Jun 23, 2016

Iraqi Turkmen: Leader Warns of Threat of Cultural Assimilation


Leader of the Iraqi Turkmen Front Erset Sahili has decried the possibility that the Iraqi Turkmen be at risk due to the increasing influence of Arab and Kurdish cultural traditions in areas traditionally belonging to the Turkmen community. Mr Sahili’s speech comes in the wake of years of pronounced sufferance for the Turkmen community, which has had to face not only the threat of cultural assimilation, but also several violent occurrences by the Islamic State and others.


This article is courtesy of WorldBulletin.net

An Iraqi Turkmen leader has warned that predominantly-Turkmen areas in Iraq are at risk due to increasing Arab and Kurdish cultural influences.

Salihi, leader of the Iraqi Turkmen Front, cited as an example the Turkmen city of Tal Afar, a district of the northern city of Mosul. Mosul, provincial capital of the Nineveh province and Iraq’s second largest city, was overrun by the ISIL extremist group in 2014.

The situation in the majority-Turkmen town of Tuz Khormato in the north-central Saladin province, meanwhile, has become increasingly tense due to ongoing friction between the Hashd al-Shaabi -- an umbrella group of Iraqi Shia militias operating in the area -- and Kurdish peshmerga forces, said Salihi.

Salihi went on to note that the Turkmen community in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala was also facing "serious risks" due to changing cultural influences and demographic trends.

Turkmen are a Turkic ethnic group based largely in Syria and Iraq, where they live alongside large Arab and Kurdish populations. The greater Turkmen community, which includes both Sunni and Shia Muslims, shares close cultural and linguistic affinities with the Turkish people.

Photo Courtesy of WoldBulletin.net