Sep 05, 2006

Iraqi Turkmen: Results Notification of the Consultation Meeting

Recently the Iraqi Turkmen Front held the second Consultation Meeting with the participation of Turkmen organizations outside Iraq

Below is the statement released by the Iraqi Turkmen Front:

The Results of the 2nd Consultation Meeting which was organized by the Iraqi Turkmen Front and the participation of Turkmen organizations outside Iraq was held in Ankara on the 22-23rd of August 2006 have been undersigned and a decision was taken to release them to the public:

"The ITF, which was born from the bosom of Turkmeneli with the intent of uniting the Turkmen under one roof, has entered the politization process in its 11th year and starting from 2005.

The reason for this is that in the year 2005 Iraq experienced intensive political developments with the realization of two elections and a referendum. In the first elections and the referendum ITF gave an organized struggle, while during the second elections, it proved its majority as a political entity by entering the elections single handedly...

The primary problem of the Turkmen is Kirkuk. The annexing of Kirkuk to the North Region is unacceptable. Under the present conditions, even the holding of the referendum at the end of 2007 will not solve the problem. In fact, the decisions taken regarding Kirkuk are contradictory and without a legal basis.

It is a known fact that Iraq has been under occupation since March of 2003. The country has been administered for one and a half years according to a law called “Provisional Administration Law” which was accepted in 8th March 2004 to qualify as a constitutional law, although it had not been prepared and approved by the Iraqi people.

With the way things are, and the contents and approval method of the Iraq Constitutional Law being debatable, the Law only became valid after being ratified in a referendum held on the 15th of October 2005.

The mistakes which had been made in the Commissioned Provisional Administration Law had been repeated in the Constitutional Law, the rights of the Turkmen had been openly usurped.

In the Constitutional Law, the Turkmen were not accepted as a 3rd basic component next to the Arabs and Kurds. The Turkmen were considered as a minority status. Whereas the Turkmen have never been a minority.

Even Article 53 of the Provisional Administration Law which we disapprove and which legality is debatable, guarantees the administrative, cultural and political rights of the Turkmen, and foresees the independence of Baghdad and Kirkuk from any regional government. While this article is being ignored in the New Constitutional Law, article 58 of the Provisional Administration Law is being associated with article 140 of the new Constitutional Law compromising the future of Kirkuk...

It is a known fact that during the Saddam era, the number of enforced emigrations from Kirkuk is around 12.000.. Before the approval of the Constitutional Law or the formation of a committee to normalize Kirkuk and even more important, before holding a consensus, over 600.000 thousand Kurds are recruited and settled into the city and even allowed to vote. Thus even article 140 has been violated. The efforts spent now consist of finding cover that fits.

An understanding aimed at dividing Iraq and promoting the interests of some groups is not acceptable and worthy to us... If reason and tolerance are to prevail in Iraq, the address is clear and it is the Turkmen. In this case the rights of the Turkmen in Iraq cannot be forsaken to the mercy of some people and groups, Kirkuk cannot be used as bargaining or referendum material. Kirkuk must remain a city of Iraq and have a special status like Baghdad. Otherwise, all contention measures within democratic rules will be resorted to and steps will be taken for the removal of all injustices occurring in Turkmeneli..

In addition to this, we are unable to continue our political activities in Erbil. At present, the Turkmen of Erbil are groaning under the oppression of the Northern Administration. In Telafar we are experiencing very serious security problems. In addition, we request the Iraqi government to remove the negative conditions in Telafar by contributing to the improvement of the region and sending back the emigrants.

We request the Iraqi government that Telafar and Tuzhurmatu which have a concentrated Turkmen population to be declared “provinces”.

We will closely follow our problems for the existence, union and harmony of the Turkmen entity and share all the developments daily with the public because this country is ours and we love our country...”