Iraqi Turkmen: Talabani on Autonomy for Turkmens
Talabani says ‘Terrorism, Shiite and Arab nationalist
extremism are threats. Without the US, civil war between Shiite Arabs and Sunnis
could be a real possibility’.
President Jalal Talabani of Iraq says the Kurds are considering the possibility of giving the Turkmens autonomy in regions where they're a majority in the new constitution that is being drafted for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Kurdish leaders are discussing the possibility of granting Turkmens autonomy in the northern regions where they're a majority, the Iraqi president said.
In an exclusive interview in his Baghdad presidential residence, the president, who is also a prominent Kurdish leader, said the new constitution for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is being drafted in the regional Parliament but did not elaborate when asked how the Kurds would determine where the Turkmens are in a majority.
Talabani repeated that there could be no Kurdish independence, especially without the blessing of Turkey. The Arab Shiites have Iran, the Arab Sunnis have the Arab states and especially Saudi Arabia. We only have Turkey.
The Iraqi president said terrorism and extremism remain serious threats for Iraq, On the one hand you have terrorism while on the other you have Shiite extremism and Sunni Arab nationalist extremism."
He said the worst are the terrorists that belong to the Zarqawi group and al-Qaeda. They regard ordinary Muslims as their enemies if they are not fundamentalists like themselves. They do not regard the Shiites as real Muslims. For them most people who say they are Muslims have actually given up the real practices of Islam and thus they are rejectionists who should be killed. They regard Sunni people who are not fundamentalists like themselves as people who have given up the Islamic faith which they say is the greatest sin. So they kill Muslims irrespective of their faith.
Talabani reported that the Zarqawi people killed some prominent Sunnis recently and that has triggered anger among Sunnis who have demanded arms from the government to fight back.
The Iraqi president said besides terrorists there are also the extremist Sunni Arabs who have been driven to violence because they were angered by U.S. troops, the Shiite Arabs, the Kurds or even by the government. The national unity government can solve this problem. The more Sunni Arabs are involved in the political process and receive benefits the more Sunni extremism will die down.
On a separate occasion when this reporter asked President Talabani when he felt Sunni insurgency would end, he said “In about six months”.
He said the Americans are talking to the Sunni Arabs to bring them back into the political process, and said, I must give guarantees to them to get them back.
However Talabani explained that the dialogue between the U.S.
and the Sunnis has created concerns among the Shiite Arabs that Washington will
help the Sunnis. Shiites Arabs are scared that the Sunni Arabs will make a comeback.
Talabani said this is impossible and that the Shiite majority will continue
to play a major role in Iraq.
Source: The New Anatolian