Iraqi Turkoman: Iraqi Turkmen Front withdraws from peace confention
Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) decided to withdraw from the Peace Convention in Kerkuk in which it was the main participant. The convention was prepared in order to achieve peace between rival ethnic groups and discuss methods of cooperation and tolerance.
The ITF communiqué is as follows:
"We received an invitation from the preparation committee for the Peace Convention in Kerkuk. As it is our policy to support every effort to build the new Iraqi society and cooperate with all organizations that promote tolerance and progress.
We responded to the invitation and were present at the opening session of the convention that was held in Kerkuk on June 8th, 2004. The governor of Kerkuk and representatives of the political parties and movements as well as NGO's were present.
But to our great surprise, the convention program brochure handed to us at the hall, was prepared in English, Arabic and Kurdish without the Turkmen language. Whereas, the majority of the participants were Turkmen, this action was clearly planned to marginalize the Turkmen and ignore their role in the political and social affairs of Iraq. Therefore, we had no choice but to interrupt the meeting and withdraw from the convention to show our protest.
As we protest this planned action to marginalize the Turkmen, we declare that we will continue to adhere to our declared policy towards the status quo. We ask our people to strongly protest any attempt to marginalize the role of the Turkmen in the new Iraqi society."
TURKMEN CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT SUSPENDS HIS MEMBERSHIP
Hashim Nuri, a Turkmen and the president elect for the Tuz Khurmatu City Council has suspended his membership due to illegal nullification of the election results where he won by the majority of votes. A third person, Qadir Muhammed, who applied after closing the application period for candidates was appointed as president of the council. The intervention and forceful changing of the results was similar to the elections in Kerkuk and other Turkmen towns.
Hashim Nuri appealed to the Provincial Council to overturn the illegal act. The Provincial Council approved his case and ordered the elections to be repeated.
Tuz Khurmatu City Council convened on June 9th, 2004 to repeat the elections, but Qadir Muhammed objected saying that Mr. Mark, Paul Bremer's representative says that the outcome should not be changed and there is no need to repeat the elections.
Upon this imposition, Hashim Nuri suspended his membership until justice is served.