Sep 22, 2014

Iraqi Turkmen: 350,000 Refugees Facing Starvation Without Government Help

An Iraqi Turkmen Member of Parliament, Nahla Sallamah, has alleged that at least 350,000 Iraqi Turkmen refugees face starvation as a consequence of the ongoing upheavals across much of the country. The recent Islamic State offensive has displaced around 1.2 million Iraqi citizens, including 350,000 Turkmens, and the MP claims that they are at risk of facing a humanitarian disaster without an increase in Iraqi Government assistance.

Below is an article published by the Daily Sabah:


More than 350,000 Turkmens, who have become asylum seekers due to the ongoing conflict in Iraq, are "in danger of starvation," according to a Turkmen MP from the Iraqi parliament.

"The number of Turkmen refugees has exceeded 350,000, and they are in danger of starvation because the government failed to financially support them," Nahla Sallamah said during a press conference Saturday [20 September 2014] in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.

250,000 of the asylum seekers were from the northern Turkmen-majority city of Tal Afar, the MP said.

Sallamah called on the government to pay the salaries of Turkmen civil servants as soon as possible.

The chaos created by militants with the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shma (ISIS) has so far displaced an estimated 1.2 million Iraqis from their homes. The group has mainly targeted Shia Muslims, Turkmens, Ezidis, and Christians. 

The Iraqi army had failed to respond to a sudden offensive by ISIS in June [2014], which led the group to take control of large swathes of land in the country, including Mosul province in the north.