Thursday, 30 April 2009

Inside Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Istanbul

Some photos I took during my last visit to Sultan Ahmet Mosque
Click on photos to englarge

Muslim Architecture under Ottoman Patronage 1926-1924
For more photos see:

Berlin'de Kerkük Konferansı

28-30 Nisan 2009 tarihleri arasında Federal Almanya’nın başkenti Berlin’de Friedrich Naumnn STİFTUNG (vakfı) tarafından Kerkük sorunu ile ilgili 4 günlük bir konferans düzenlenmiştir.konferans geçen yıl Amman’da ölü deniz adı altında aynı kuruluş tarafından iki sefer toplantı yapılmıştır.
Konferansa Kerkük Belediye meclisinden Türkmen, Kürt, Arap, ve Hıristiyan’lardan 25 kişi davet edilmiştir. Türkmenleri temsilen Sayın Jale Neftçi, Hasan Turan, Ali Mehdi, Tahsin Kahya ve Irak Milli Türkmen Partisi genel başkanı sayın Cemal Şen katılmışlardır. Ayrıca konferansa konuşmacı olarak birleşmiş milletler orta doğu kriz uzmanı Dr. Joost Hiltermann, bağımsız azınlıkları savunma uzmanı Zdenka Machniykova, Uluslar arası hukuku uzmanı profesör Dr. John Packer, ve Dünya kriz araştırma merkezi başkanı Dr. Stefan wolff ‘ta konferansa katılmışlardır. Konferansın esas hedefi Kerkük sorununa adil ve demokrasi bir şekilde gruplar arasında çözüm bulmak , Iraklı gruplar arasında bazen Sıçak tartışmalar yaşandı. Ayrıca Irak Türkmen heyeti Irak Türkmen Cephesi Almanya Temsilcisi Sayın Ganim Authman ile bir araya gelerek Kerkük konusu ele alınmıştır.

INFO. ITC. Berlin

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

UAA protests extradition of nine Uyghurs from Pakistan to China

For immediate release
April 28, 2009, 6:30 pm EST

Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496

The Uyghur American Association (UAA) is concerned about reports that nine Uyghurs have been extradited from Pakistan to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). UAA condemns the Pakistani government’s refoulement of the nine Uyghurs, accused of terrorism, to the PRC, as this action contravenes international law. Uyghurs accused of terrorism and extradited to China are likely to face serious human rights violations, including torture, unfair trials, and execution. International law forbids the extradition of any individual to a country in which their safety cannot be guaranteed.

According to Pakistani media reports, the handover of the nine men came about as a result of three agreements made between Pakistan and China regarding militancy and extremism. However, UAA urges caution when viewing allegations of terrorism among Uyghurs in Pakistan, in light of Pakistani authorities’ close cooperation with the Chinese government in its persecution of Pakistani-based Uyghurs’ peaceful activities.

“Pakistani authorities are increasingly cooperating with China to restrict Uyghurs’ cultural and religious freedoms, and to prevent Uyghurs in Pakistan from raising awareness about human rights abuses in East Turkestan,” said Uyghur democracy leader Rebiya Kadeer. “Under these circumstances, and considering China’s documented past treatment of Uyghurs forcibly returned from Pakistan, we call upon Pakistani authorities to respect the principle of non-refoulement and undertake a full, transparent investigation into the allegations against these nine men.”

Past cases of Uyghurs extradited from Pakistan to China
The case of Uyghur political prisoner Ismail Semed demonstrates the PRC’s willingness to use the legal system as a tool of intimidation and repression. Executed in February 2007 after being deported from Pakistan to the PRC in 2003, Semed was known to have been politically active in support of Uyghurs’ human rights. Semed was sentenced to death in October 2005 on charges of “attempting to split the motherland” and other charges relating to the alleged possession of firearms and explosives. He was known to have been politically active in peaceful activities in support of Uyghurs’ human rights. PRC authorities accused him of having been a founding member of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). This accusation, which apparently led to the “splittism” charge, appears to have been based solely on second-hand testimony that was obtained through torture.

According to Semed’s sentencing document, which was seen by UHRP, the only evidence with regard to the charges of possession of explosives is the testimony of several other Uyghurs, two of whom were executed by the Chinese government in 1999. UHRP believes it likely that the testimonies of these Uyghurs were obtained through torture, and that Semed’s documented “confession” to the charges against him was also likely extracted through torture.

Businessman and Uyghur activist Osman Alihan was extradited in July 2007, also from Pakistan. His current whereabouts are unknown, but UAA is gravely concerned about the likelihood that he has been executed or that he is suffering severe maltreatment in the custody of Chinese authorities. Alihan was one of around 20 Uyghurs named on a “wanted list” given to the Pakistani authorities by the PRC government in the lead-up to a Pakistan-China Joint Working Group on Terrorism held in Beijing not long before his detention by Pakistani security forces. In addition to his business activities, Alihan had been working to help impoverished Uyghur students in Pakistan and Turkey.

Alihan was one of the organizers of peaceful protests in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Pakistan in August and September 2006 by Uyghurs protesting the denial of their Saudi entry visas. Reportedly under intense pressure from the PRC government, Saudi authorities had refused to issue the visas, which the protestors, who had traveled to Pakistan as private citizens, were seeking in order to participate in the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj. After the protests, and following pressure from the international community, Saudi Arabia issued visas to the Uyghur pilgrims, angering Beijing.
A precarious situation for Uyghurs in SCO member and observer states
In recent years, and particularly following September 11, PRC authorities have engaged in a sustained crackdown on the “three evil forces” of “separatist, terrorist and religious extremists” in East Turkestan. This has resulted in serious and widespread human rights violations directed against the region’s Uyghur community, prompting many of them to flee the country.

Uyghurs who flee into countries neighboring East Turkestan increasingly face great danger and the risk of being sent back to the PRC. Amnesty International has documented numerous cases of Uyghurs being forcibly returned to the PRC from various neighboring states – including Pakistan – where they are then extremely vulnerable to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

As the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) marks more than a decade of existence, Beijing has extended its campaign of intimidation into neighboring countries by using bilateral agreements with SCO member and observer states to force the return of Uyghurs suspected of “separatist activities”, including asylum-seekers and refugees. A number of Uyghur returnees have reportedly been subjected to serious human rights violations, including torture, unfair trials and even executions. In all of these cases, SCO governments are in clear violation of the principal of non-refoulement, which protects refugees from being returned to places where their lives or freedoms could be threatened.
Pakistan’s current “observer” status with the SCO, as well as Pakistani government officials’ remarks against domestic activities perceived as critical of China, raises concerns that Pakistan is willing to persecute innocent Uyghurs, or send them back to East Turkestan, in order to please China.

Pakistan hopes to act as an important energy and trade link between China and oil-exporting Middle Eastern nations. China has invested heavily in a deep sea port at Gwadar in southwestern Pakistan, through which both countries hope to gain significant strategic and economic benefits, including through a possible oil pipeline linking Gwadar with East Turkestan.

Other examples of Uyghurs who have been extradited to the PRC from SCO member and observer states include Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil, now serving a life term in prison, who was detained in Uzbekistan in March 2006 while visiting relatives, and activists Yusuf Kadir and Abdukadir Sidik, now detained or possibly executed, who were extradited from Kazakhstan.

China’s use of terror allegations to persecute Uyghurs

Over the past eight years, using “terrorism” as a justification, Beijing has undertaken a renewed, systematic, and sustained crackdown on all forms of Uyghur dissent. Uyghurs arrested under this crackdown frequently suffer from physical abuse and other maltreatment while in government custody. In addition, they are often subject to nontransparent trials and denied access to independent counsel. Convictions are regularly obtained on the basis of forced confessions extracted through torture.

In August 2005, Chinese authorities warned a visiting delegation from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom that “elements of al Qaeda” were targeting them. The Commission later determined that this claim was used to “restrict Commission activities and to monitor its contact with local people not approved by the government.” In June 2006, the Chinese diplomatic mission in Pakistan claimed that “members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement” were planning to kidnap senior Chinese diplomats and consular officers in the country. However, no evidence was presented.

The PRC government has used frequent “strike hard” campaigns to target many peaceful expressions of Uyghur identity inside East Turkestan. Since 9/11, Amnesty International has documented that, under these types of campaigns, “tens of thousands of people are reported to have been detained for investigation in the region, and hundreds, possibly thousands, have been charged or sentenced under the Criminal Law; many Uighurs are believed to have been sentenced to death and executed for alleged “separatist” or “terrorist” offences.”

See also:
Uyghur political prisoner executed in Urumchi
Uyghur detained in Pakistan, at risk of extradition to China
Amnesty International Urgent Action regarding Osman Alihan
Persecution of Uyghurs in the Era of the “War on Terror”
PRC using Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a tool of intimidation against Uyghurs
Chinese influence on neighboring states leads to extradition, suppression of Uyghurs

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Corinne Reilly of McClatchy Newspapers misinforming readers about Kerkuk

Below is Ahmet Yilmaz’ reaction to Corinne Reilly's article: “U.N. experts urge power sharing in Kerkuk” in which she writes that ‘Kerkuk is historically Kurdish’!!!

From : Ahmet Yilmaz

To the author, Corinne Reilly McClatchy Newspapers

You write: “Kirkuk is historically Kurdish…”

First, I am deeply troubled by this statement that you make about Kurds having some historic entitlement to the city of Kirkuk. I am curious as to see where you are pulling your references from?! Second, the mere fact that the current diverse ethnic composition of Kerkuk should be a clear indication that perhaps the city may have not been inhabited exclusively by a single ethnic group in the past. For you to carelessly insert an overly-generalized statement does not only reveal your myopic understanding of the historical and present situation in Kerkuk, but also your apparent bias that clearly favors the Kurds. While I don’t care much about what your opinions are on the matter, I do think that it is dangerous for a journalist to be academically unprepared and misguided when it comes to taking on a such an important and controversial topic.

Ahmet Yilmaz / Chicago

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Mutant seeds for Mesopotamia

by Andrew Bosworth, Ph.D.
October 15, 2008

One would think that Iraqi farmers, now prospering under "freedom" and "democracy," would be able to plant the seeds of their choosing, but that choice, under little-known Order 81, would be illegal.

But first, it is important to set the context. Most people have never heard of the infamous "100 Orders," but they help explain why the majority of Iraqis remain opposed to foreign occupation. The 100 Orders allow multinational corporations to basically privatize an entire nation, and this degree of foreign and private control has not been witnessed since the days of the British East India Company and its extraterritoriality treaties.

A few examples of the 100 Orders are illuminating:
Order 39 allows for the tax-free remittance of all corporate profits.
Order 17 grants foreign contractors, including private security firms, immunity from Iraq's laws.
Orders 57 and 77 ensure the implementation of the orders by placing U.S.-appointed auditors and inspector general in every government ministry, with five-year terms and with sweeping authority over contracts, programs, employees and regulations. (1)

Back to one of the most blatant orders of all: Order 81. Under this mandate, Iraq's commercial farmers must now buy "registered seeds." These are normally imported by Monsanto, Cargill and the World Wide Wheat Company. Unfortunately, these registered seeds are "terminator" seeds, meaning "sterile." Imagine if all human men were infertile, and in order to reproduce women needed to buy sperm cells at a sperm bank. In agricultural terms, terminator seeds represent the same kind of sterility.

Terminator seeds have no agricultural value other than creating corporate monopolies. The Sierra Club, more of a mainstream "conservation" organization than a radical "environmentalist" one, makes the exact same case:

"This technology would protect the intellectual property interests of the seed company by making the seeds from a genetically engineered crop plant sterile, unable to germinate. Terminator would make it impossible for farmers to save seed from a crop for planting the next year, and would force them to buy seed from the supplier. In the third world, this inability to save seed could be a major, perhaps fatal, burden on poor farmers." (2)

What makes this Order 81 even more outrageous is that Iraqi farmers have been saving wheat and barley seeds since at least 4000 BC, when irrigated agriculture first emerged, and probably even to about 8000 BC, when wheat was first domesticated. Mesopotamia's farmers have now been trumped by white-smocked, corporate bio-engineers from Florida who strive to replace hundreds of natural varieties with a handful of genetically scrambled hybrids.

Where does such hubris come from? It comes from the entire mission surrounding the invasion of Iraq, which, upon closer inspection, had been planned years in advance by a faction of "neo-cons" who adopted Leon Trotsky's glorification of the state, his theory "permanent revolution," and his goal of exporting revolution worldwide. The neo-con revolution aims to alter the economic, political and cultural foundations of nations on the other side of the planet (rejecting old-fashioned notions of self-determination, popular sovereignty and even the nation-state system). This mission includes the transformation of agriculture and the establishment of "food control" over local populations.

Order 81 fits into this revolutionary program, and it is quite diabolical upon closer inspection. First, it forces Iraq's commercial farmers to use registered terminator seeds (the "protected variety"). Then it defines natural seeds as illegal (the "infringing variety"), in a classic Orwellian turn of language.

This is so incredible that it must be re-stated: the exotic genetically scrambled seeds are the "protected variety" and the indigenous seeds are the "infringing variety."

As Jeffrey Smith explains, author of Order 81: Re-Engineering Iraqi Agriculture:
"To qualify for PVP [Plant Variety Protection], seeds have to meet the following criteria: they must be 'new, distinct, uniform and stable'... it is impossible for the seeds developed by the people of Iraq to meet these criteria. Their seeds are not 'new' as they are the product of millennia of development. Nor are they 'distinct'. The free exchange of seeds practiced for centuries ensures that characteristics are spread and shared across local varieties. And they are the opposite of 'uniform' and 'stable' by the very nature of their biodiversity." (3)

Order 81 comes with the Orwellian title of "Plant Variety Protection." Any self-respecting scientist knows, however, that imposing biological standardization accomplishes the exact opposite: It reduces biodiversity and threatens species. So Order 81 comes with an Orwellian title and consists of Orwellian provisions.

Jeffrey Smith peels away the layers of mischief behind Order 81, finding it nonsensical that six varieties of wheat have been developed for Iraq:
"Three will be used for farmers to grow wheat that is made into pasta; three seed strains will be for 'breadmaking.'

Pasta? According to the 2001 World Food Programme report on Iraq, 'Dietary habits and preferences included consumption of large quantities and varieties of meat, as well as chicken, pulses, grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products.' No mention of lasagna. Likewise, a quick check of the Middle Eastern cookbook on my kitchen shelves, while not exclusively Iraqi, reveals a grand total of no pasta dishes listed within it.

There can be only two reasons why 50 per cent of the grains being developed are for pasta. One, the US intends to have so many American soldiers and businessmen in Iraq that it is orienting the country's agriculture around feeding not 'Starving Iraqis' but 'Overfed Americans'. Or, and more likely, because the food was never meant to be eaten inside Iraq at all…" (4)

Just in case Iraqi farmer can't read, Order 81 enforces the new monopoly on seeds with the jackboot. Order 81 makes this clear in its own text, buried at the bottom of the document, as is most screw-you fine print:

"The court may order the confiscation of the infringing variety as well as the materials and tools substantially used in the infringement of the protected variety. The court may also decide to destroy the infringing variety as well as the materials and tools or to dispose of them in any noncommercial purpose." (5)

Order 81 is about power and profit, but it disguises itself as humanitarian legislation.
Topping it all off, the entire document puts on rather magisterial airs. It was signed by L. Paul Bremer himself, with his own hand, and presumably with his own pen:

"Pursuant to my authority as Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority…"
Like the Roman Proconsuls, Paul Bremer also spent a year in the provinces, governing the so-called barbarians…

-The above is an excerpt from Andrew Bosworth’s new book: Biotech Empire: The Untold Future of Food, Pills, and Sex, available at Amazon.

-Andrew Bosworth, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Government at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

1. Uruknet Report, "Have You Ever Heard of Bremer's 100 Orders?" 11 April 2008.
2. Institutional Report, Genetic Engineering at a Historic Crossroads," The Sierra Club Genetic Engineering Committee Report, March 2001.
3. Jeremy Smith, "ORDER 81: Re-Engineering Iraqi Agriculture - The Ultimate War Crime: Breaking the Agricultural Cycle." Global Research and The Ecologist, 27 August 2005, Vol 35, No. 1.
4. Jeremy Smith, "ORDER 81: Re-Engineering Iraqi Agriculture - The Ultimate War Crime: Breaking the Agricultural Cycle." Global Research and The Ecologist, 27 August 2005, Vol 35, No. 1.
5 CPA/ORD/26 April 2004/81, p. 27.
:: Article nr. 47991 sent on 18-mar-2009 20:32 ECT

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Oyun İçinde Oyun Kerkük

Oyun İçinde Oyun Kerkük

Kum Saati Yayıncıları / İnceleme Dizisi
13,00 TL
NetKitap Ederi:
11,05 TL

Ariel Şaron'un şu sözleri, Ortadoğu coğrafyasında yaşayan insanları bekleyen tehlikenin ne denli büyük olduğuna işaret etmektedir:"Şunu açıkça söylememe izin verin. ABD'nin İsrail'e baskı yapması diye bir şey söz konusu olamaz. Bundan kaygı duymayın...ABD'yi biz, yani Yahudiler yönetiyoruz ve Amerikalılar da bunu biliyorlar.Bugün Irak'ta oluk oluk akan kan, petrolden daha ucuz. Kerkük, Musul ve Erbil'de sahnelenen oyun açıkça ortada. Nitekim Kuzey Irak'ta gelişecek ayrılıkçı bir Kürt hareketinin, hele bir Kürt devletinin bölge ülkelerini etkilemeyeceğini düşünmek mümkün değil. Bölge ülkeleri, coğrafi ve demografik yönden birbirine çok benzer özelliklere sahipler. Birinde gelişecek siyasi bir oluşum, kaçınılmaz olarak diğerlerini de etkileyecektir. Bu nedenle Kuzey Irak'ı bağımsız bir Kürt devletine dönüştürmek isteyen tüm girişimlerin dolaylı olarak bölge ülkelerinin toprak bütünlüğünü hedef alan bir tehdit olduğunu gözden kaçırmamak gerekir. Bölgede bir yangın var, bu yangın komşu ülkeleri ilgilendirmez denilirse, herkes bilsin ki, bu yangın bölgeye sıçrayacak ve uzandığı her yeri alev alev tutuşturacaktır.
Eğer zamanında gerekli önlemler alınmazsa Kürt bayrağının Mahabad (İran), Kamışlı, (Suriye) ve Diyarbakır'da (Türkiye) dalgalanmayacağını kim garanti edebilir? Dış güçler zaten bu yangını körüklüyorlar. Bölge ülkeleri, olup bitenleri çok iyi takip etmeli ve birbiriyle işbirliği içine girmelidir. Çünkü bu yangın her geçen gün tüm ortadoğuyu kapsayacak derecede hızla ilerliyor.
384 sayfa, 2. hamur,
ISBN: 9756199970;
Boyut: 13,5x21 cm;
Baskı Tarihi: Temmuz 2006
Özgün Dili: Türkçe

Sunday, 19 April 2009

A report into Kurdish abuses in TURKMENELI

by Salman Mofak

Türkmeneli Representative for the UK and the Republic of Ireland

1. Introduction-- 5
1.1 Turkmen at the Monarchy era- 6
1.2 The Abdul Karim Qasim period (1958–1963) 7
1.3 The social era of General Abdul-Salam Arif (1963–1967) 8
1.4 The Ba’ath Period (1968–2003) 9
1.5 The provisional constitution of 1970- 11
1.6 The National Congress of the Ba'ath Party in 1971- 12
1.7 The Iraq and Iran War 1980–1988 (The First Gulf War) 16
1.8 The uprising of 1991- 17
1.9 Occupation era 2003- 19
1.10 The New Iraqi Constitution- 23
1.11 The attack on the Iraqi Turkmen front in Kirkuk- 24
2.1 Squatting in government properties ---------------------------------------34
2.2 Establishing puppet parties- 37
2.3 Using false identities- 37
2.4 Looting of deeds and the land registry office- 39
2.5 The assassination of the general director for education- 40
2.6 Kurdish regional government issuing fake documents. 43
2.7 Human Rights Watch-- 46
2.8 Vandalizing Turkmen Martyrs’ Names- 47
2.9 Power abuse by Kurdish Asayish- 48
2.10 The attack on al_Tasahul supermarket- 52
2.11 Police Headquarters (Quriya), Central Kirkuk- 53
2.12 The attack on a Turkmen governing council member 57
2.13 The Turkmen school books confiscated- 58
2.14 Demolishing of a Turkmen house by Kurdish militia- 59
2.15 The attack on the Turkmen village of Yengejeh-- 60
2.16 Barzani bribes a former Minister of Justice, Hashim al- Shebli 60
2.17 Property Claims Commission controlled by the Kurds 61
2.18 MRG report on the 26 Feb.2007- 74
2.19 Kurdish terrorisation- 75
2.20 Kidnapping of the Arabs and Turkmens by the Kurdish Militia- 76
2.21 American Forces and Iraqi Police Demolish Turkmen Villages- 77
2.22 Abuses and Atrocities Committed by the Kurdish Rebels- 79
2.23 Provocation of Turkmen Citizens- 80
2.24 Transfer of the Kurds to Kirkuk- 80
2.25 The Attack on Shifa Hospital 81
2.26 The Assassination of Brigadier Sabah Bahlul Kara Altun- 81
2.27 Kurds Harassed Turkish Peacekeeping Force- 82
2.28 Kirkuk and Kurdish Election Fraud- 83
2.29 The Abduction of Turkmen Journalist Qasim Sari Kahya- 88
2.30 Kurdish Threatening Letter 88
2.31 The Arrest of the Kirkuk Governing Council Member 90
2.32 Jalal Talabani’s visit to Kirkuk- 91
2.33 Iraqi Demonstration against the Kurdish Ambassador in Sweden- 92
2.34 Kurds Squatting on Turkmen Land in Tuz Khormatu- 92
2.37 The Kurdish Parties Harbouring PKK Terrorist Organisations- 97
2.39 Abduction Turkmen News Reader by Kurdish police- 102

Monday, 6 April 2009

The Misrepresentation of Iraqi Turkmens in the Kurdish Media

Romano Rimin

Iraqi Turkmens are misrepresented in the Kurdish media. This misrepresentation has different reasons and purposes. This article is an initial proposal for further and detailed studies of this important topic which can reveal the main reasons and purposes behind this misrepresentation of the Iraqi Turkmens in the Kurdish media. The studies can be guided by several concepts such as: (1) media representation, (2) propaganda, (3) the ruling powerful groups’ dominant ideas, and (4) worthy and unworthy victims and news.

These concepts are reflected in the Kurdish media -mainly in the official Kurdish media- in how they portray the Iraqi Turkmens, their history, culture and political institutions.The concept of “media representation” refers to how the media portray the world surrounding us. ‘Bias’ and ‘stereotype’ are two most common elements used when researching media representation.

Media are often accused of being biased, that is, media emphasize certain details and neglect or exclude others. Until the American occupation of Iraq (2003), the Western media, particularly the American media, and the regional Middle Eastern media (e.g., Iraqi and Arab media) have always neglected the Iraqi Turkmens and their cause. On the other hand, the Kurdish media either excluded the Iraqi Turkmens or portrayed them negatively, especially after the American occupation of Iraq. The Iraqi Kurdish media are packed of such unfair and negative representation of the Iraqi Turkmens.

Unconstructive representation of the Iraqi Turkmens in the Kurdish media emphasizes the denigration of these people. In fact, this kind of representation of the Iraqi Turkmens in the Kurdish media have taken an organized shape and an increased pace after the American occupation of Iraq. One of the most important reasons behind such an attempt is that the main Kurdish militia groups (e.g., Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan militia groups), after gaining some power under the American occupation of Iraq, are expanding their territories and trying to control the oil rich Turkmen territories.

An analytic framework, based primarily on the “propaganda model” set out by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in their influential book Manufacturing Consent can be developed to examine how and why the controlled Iraqi Kurdish media function to marginalize, exclude and denigrate the Iraqi Turkmens. Central to this model is the proposition that the mainstream media serve the interests of a dominant elite in any society, regardless whether it is capitalist or totalitarian in nature.

As mentioned earlier, the powerful Kurdish groups, after the American occupation of Iraq in 2003, have expanded their control into other Iraqi ethnic groups’ regions. It was typical for the new Kurdish controllers to exclude, marginalize and denigrate the local ethnic groups as they realized that these ethnic groups create barriers to their interests. One of the important elements of Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model which can be applied here is “anticommunism” as a control machine. This element emphasizes the idea of creating with great vigor an enemy who threatens the interests of a class, nation or a people. This is an “ideology” which serves the crucial purpose of mobilizing the populace (in this case the Kurdish populace) against this enemy who can threaten the controlling powerful groups’ interests.

This element is used explicitly and implicitly in the Kurdish mainstream media to portray the Iraqi Turkmens, and even other Iraqi ethnic groups (e.g., Arabs and Assyrians), as the enemies of the Kurds’ ambitions. The classic Marxist notion that ‘the dominant idea in a society is the ruling or powerful class’s idea’ is detectable in how and why the mainstream Kurdish media attempt to marginalize and denigrate the Iraqi Turkmens.

The group which controls different aspects of a society will have greater chances to control cultural means and consequently will be able to produce, disseminate and promote certain ideas among people in order to sustain its interests. Such promoted ideas eventually become part of the established order in the society. After the American occupation of Iraq, no doubt, the Kurdish groups, which became the closest allies of the occupiers, have gained significant power and control over considerable resources. As a result, they were able to control the existed media establishments and created enormous propaganda machines in the region they have control and elsewhere.

Utilizing these propaganda machines, these controlling Kurdish groups usually provide partial and outright false news and views about the Iraqi Turkmens and they try to legitimize these views among their own people, other Iraqi ethnic groups and among different nations, particularly among the Westerners.

On the other hand, the Iraqi Turkmens are deprived of such privileges. Their voices hardly reach other Iraqi ethnic groups, let alone the international level. Finally, the controlled Kurdish media look at the Iraqi Turkmens whether they are a worthy or unworthy entity to be mentioned in their media outlets. In general, the Iraqi Turkmens are unworthy entities for these media. And even if they are mentioned in these media, the Iraqi Turkmens are usually portrayed in a way to serve the controlling Kurdish groups’ interests.

In other words, the Iraqi Turkmens are either excluded (i.e., unworthy or invaluable news items) or marginalized and denigrated in the controlled Kurdish media. As an important subject in communication research, the issue of Iraqi Turkmens’ representation in the Kurdish media has not been conducted by any researcher to this day.

However, there are several articles responding or reacting to some Kurdish claims about the Iraqi Turkmens. Most of these responses/reactions are written by the Iraqi Turkmen writers. Mainly, these articles emphasize the emotional aspect of the issue rather than attempting to reveal the real reasons behind the misrepresentation of the Iraqi Turkmens in the Kurdish media in a wider context. In other words, there is no methodically and systematically studies about the issue which can yield logical results (to some extent) and deal with the problem accordingly. Conducting studies about the exclusion and misrepresentation of the Iraqi Turkmens in the Kurdish media and dealing with their results wisely are vital and can contribute to the reconciliation among the struggling factions in Iraq in general and in the northern region in particular.



İstanbul, 10–12 Nisan 2009


III. Irak Türkmen Basın Konseyi Kurultayı10–12 Nisan 2009 Tarihleri Arasında İstanbul’da Toplanıyor

Irak Türkmenlerinin medyasına hizmet eden yazılı ve görsel basın mensupları arasında diyalog oluşturmak, bu alanda çalışanlarının amaçlarına ulaşmasını sağlamak, Türkmen basınının güçlenmesine katkıda bulunmak; tarafsız, bağımsız, doğru ve düzeyli habercilik anlayışı ile Irak ve dünya kamuoyunu bilgilendirmek; Türkmen davasının tanıtımını ve ülke topraklarının birliğinin, saygınlığının ve kutsallığının korunması yolunda Irak Türkmenlerinin yaptığı çağrıyı duyurmak; yazılı, işitsel ve görsel medya alanında çaba harcayan Türkmenler arasında düşünce, bakış, dayanışma, iş ve söylem birliğini pekiştirmek amacıyla III. Irak Türkmen Basın Konseyi Kurultayı 10–12 Nisan 2009 tarihleri arasında İstanbul’da toplanacaktır.

Gazete, dergi, televizyon, radyo, web sitesi ve benzeri iletişim araçlarında çalışan Irak Türkmen yazılı ve görsel medya mensuplarından 100 dolayında delegenin katıldığı kurultaya Kerkük’ten, Bağdat’tan, Musul’dan, Telafer, Tuzhurmatu ve Erbil’den, ABD ve Kanada’dan, İngiltere, Almanya, Fransa, Hollanda ve Danimarka’dan, Avustralya ve Türkiye’den yazı işleri müdürü, editör, başyazar, gazeteci, yazar, muhabir ve web sayfası yöneticileri gibi medyaya yönelik kendi alanında çaba gösteren Türkmen temsilciler katılacaklardır.

Kurultaya ayrıca Arap ve Batı dünyasından 20’ye yakın tanınmış medya temsilci, yazar, gazeteci ve muhabir katılıyor. İstanbul-Osmanbey, Ramada Plaza İstanbul otelinde yapılacak olan kurultay, 10 Nisan 2009, Cuma günü saat 14.30’da Balo Salonu’nda yapılacak açılış oturumu ile başlayacaktır. 3 gün sürecek kurultayda paneller, seminer ve oturumlar yapılacaktır. Kurultay 12 Nisan 2009 Pazar günü sonuç bildirisinin açıklanacağı kapanış oturumu ile çalışmalarını tamamlamış olacaktır.

Düzenleme Komitesi

Prof. Dr. Suphi SAATÇİ
Irak Türkmen Basın Konseyi Genel Sekreteri

Türkmen Basın Konseyi Üyesi

Türkmen Basın Konseyi Üyesi

Nevbahar Mahallesi Kuka Sokağı Huzur Apt. Nu: 1/1

Tel: (0212) 584 00 75
Faks: (0212) 584 00 76

Sunday, 5 April 2009

The Turkmens and Kerkuk, by Dr. Hassan Aydinli (videos)

Extracts of ITF EU Representative’s speech at the EU Parliament
on 18th March 2009 in Brussels

To watch videos please click on :

"The situation of Turkmens in the North of Iraq", by Hassan Aydinli, oil expert.

This speech was a part of "Occupation Year 7: What future for Iraq?",
a series of events organized by The BRussells Tribunal,
and took place in the European Parliament,
18 March 2009, in Brussels.

"The situation of Turkmen in the North of Iraq" (part 1)
"The situation of Turkmen in the North of Iraq" (part 2)
"The situation of Turkmen in the North of Iraq" (part 3)

International Seeds Day on April 26

International Seeds Day
on April 26

to advocate for Patent-FREE seeds, biodiversity,

farmers rights and to challenge Order 81

Institute of Near Eastern & African Studies (INEAS)

For Immediate Release
Saturday, April 4, 09


Dr. Brian John, 44 123 982-0470,

Dr. Vandana Shiva, 91 2 653-5422,

Wafaa’ Al-Natheema, 1 (617) 864-6327,

Please also email Al-Natheema at


Cambridge, Massachusetts - Organizations, activists, farmers and organic food advocates around the world have endorsed and will observe April 26 as International Seeds Day (ISD). The purpose of the ISD is to educate the public and inform the media about:

· the importance of biodiversity and how to practice seed saving;

· the dangers of genetically modified food and patent seeds

· Order 81 and how it had and will devastate the future of IRAQ’s agriculture; and

· how to resist the ability of giant agricultural corporations’ to control seed resources;

Join us to educate about and advocate for patent-free seeds, farmers rights and mobilize to

challenge the giant agricultural corporations and Order 81:

Historically, the Iraqi constitution prohibited ownership of biological resources.

Farmers in Iraq have operated in a mostly free-to-little-regulated, informal seed supply system. Farm-saved seeds and the free exchange of planting materials among farmers have long been the basis of agricultural practice in Iraq. Yet all of this has become history.

On April 26, 2004, Paul Bremer, the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority

(CPA), issued and signed Order 81, which prohibits farmers from reusing seeds harvested from new varieties registered under the law. When ownership of a crop is claimed, seed saving will be banned and farmers will have to be pay royalties to the registered, so-called seed owner.

A “Greedy law, unjust law is meant to be disobeyed”

The Order arises from USAID program in Iraq, which confirms that foreign aid programs are mainly “commercial opportunity” programs designed to benefit companies in the USA and Europe. It fits perfectly into the US vision for the future of Iraqi agriculture following a system dependent on large corporations selling chemical inputs and seeds. The purpose of Order 81 is to facilitate the establishment of a new seed market in Iraq, one in which Iraqi farmers are forced to make their annual purchase of seeds, including those that are genetically modified, from transnational corporations.

The law awarded US Corporations complete control over farmers’ seed for 20 years. Iraqi farmers had to sign an agreement to pay a “technology fee” plus an annual license fee. Plant Variety Protection (PVP) made seed reusing and saving illegal as well as “similar” seed plantings punishable by severe fines and imprisonment. Agribusiness wants the same rights everywhere, including in the USA. This will jeopardize the future of organic and independent farming.

Many developing countries in Africa and Asia particularly in Afghanistan, India and Iraq have been suffering from these unjust laws and the monopoly by the agricultural giants. Therefore organizations, activists, organic food advocates, farm owners and farmers around the world are joining hand to advocate for patent-free seeds and biodiversity and to educate about the criminal practices by agricultural corporations and how their unjust laws have and will affect the future of agriculture.

More information:

The Institute of Near Eastern & African Studies (INEAS)

1 (617) 86-INEAS (864-6327)

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Order 81 and the Plunder of Farming

April 2, 2009
Latha Jishnu: Order 81 and the plunder of farming

Latha Jishnu / New Delhi April 1, 2009

In recent days, the multinational force in Iraq has been putting out rather curious news releases. These state that visiting agriculture experts from the US have been helping Iraqi farmers to learn new farming techniques to help them “to compete in a free market economy by reducing prices”. Team Borlaug, as the expert group is called, is working to set up model farms where farmers can see the newest technology and techniques in action, according to a statement attributed to Dustin Kinder, the leader.

Kirkuk is the third province in northern Iraq that the team has studied and after a six-month tour it will put together recommendations to improve Iraqi agriculture that has been in a shambles since the mid-1990s when global sanctions were imposed on the country.

There is an intolerable air of patronage — and duplicity — about the latest statement emanating from the military command of the occupying forces. It reflects a gross ignorance of the history of agriculture in the country which is now paying the price for Saddam Hussein’s adventurism and the Rambo-like invasion by US. Iraq, it must be remembered, has the oldest history of farming and one of the longest traditions of cultivation in the civilised world. Modern Iraq is part of the ‘fertile crescent’ of Mesopotamia where man first domesticated wheat more than 8,000 years ago, and is home to several thousand varieties of local wheat.

True, its production of wheat has declined to just a quarter of what it was in 1995 (1.2 million tonnes) and the land is degraded to a shocking degree. But the focus of the revival strategy that is under way in Iraq is intended not to help its farmers so much as to allow multinational seed companies to capture the market. Listen to Kinder whose entire team is linked to Texas A&M University: “We are going to help 25th Infantry Division put on an agricultural conference, and we will help them develop a strategic plan for agriculture in Iraq.” What the nation or its farmers want is not really the centre piece of this effort since the US has effectively tied up the Iraqi market for its seed giant.

This happened five years ago when Paul Bremer as head of Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) imposed far-reaching laws on the country and made a mockery of the US claim it was bringing democracy to Iraq. Of the 100 laws that Bremer inflicted on the Iraqi people, one of the most pernicious is Order 81, which deals with ‘Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety’ and hence the interest of this column in the current goings-on in. There are several reasons why this patent law is lethal.

Without any discussion or debate, it made sweeping changes in Iraq’s 1970 patent law by allowing the patenting of plant forms and facilitating the introduction of genetically modified crops or organisms and introduced clauses that will be the death of traditional varieties of seeds.

The Plant Variety Protection rules are for seeds that are “new, distinct, uniform and stable”, criteria that the traditional varieties all Iraqi farmers now use can never meet. These seeds are the product of millennia of traditional development and by their very nature share common traits and thus do not qualify to be ‘new’. Nor can they be termed stable or uniform because of their biodiversity. But the seeds that American and European seed giants are actively pushing in Iraq will, of course, qualify since Order 81 is designed to specifically to protect their interests.

Worse still is the injunction against farmers using their own seeds. Almost all Iraqi farmers (97 per cent, according to FAO) use their own seeds but Bremer’s more than clever order decrees that “farmers shall be prohibited from re-using seeds of protected varieties or any variety”, changing in one stroke the character of Iraq’s agriculture.

Five years after Order 81 was passed, farm activists across the world have got together to mark April 26 as International Seeds Day to help Iraqi farmers to break the vice-like grip of the global seed companies. The campaign is coordinated by the Institute of Near Eastern & African Studies (INEAS), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has got the backing of some organisations in India.

I met Wafaa Al-Natheema of INEAS, when she was in India earlier in the year to drum up support for the campaign, and she says the world needs to respond to this threat to agriculture.

Iraqi farmers, like the rest of the nation, are unaware of this law and how it could turn their world upside down. “They need our help to learn how to retain their seeds under these circumstances and how to lobby against this unjust law.”

Will the world rally to their cause?