urges the Iraqi government to implement the terms of this resolution, in order that the Iraqi Turkmen – and the other minorities within Iraq – receive the appropriate protection from the Iraqi Government as guaranteed to them in the Constitution.
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The full text of the resolution can be found here.
You can watch the whole debate here.
(Photo courtesy of the European Parliament)