Saturday, 31 July 2010

FLASHBACK : U.S. soldiers killed a Turkmen Family in Telafer (Iraq)

Iraqi Turkmen girl covered in blood after U.S. soldiers killed her parents

Pictures taken by Chris Hondros / Getty images

In pictures: U.S. soldiers killed a Turkmen Family in Telafer (Iraq)


Never forget or forgive what the criminal U.S. troops did to an innocent, unarmed Turkmen family in the Turkmen city of Telafer, Northern Iraq

Please click on the link below:
Everyone who saw the terrible photos – which were taken by photographer Chris Hondros on January 18, 2005, when a Turkmen family (the parents and their 5 children) were travelling in their car were shot at by the US troops, killing Camille and Hussein Hassan, the parents and injuring their children – has understood how little the US military value Iraqi lives.

See also: Ethnic Cleansing of Turkmens in Telafer

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Turkmen Reality in Iraq, by Ershad Al-Hirmizi

The Turkmen Reality in Iraq
By Ershad Al-Hirmizi

Please click on the link below:

Iraq’s largest dam loses 60% of its water reserves

By Khayoun Saleh

Azzaman, July 26, 2010

The Mosul Dam, Iraq largest water reservoir, suffers from serious erosion of its foundations, according to a senor Electricity Ministry official.

The dam, which used to hold 11 billion cubic meters of water, is less than half fall, said Musaeb al-Mudaress, the ministry’s information officer.

Mudaress made the remarks as he tried to explain to local reporters the reasons for the slump in power supplies and the worsening conditions of the national grid.

The dam, which in terms of capacity is the fourth largest in the Middle East, suffers from neglect and lack of maintenance and repairs.

"The Mosul dam cannot be filled with more than 40% of its capacity" of 11 billion cubic meters of water, Mudaress said.

Its hydro-electricity power plants used to produce around 320 megawatts, enough to feed the northern city of Mosul, home to nearly 2 million people.

But as the dam’s storage capacity has declined so has its power generating potential, according to Mudaress.

Today, the dame produces less than 100 megawatts and the output is erratic.

The drastic decline in reserves is catastrophic to Iraqi agriculture since the water reserves were essential to farmers cultivating land on both sides of the River Tigris that bisects the country from north to south.

The dam’s plummeting reserves are not due to lowering water levels from the Tigris which originates in Turkey.

They are necessary to preserve its shaky foundations and prevent its failure which is bound to inundate major cities including Mosul and Baghdad if it bursts at full capacity.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

To those who post comments in Chinese on this blog

Please note that I delete comments which are in a language I do not understand.

To those who continue posting comments in Chinese :


therefore your comments will automatically be DELETED.

Irak Türkmen Cephesi Türkiye Temsilciliği'ne Hicran Kazancı Atandı

25 Temmuz 2010, Pazar

Irak Türkmen Cephesi Türkiye Temsilciliği'ne Hicran Kazancı atandı.
Kazancı'nın atanma kararı Irak Türkmen Cephesi Başkanı Sadettin Ergeç tarafından duyruldu. Ergeç, bugüne kadara Sadun Köprülü tarafından vekaleten üstlenilen hizmetlerin bundan sonra Dr. Hicran Kazancı tarafından yürütüleceğini açıkladı.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Türkmen Polis Subayına Suikast Girişimi: 1 Şehit, 9 Yaralı

Cuma : 23.07.2010
Türkmen iş, siyaset ve güvenlik şahsiyetlerini hedef alma kapsamında Kerkük’ te görev yapan Türkmen Belde Polis Müdürü Albay Burhan Tayyip'e bombalı araçla suikast girişimi düzenlendi. Cuma namazı çıkışında uğradığı menfur saldırıda Tayyip'in oğlu hayatını kaybederken, 9 kişi yaralandı.

Olay, Kerkük'ün Bağdat yolu üzerinde Domiz semtinde meydana geldi. Öğle saatlerinde bölgede park eden bir çok araçın yandığı ve bomba yüklü araçla meydana gelen saldırıda Polis Müdürü Tayyip'in oğlu Üsteğmen Visam Burhan, patlamada hayatını kaybetti.

Saldırıda yaralananlar Kerkük Hastanesi'ne kaldırıldı. Albay Burhan Tayyip'e yönelik daha önce de bir çok defa saldırı düzenlenmişti. Hastane yetkililerine dayanan bilgiye göre,çeşitli yerlerinden şarapnel yarası alan komutan Tayyib,bacaklarında ağır tahribat oluşmuştur.

Depleted Uranium-War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity Iraqi Cancer Rates v. Hiroshima.mp4

Friday, 23 July 2010

IRAQ - The Turkmen Charter

The Turkmen Charter

Kerkük Foundation

1.Ideology of the Turkmen movement
2.Turkmen’s vision of the Iraqi citizenship
3.Turkmen citizens’ view of the Iraqi ethnicities
4.The Turkmen’s View on the Arab Nations' Issues
5.The Turkmen’s View on the Aspiration of the Kurdish Citizens
6.The Turkmen’s View on the Iraqi Governance System
7.The Turkmen’s View on the Religious and Sectarian Diversity
8.The Turkmen’s View on the Neighbouring and Regional Nations
9.The Turkmen’s View on family and Women
10.The Turkmen’s View on Education
11.The Turkmen’s View on the Economic factors and Market policies

The Iraqi proposition sailed thorough stormy events that were created by various consecutive brutal dictatorial regimes that subsequently caused considerable hardship in all aspects of the Iraqi social order. Unfortunately, and despite the clear statements of the International Human Rights Declaration that was proclaimed on 10th of December 1948, the assured freedom and respectable life for everyone in the world was not reflected in the progression of events in Iraq for many decades.

The Turkmens had opposed dictatorial and repressive regimes throughout the recent history, which led these governments to marginalize the role of the Turkmen in the political arena and that of decision-making within the government. In order to obtain independence for the country of Iraq during the royal rule, the government pledged allegiance to the League of Nations in May 30th 1932, and hence assured the inclusion of prominent Turkmens in the early governments and confirmed the recognition of the major ethnic groups of Iraq as being made up of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen.

From the commencement of Iraq as a nation, the Turkmen were subjected to excessive oppression and, during the republic era and even under the western protection of Northern Iraq, the Turkmen cities were plundered more than once. All these events did not shake the Turkmen citizens' resolve of allegiance to their citizenship, and they kept working with the Arabs, Kurds and Cildo-Asserians to establish a civil order in the country and to build a strong society that practices freedom, provides an honourable living and affords mutual respect to all ethnic components of the nation.

1. Ideology of the Turkmen movement:

The Turkmen movement is an ethnic movement that believes in the moral tenants of Islam and strives to sustain the dignity of the Turkmen and all other Iraqi ethnicities. It rejects all ethnic approaches that admit the superiority of one ethnic group over the others. The Turkmen movement is an inclusive ethnic movement that rejects racism, schisms, and local, regional and national factions.

It is a civilized foundation that assembles the Turkmen in various cities, towns and villages regardless of their diverse views, under a broad umbrella to guide them to mutual coexistence and brotherhood among the Iraqis.

This is a broad proclamation that embraces all of the vast groups of the Turkmen with its variety of social and/or intellectual opinions, and it also represents an ideological union to confront future events that face all Turkmen citizens.

2. Turkmen’s vision of the Iraqi citizenship:

From the inception of today’s Iraq, the Turkmen were firmly bound to their conviction of being citizens of this nation and of having toiled in their political actions to advance the nation, even though many of the consecutive governments resorted to obstructing their rights and benefits and preventing their intellectuals from reaching the level of decision makers in Iraqi society.
Historically, the Turkmen have proved their allegiance to the Iraqi land and to the nation, and never joined or supported groups or movements that promoted harmful separation of or infidelity to the unity of Iraq. During the previous century there has never been any record of mass departure of the Turkmen from Iraq, even under the most brutal and tyrannical regime.

The Turkmen proudly declared their resentment towards any movement that would disrupt the unity of Iraq and they consider the sacredness of all the Iraqi territories, from the extreme North to the extreme South, which they would defend by any means. As they proclaimed their intention, they also invited all the Iraqi citizens regardless of their ethnicities, factions and ideologies to hold firmly onto this understanding and agreement regarding the principles of preserving the unity of the Iraqi nation.

3. Turkmen citizens’ view of the Iraqi ethnicities:

It is the firm belief of the Turkmen that the ideal solution for the ethnicity problems in Iraq will come to fruition only when the process builds on a solid foundation that embraces all the ethnicities and groups, and considers them all as first class citizens and partners in one nation. Selection of a free and sovereign united government system should be according to the resolve and free will of the Iraqis.

There should be no attempt to push aside any ethnic group or sect of people or exaggerate the role of one group over the others because of certain exceptional states of affairs. Any solution that resorts to and implements the principles of the International Declarations of Human Rights according to the current situation would become a transitional solution, and could not represent wholeheartedly the blessing of the Iraqi people.

The Turkmen citizens affirm their respect for a comprehensive decision by the Iraqis that should take into consideration all the Iraqi ethnic groups who should exercise equal rights in shouldering similar duties in the regions that they inhabit, and that this should be conditional on a credible and just demographic census under the supervision of the United Nations. The Iraqi Turkmen predict a united, democratic, pluralistic and parliamentary Iraq, in which the government will be chosen by a free and credible election according to international standards, and will not be subjected to narrow-minded ethnic determinations in the distribution of authority or governmental positions.

In public service, the Turkmen believe that efficiency, qualifications, experience, and clear vision should become the standard. The Turkmen agree on other solutions that affirm all Iraqi ethnic groups' right to carry out fully all of their national, cultural and administrative rights within principles that prescribe to local self determination or to a decentralized mode of governance or any other organizational system that would provide the Turkmen with automatic equal rights without any discrimination or bias.

The Turkmen citizens completely realize the current situation of the unfair political manoeuvres that favours the interest of one group over the others, or those that attempt to smear other ethnicities or nationals as conspirators. They vow not to fall into this trap and, they call on other ethnic groups to adopt a similar stance towards the Turkmen citizens of Iraq.

4. The Turkmen’s View on the Arab Nations' Issues:

The Turkmen view the Arab Nation as an important resource that enriches the Turkmen culture. They have been intertwined in the same fabric throughout history, and made to face the same destiny and struggle for coexistence while sharing their cultural and intellectual resources. Thus the Iraqi Turkmen citizens shared the inspirations, feelings and pains of their Arab brothers and stand with them to face the same objectives, especially with regards to Palestine, which is considered an important Arabic, Islamic and regional issue. The Turkmen affirm that the Palestinians should strive to attain all of their legitimate rights and the establishment of a sovereign nation, with Jerusalem as its capital city.

Furthermore, they hold onto the concept of the rights of all the nations in the Middle East to peaceful coexistence, and support all the Arab Nations intellectual and regional actions and inspirations. They support the successes of the Arab Nations in achieving the goals of freedom and democracy according to systems of their choice. This will definitely influence the outcome of peace and stability in the region and, in return, will lead to security and tranquillity for all the people of the Middle East. The Turkmen movement supports the efforts of the Arab League to sustain the security and sovereignty of the Arab nations, the promotion of alliance and cooperation with the nations of the region, and they strive to strengthen the cultural and intellectual relations with the Turkmen according to the principles of the Arab League and the Cairo Declaration of Denouncement of Racial Discrimination for the year 2001.

The movement also declares to all of their Iraqi Arab brothers to encourage and cooperate in cultural and intellectual arenas by supporting the translations of literary works and intellectual books from the Turkmen language to Arabic. Moreover, they will organize periodic forums that include the participation of Arab and Turkmen elite to enlighten all the citizens on the Turkmen culture, wisdom, literature, folklore, music and theatre.

5. The Turkmen’s View on the Aspiration of the Kurdish Citizens:

The Turkmen movement considers the aspirations of the Kurdish citizens in Iraq to be legitimate, and such as would certainly increase the intellectual and ideological Iraqi alliance. The Turkmen movement considers the Iraqi Kurdish citizens as being a vital element in defending the achievements of the entire nation and, that the Kurdish people as having a reputable heritage, and deserving all their legitimate political, cultural, and national rights, including their rights to self governance, for a united Iraq.

The Turkmen movement holds no animosities or disrespect for the Kurds, and both of their movements are analogous and parallel. In return, the Turkmen expect the same civilized stance from the Kurdish political leadership in respecting the Turkmen’s distinctiveness, and their support for Turkmen aspirations to political, cultural and national rights, without any preferential treatment or favour of one faction over the other.

They expect good will and cooperation in attaining mutual achievements for both the Turkmen and Kurds in Iraq. The Turkmen movement invites the Kurdish leadership and all Kurdish political, cultural, and ideological organizations to a dialogue based on mutual respect and courtesy, and they will reject all sorts of coercion or monopoly regarding the rights of others.
The long and rich history of the coexistence in Northern Iraq between the two peoples, as practiced in their villages and towns, invites the leadership and politicians of both movements to consider seriously the divisive issues, and focus on strengthening the bonds of mutual trust and facilitate cooperation with the Cildo-Asssirians inhabitants of Northern Iraq and all the Arab citizens of the nation. This would lay a strong foundation for building a civilized model for healthy coexistence and integration in the Middle East region.

6. The Turkmen’s View on the Iraqi Governance System:

The Turkmen movement believes firmly in the process of the selection of a form of government that should be decided by the Iraqis without being totalitarian. The Turkmens like other ethnic people of Iraq have rejected such dictatorial regimes in the past, and the movement advocates a democratic system and peaceful utilization of the authority according to a fair and credible election in line with the civilized manner that is practiced in democratic countries.

The Turkmen movement supports a pluralistic, constitutional and democratic republic. The Iraqi constitution should come out of the nation’s consciousness and should assure all Iraqi citizens freedom in practicing their political, civil, social, and cultural privileges. These include freedom of speech exercised in terms of publishing newspapers and magazines, establishing radio and television stations, creating political parties, and the establishment of an intellectual organization within a moral code that would foster unity and prevent divisions within the country.

The Turkmen movement supports a strong central government in the capital of Baghdad, and considers it an assurance for the unity and the stability of Iraq for granting local governments and municipalities the maximum flexibility in governing their affairs. Moreover, the Turkmen movement respects the Iraqi decision of selection of a government system either federal or united, with the condition that such a decision should consider the inclusion of all the ethnic groups of Iraq. Such decisions are vital and grave, and not should be granted to one group; the entire components of the Iraqi nation should be consulted on this issue.

7. The Turkmen’s View on the Religious and Sectarian Diversity:

The Turkmen movement considers that the diversity of religious sects in Iraq has always enriched the religious and the cultural events of the Iraqi Turkmen. Religious beliefs or practices have never been a source of disagreement or intellectual conflict among them.
The Turkmen realize that resorting to the religious practices of following the famous and ancient Islamic scholars is a personal spiritual choice that has contributed to the enrichment of the faith in the hearts of the Muslims. The Turkmens have the same opinion of leaving such matters to individuals or group choice and providing necessary support for religious organizations and places of worship to all Muslim categories.

The Turkmens confirm and believe in the Islamic principles of religious tolerance and respect for others religious characteristics. Citizens of various religious affiliations have lived along with the Turkmen and established humanistic bonds, interacted with them courteously and demonstrated due mutual respect to each other. Among the Turkmen there is a Christian sect that lives in Kirkuk, especially in the historical fortress, and their identity should be revered, and their intellectual contributions and relics protected.

8. The Turkmen’s View on the Neighbouring and Regional Nations:

The Turkmen movement affirms that in order to catch up with the progress of civilization and globalization, Iraq has to continue to work with all nations, especially with the neighbouring and regional countries, to benefit from their intellectual, economic and cultural resources. Iraq should not be in isolation from the rest of the world, but should continue the active role that has been followed since its inception, in cooperating and contributing in both the regional and international arenas according to mutual respect. However, this should not lead to interference in the internal affairs of other nations.

The Turkmen movement desires to see the Iraqi government established a harmoniously broad spectrum of relations, which strengthens the bonds with neighbouring and regional countries. The government should allow people from other countries to visit the holy shrines or the historical sites, and the process of granting permission should adopt a civilized and pragmatic order.

The same should apply to the Iraqi citizens who would like to travel to other countries for religious, business, training and cultural reasons. This should apply to all countries, but particularly to Turkey and Iran. The Turkmen share with Turkey and other Asiatic Turkic speaking nations their culture, language and heritage. Thus they consider improving these relations as important elements for the enhancement of their cultural activities in literature and publishing. The Turkmen categorically reject false assumptions in this direction, and confirm that this relation is absolutely cultural and intellectual and does not have any political merit. The same applies to the relations of other ethnic groups, such as the Arabs in Iraq, as they establish similar ties with neighbouring Arab nations.

The Iraqi Turkmen also call for improving relations with other regional nations in the Caucasus and central Asia to benefit from their cultural and artistic experience. It must be clear that the political decisions of the Iraqi Turkmen originate from the Iraqi land, along with those of other ethnic brethren in the country.

9. The Turkmen’s View on family and Women:

The family is considered the most important pillar of the Iraqi and Turkmen society, and it is the responsibility of the government to provide the family with all the civil rights that maintain its unity and enhance its role in the creation of a unique civil society. The Turkmen view women as the most vital element for the cohesiveness of the family, and to the raising of upright generations.

Therefore, they call for complete support for the rights of the Turkmen and all the Iraqi women, for their protection from exploitation and suppression. Legislation that assures women dignity and rights should be enforced comparable to what has been set for men and in accordance to the articles of the Treaty on the Abolishment of all Forms Discrimination Against Women as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 18, 1979.

The Turkmen movement invites all the government agencies to utilize this civilized course in dealings with family matters, to provide women with a noble status in society and to protect her rights in job markets, ownership, commerce, cultural and social activities.

10. The Turkmen’s View on Education

The implementation of compulsory education at least to middle school level for all the sectors of the Iraqi populace is regard by the Turkmen as an important issue that has to be addressed and achieved by the government with prudence and sensitivity. Private schools that cater for the special needs of various sectors of the society should be considered prudently, and standards set for a complete central administration of such educational institutions for the entire country.
The Turkmen movement strongly advocates the adoption of local languages for teaching in all the sectors of Iraq, with full and sustained governmental support of their curriculum and schools. Furthermore, the Turkmen movement advocates the expansion of vocational education, and the preparation of a technical force that would take an active role in rebuilding Iraq, improving higher education, and utilizing a systematic and statistical means of balancing studies in science and the humanities.

The Turkmen movement also advocates the adoption in all the Turkmen regions of the Turkmen language in teaching at all levels of education, according to an established curriculum with the emphasis on teaching the fundamentals of the language and maintaining selected lessons for Turkmen language and literature in the higher classes. The teaching of Arabic should be maintained at all levels of education. The use of modern (Latin) letters in the study of the Turkmen language as adopted by educators in the field of Turkic languages is preferred.
This will facilitate catching up with progressive trends in education and teaching, as it provides vocal similarities to these languages. Furthermore, special attention should be paid to the study of the Turkmen language in Arabic script, and to obtaining permission for literary forums to publish in these languages, and even to reprint old publications of Turkmen literature for the enrichment of thought and knowledge.

11. The Turkmen’s View on the Economic factors and Market policies:

The Turkmen Movement believes in free economic policies and the adaptation of free market practices to achieve the best economic growth and development in a manor that prevents interferences or monopolies whether from the State or individuals. The Turkmen Movement supports and encourages the movement of assets and free investments as long as it does not affect or harm the national security. In this regard, the Turkmen Movement stresses the limitation of the State’s control on major economic issues and to free the currency policy and privatize the economic activities which were directed by the State like Banking, Insurance, Airways and telecommunication sectors.

The role of the Government in these activities should me be restricted to auditing and other supportive measures that extend the activities of these sectors in order to create the necessary balances that lead to free market practices. The Turkmen Movement calls for the promotion and rehabilitation of national industries. Development of institutions that are required for improving the export means, adoption of the freedom of foreign trade and elimination of restrictions on the imports in order to allow the free market to organize itself with own mechanisms and compete with the imported materials and goods are important issues that need considerable energy and organization.

The Turkmen Movement draws the attention to the importance of establishing a High Planning Authority which supports local industries, promotes the foreign investment and prevents all restrictions on hard currencies in order to reach the suitable flotation value of the Iraqi currency. In the meantime, the Turkmen Movement considers feasibility studies for national projects, separating these industries on wide geographic area within the Iraqi homeland, the use of the raw material with efficiency and introduce into the developing areas of the country vital industrial and service projects in order to achieve proficiency and profit.
Thus the Movement asks for real attention to be paid to Turkmen areas to support and encourage the development of industrial and economic facilities including the petro -chemical industries in the proper parts of the country.


All the Turkmen in Iraq are invited to rally behind the articles of this charter, and to support the coalition of actions and cultural affairs. The Turkmen movement firmly believes that all political actions and decisions should sprout genuinely from Iraqi soil and from the reality of the Turkmen presence in Iraq, and should be immune from any external influence whatsoever.

The Iraqi Turkmen are more aware of their affairs, problems and aspirations than others, and they should be the model and motivator of the Iraqi Turkmen. The Turkmen movement earnestly calls on the entire Iraqi population to proceed with the collaboration of the political and cultural movement of the Turkmen.

They should adhere to the principles of this charter, and should present this narration as an assurance for future collaboration with the entire Iraqi population for a free and civilized nation.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Lord Nazir Ahmed: Turkey doesn’t need to be in European Union

July 21, 2010

Is Turkey drifting away from Europe, or becoming more independent? How does Europe view Turkey’s membership? To what extent can Muslim countries be influential in world politics? Despite their seeming irrelevance, these questions are part of a long chain that conveys a series of reasons for and consequences of many developments occurring today.

Lord Nazir Ahmed, member of the House of Lords, the first Muslim life peer of the United Kingdom and known for his political activities related to the Islamic community both in the UK and abroad, spoke recently about the future of relations between Turkey and the European Union as well as the place of the Muslims in Europe. For Lord Ahmed, Turkey has acquired an independent place in world politics and can manage its own development without the European Union, which he thinks is delaying Turkey for several reasons.

With Europe, without the EU

“There is already an embedded racism against Turkey,” Lord Ahmed observes of the racist trends towards Turkey in an interview with Today’s Zaman. “For instance in France, in Germany and in Austria because of World War I and before. There is already racism, anti-Turkish, anti-Islamic or anti-Muslim, whatever you want to say, or an anti-Ottoman feeling that exists within these societies. And whilst Britain supports Turkey’s membership in the European Union for many reasons, the Europeans have this fear, hate, a kind of concern, one, because of history and second, because you have 90 million people who would probably want to move to Western Europe, in their perception.”

As for the new government in Britain, Lord Ahmed indicates that the approach to Turkey will remain the same. “I think the new government will remain very supportive of the old policy,” says Lord Ahmed. “Britain actually looks upon Turkey as a friendly country, a partner in NATO and a partner in many European activities. Britain will support Turkey in its membership in the EU, although there are many stumbling blocks. I see Turkey becoming a hub and a center. You have a great future economically; you don’t need to be in Europe because the euro is already in trouble. And some people are arguing that the euro will probably disintegrate.”

“Turkey is doing really well around the world,” adds Lord Ahmed. “Norway exists without the European Union, and Switzerland does, too. And there are even some who are thinking of leaving the European Union because of their own interests.” Lord Ahmed praises the role of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in this respect. “I am a staunch supporter of Erdoğan,” says Lord Ahmed. “I think he is one of the finest leaders in the Muslim world. He has taken the economy in this country from a very fragile and a very weak currency and economy into a fairly strong economy.” Lord Ahmed went on to say that he believes Turkey is the second-fastest growing economy in Europe.

Fear is weakness
Lord Ahmed is critical of the Arab world’s contributions to world politics and influence at the international scale, saying they are substandard when compared to Turkey. “They fear losing power, they are weak, don’t look at their sheikdoms and kingdoms, don’t look at their glorious gowns,” Lord Ahmed says, criticizing the governments of Muslim countries that have largely been quiet about the occupation in Gaza. “I can criticize the American policies, but they would never dare do that. Most of their rulers will not allow this, because they cannot afford to upset the West. I go to the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries, and once when I was talking about Gaza, a woman of the ruling classes said, ‘I worry so much about the Israelis, they are under fear all the time from the Gazans.’ What!” exclaims Lord Ahmed.

“In Cairo, when I asked why he was building a 35-foot [barrier] underground, the speaker of the Egyptian parliament said to me that there were drugs and arms coming into Egypt from Gaza,” explains Lord Ahmed. “I said they cannot even buy dried milk for their children, they cannot feed themselves, how can they grow drugs? I have been to Gaza and I didn’t see any drugs. If they had guns they would fire them at the Israelis.”

In this respect, Lord Ahmed praises Erdoğan’s stance, especially pointing to his reaction at Davos. “Erdoğan is a great leader, and what he did was a natural move by any Muslim leader, or any Muslim person or any just person, don’t even say Muslim, just any human being who knows the suffering of the Palestinians,” says Lord Ahmed. “When Erdoğan walked out, you will get the right-wing lobby in Turkey who will criticize him for what he did, but I think overall in the world, great masses of European people admired what he did, not the Muslims, and not the Christians [but] the Europeans, whoever they are. They admired what he did because he stood for justice. What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is what the whites did in South Africa, and if people in the world were disgusted with what was going on in South Africa, then they should be disgusted with Israel and with what is going on with the Palestinian people today.”

Iraqi Turkmens commemorated the 51st anniversary of the 1959 Kerkuk massacre

Beverwijk, The Netherlands –
On Sunday 18th July 2010 IRAQI TURKMENS commemorated the 51st Anniversary of the 1959 Kerkuk massacre of Turkmens by the Communists and Kurds

Two Turkmen representatives from KERKUK were present:

Mr. Ershad Salihi, Member of Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) Executive Committee, ITF Kerkuk representative and Member of the Iraqi Parliament
Mr. Hasan Turan, Member of Kerkuk Provincial Council

From Belgium:
Dr. Hassan Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) E.U. representative

From The Netherlands:
Mr. Abbas Kasap, Mr. Sabah Mardan, Mr. Nail Hasip, Mr. Bayatli
, and many more Turkmens from the Diaspora participated.
One of the participants read a message from Mr. Ghanem Authman, ITF Berlin, who was unable to attend this event.

A representative of the Uighur (East Turkestan) community in the Netherlands and a representative of the Azerbaijani community in the Netherlands also attended to show their support for their Turkmen brothers.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Kurds and Baghdad in row over oil smuggling

Kurds and Baghdad in row over oil smuggling
By Basel al-Khatib

Azzaman, July 14, 2010 Iraqi oil officials and their Kurdish counterparts have exchanged accusations of smuggling large volumes of crude oil and by-products to neighboring Iran.There are two oil ministers in Iraq. Heading the Oil Ministry in Baghdad is Husain al-Shahristani.

The semi-independent Kurdish region has its own government with Ashti Horami heading the Ministry of Natural Resources, i.e. oil.There are big differences between the two ministries and governments on how to deal with Iraq’s almost sole source of hard cash – oil.

The ministry in Baghdad says oil exploring, excavating, refining and exporting activities fall within its jurisdiction. The Kurdish regional government disputes that and has developed several oil fields by signing contracts with foreign firms.Baghdad says the Kurds export the crude they produce in their fields to Iran, the shipments which its sees as illegal.

Horami, the Kurdish regional minister in charge of oil, denies the accusation of exporting crude oil, but admits ferrying unspecified quantities of by-products.

The Kurdish official charged that the government in Baghdad was involved in the smuggling of up to 100,000 barrels of crude oil a day to Iran from its southern fields in BasraAccusations that the Kurds are involved in oil smuggling operations first surfaced in the Kurdish region.

A senior Kurdish opposition official of the Kurdish Change Party said the ruling Kurdish factions of Massoud Barzani, head of the Kurdish region and Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, were involved in the smuggling.

The official Azad Jalak said the revenues end up in the coffers of Barzani and Talabani’s factions and military wings.Horami, the Kurdish minister, said the money goes to regional government coffers.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Ethnic and sectarian violence hits Iraq’s oil-rich Kerkuk

By Marwan al-Ani
Azzaman, July 9, 2010

A wave of violence is sweeping Iraq’s Kerkuk, targeting Arabs and ethnic Turks in the oil-rich city.

Scenes of corpses dumped on the streets and open spaces in residential neighborhoods have returned to the city, prompting Arab and Turkmen leaders to call for the formation of vigilante groups for protection.

The violence seems to be organized as its victims are none but Arabs and Turkmen.

"We demand the formation of a joint Arab and Turkmen force … to protect the Arab and Turkmen ethnic groups whose members are continuously the target of abduction, killing and assassination," said Mohammed al-Jibouri, head of the Arab group in the city.

Jibouri indirectly blamed the Kurds the for latest upsurge in anti-Arab and anti-Turkmen violence, urging the government to let Arab and Turkmen armed militias serving in provincial cities and villages to enter Kirkuk.

"We are aware of who is in charge of the security file" in the city of Kirkuk, said Jibouri in reference to the Kurds."We cannot trust the security organs (in the city). Terrorism against us continues and there is no one to be held accountable," he said.

Jibouri asked the government and the Interior Ministry to launch an independent investigation to bring those behind the violence to account.

"Today we plead with the state and the Ministry of Interior to set a neutral commission to investigate the security events," he added.

Kurdish militias and their multifarious security organs are practically in control of Kirkuk.

There are more than 100 non-official headquarters manned by Kurdish security agents and armed militias belonging to the two major Kurdish political factions of Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani, according to Jibouri.

Barzani, who is head of the Kurdish regional government, leads the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Talabani, who is the Iraqi president, heads the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Both factions have armed wings with tens of thousands of militias locally known as peshmerga.

Jibouri said it was time the government deployed units from the Iraqi Army in the city.

He said as U.S. troops were preparing to leave, the presence of Iraqi armed forces in Kirkuk was essential. The Kurds have blocked attempts by the government to deploy Iraqi troops in the city.

"We demand the presence of Iraqi troops in Kirkuk since we have reached this dangerous situation and before the departure of U.S. troops," Jibouri said.

"We need to protect our people since there is no let- up in operations of murder and kidnapping and there is no one to blame."

"Our leaders, our sons, our police officers, our civil servants all have become victims as a result of the conditions we are in and there is no one to heed our complaints," he said.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Turkey Threatens Israel with cut-off of Diplomatic Relations, comment by Prof Juan Cole

Turkey Threatens Israel with cut-off of Diplomatic Relations
Posted on July 6, 2010 by Juan

As Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu flew to Washington, DC, on Monday, a further war of words has broken out between Turkey and Israel over comments made by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to the press corps on an airplane returning from Kyrgyzstan. The Zaman correspondent heard him to say of Israel, ““It will either apologize, or it will consent to a study by an international commission, or the relations will break off.”

Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister whom Davutoglu apparently declines to deal with, shot back, “”We don’t have any intention to apologize. We think that the opposite is true.” Lieberman, a notorious thug who once advocated drowning all the Egyptians by bombing the Aswan Dam if they ever gave Israel any trouble, is a Moldavian immigrant to Israel not known for being diplomatic.

Davutoglu is probably not serious about presenting Israel with an ultimatum, and may have been especially interested in posturing as a hard liner because he was embarrassed with the Turkish cabinet and in the Arab world when it came out that he had had a secret meeting with Israeli Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer last week. Ben-Eliezer, an Iraqi from Basra originally named “Fuad,” had earlier in his career been a hard liner, but compared to Lieberman he has emerged as a voice of reason. Davutoglu was widely criticized in Turkey and Arab capitals for the secret talks.

Lieberman’s response also probably reflected more his own wounded ego than national policy, since Netanyahu sent Ben-Eliezer to dicker with Davutoglu without letting the Israeli foreign minister know about the mission.
In short, I think the trading of barbs has to do with political personalities rather than national policy. I don’t think the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan actually believes it would be in Turkey’s interest to cut off diplomatic relations with Israel, and I have difficulty taking Davutoglu’s tough talk seriously in that regard. Davutoglu was until recently a professor of international relations at Marmara University rather than a lifetime diplomat, and academics in politics are notorious for speaking their minds too frankly (after all, it is what they do).
It is also true that Turks’ blood is still boiling about Israeli commandos’ killing of 8 Turkish aid workers and an American of Turkish origin on the Mavi Marmara. Turks are nationalists to a fault, and do not feel that they can let an affront to their nation of that magnitude pass. That wounded national pride is the point of asking for an apology. Israeli officials would be wise to find some mutually agreeable formula that could be called an “apology” and just issue it. I fear that Israeli intransigence comes in part from not being willing to treat the Turks as equals. If, under similar circumstances, 8 Israeli civilians had been killed by a NATO country, Tel Aviv would certainly expect an apology at the least.

But, from the point of view of the Likud Party and Yisrael Beitenu, being Israeli means never having to say you are sorry.

Turkey does not have much to lose, however, from pressing Israel hard for an apology. Just as an example, take the fall-off in Israeli tourism to Turkey. It is being said 100,000 out of 150,000 Israelis with reservations in Turkey have cancelled them at least temporarily, and that 50,000 Israeli tourists have cancelled their reservations permanently. Some travel agents are estimating the loss at $400 million.

But in fact, the Israeli tourism market is increasingly irrelevant to the Turkish economy. In 2009, Turkey hosted 27 million tourists. Moreover, its tourist market is rapidly changing. Instead of just receiving as visitors relatively frugal Western Europeans, Turkey has increasingly attracted an Arab clientele. Some 105,000 Arabs came as tourists to Turkey in May, up 33% over the same period last year. Moreover, the Arabs are much bigger spenders than the Europeans. The extra 35,000 Arab extra tourists in May are likely to have been big spenders (dropping $5 million on a wedding in Istanbul is not unheard of). They likely replaced any lost income from the Israelis, and it is expected that the Arab proportion of Turkey’s tourism industry will increase rapidly.

I pointed out last week that the proportion of Turkey’s external trade that is with the Middle East has gone from 14% in 2004 to 20% today, and is now worth nearly $30 bn. a year, whereas Turkey does only $2.5 billion a year in trade with Israel.

Another Turkish demand, in order to end the tiff, is that Israel lift the blockade of civilians in Gaza. Netanyahu ordered some cosmetic changes, but essential building and other materiel will not be allowed in. Moreover, the sheer volume of trucks let through will be far, far less than the volume of trucks allowed through in 2006 before the Israeli Right implemented the blockade..

Netanyahu will likely offer Obama more of these essentially phony peace moves in Washington. The tensions between Israel and Turkey will therefore boil along. But likely everyone will graciously let Davutoglu forget he spoke so categorically or issued an ultimatum. Rocky relations, yes. No relations? Unlikely in the medium term.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Eau, électricité: les Irakiens se révoltent

Par Gilles Munier

Le 18 juin, une famille de la région d’Abou Ghraib – homme, femme, enfants - a été décimée par des tueurs. L’officier de police chargé de l’enquête affirme que Fayçal Hassan, le père – âgé de 40 ans – employé au département gérant l’irrigation des fermes environnantes, n’était affilié à aucun parti politique ou groupuscule sectaire. « Le mobile des meurtres » - dit-il - « c’est l’eau ». Trois fonctionnaires de cet organisme ont été assassinés pour le même motif les mois précédents (1).

Le marasme politique provoqué par le renversement de Saddam Hussein a accentué la dégradation des services étatiques déjà mis à mal par 13 ans d’embargo, la corruption quasi institutionnalisée, les agents gouvernementaux qui arrondissent comme ils le peuvent leurs salaires trop bas, sont à l’origine de mécontentements populaires grandissants. Selon un rapport de la Croix-Rouge internationale qui fait référence à des statistiques étatiques, un Irakien sur quatre n’a pas accès à l’eau potable.

Soulèvements en perspective
Les systèmes de purification des eaux du Tigre et de l’Euphrate, polluées par les égouts, bourrées de bactéries, sont hors service depuis longtemps. Rien de sérieux n’est fait pour les remettre en état. Les comprimés qui permettraient de désinfecter l’eau manquent ou sont à un prix inabordable pour la majorité de la population. A cela s’ajoute pour les paysans, la salinisation des terres qui s’est accentuée depuis l’embargo décrété en 1990, notamment à la suite de l’interdiction faite aux Irakiens d’importer du matériel d’aspersion et de drainage. La disparition d’un pouvoir fort à Bagdad a laissé les mains libres à la Turquie de gérer le fonctionnement de ses barrages (2), et de déverser – en aval - des reliquats chimiques utilisés pour fertiliser les terres irriguées.

Des soulèvements spontanés ou tribaux, provoqués par l’injustice, la misère ou la soif, sont prévisibles à plus ou moins brève échéance, en particulier dans le sud du pays, touché de plein fouet par la sécheresse. Dans la région de Diwaniya, par exemple, à 200kms au sud de Bagdad, la patience du cheikh Ali Ismaïl al-Zoubeidi, est à bout. L’eau qui devrait revenir à sa tribu est siphonnée en amont par des paysans disposant de pompes alimentées par des générateurs électriques. «Les agents gouvernementaux sont incapables de réguler la distribution », dit-il, «soit parce qu’ils sont corrompus, soit qu’ils ont peur pour leur vie ». Il prévient qu’il défendra les droits ancestraux de sa tribu, y compris par les armes (3).

La colère monte à Bassora : deux morts
A Bassora, l’été, la température dépasse 53°, avec un taux d’humidité très élevé. Dans les quartiers défavorisés, les habitants n’ont qu’une heure d’électricité par jour, ou paient jusqu’à 100 dollars par mois une alimentation par générateur, une fortune pour la plupart d’entre-eux, sans emploi. Des militaires montent la garde près des poteaux électriques pour protéger les employés qui déconnectent les branchements illégaux sur le réseau. Dans les hôpitaux, sans climatisation, les malades dorment la nuit dehors. Les patients ayant des problèmes de mobilité souffrent dans les locaux surchauffés. En 2009, l’UNESCO, estimait que plus de 100 000 Irakiens avaient quitté leur région depuis l’invasion en raison du manque d’eau (4). Le pays est en voie de désertification.

Fin juin, une manifestation de protestation a été durement réprimée sur ordre de Nouri al-Maliki. Bilan officiel : deux morts (5). Pour calmer la colère populaire, Karim Waheed, ministre de l’Electricité, a démissionné, et Al-Maliki a fait de l’énergie sa priorité. Il a promis de rétablir la situation dans deux ans, s’il est réélu ! En attendant, les Irakiens se souviennent qu’en 1991 le Président Saddam Hussein avait fait réparer les dégâts causés par les bombardements américains en quelques mois, en dépit de l’embargo. Sept ans après son renversement, la clique pro-iranienne au pouvoir et les mafias qui la soutienne, sont accusées d’incompétence et de se remplir les poches.

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