Saturday, 10 September 2011

Iraqi Turkmen representatives in Europe denounce the lack of security for the Turkmen community in Iraq

Iraqi Turkmen representatives in Europe denounce the lack of security for the Turkmen community in Iraq

In the wake of the latest abominable criminal act that took place in Kirkuk on 5th September 2011, which targeted Dr. Yildirim Abbas Demirci and resulted in his killing together with his brother Mr. Zaynelabideen Abbas Demirci in front of their family home in Kerkuk, the Iraqi Turkmen Front representatives and the Iraqi Turkmen human rights and civil society activists in Europe denounced the lack of security in the Turkmen region of Iraq and raised the issue of the targeted killings of the Turkmens at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Dr. Yildirim Abbas Demirci was an eminent Turkmen neurosurgeon who was greatly respected for his professionalism and dedication to his patients.

The assassination of Dr. Yildirim Abbas Demirci follows a long series of targeted killings and abducting of Turkmen intellectuals, professionals and businessmen since 2003. These criminal acts against the Turkmen community have intensified lately, they are aiming at terrorizing this community and forcing their intellectuals either to abandon their region or be kidnapped or killed.

Despite the numerous crimes and targeted killings which have been committed against the Turkmens, to-date, not a single perpetrator of these acts has been arrested or identified.

This demonstrates the lack of commitment or will by the local authorities - which are still controlled by the Kurds - and the lack of will by the central government to protect the Turkmens and track and arrest the authors of these crimes.

Turkmens have addressed multiple demands to the central government to obtain the means and the authorization to form a security force to protect their community, similar to the Peshmerga militia in the Kurdish region and the Sahwa militia in the Arab region, to-date, the central government has remained deaf to Turkmen demands, leaving them the only community in Iraq without any adequate protection.

Iraqi Turkmen Front EU representative Dr. Hassan Aydinli having informed in the past the Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee as well as the Members of the Human Rights Subcommittee at the European Parliament about the continued violations of Turkmens’ Human Rights in Iraq since 2003, the Vice-Chairman of Subcommittee on Human Rights at the European Parliament MEP Metin Kazak received him on 22nd June 2011 to examine the situation and discuss the matter.

MEP Metin Kazak having understood the gravity of the situation promised he would put the Turkmen issue on the agenda and that he would organize a Hearing of Turkmen Representatives in front of the Committee of Human Rights at the EU Parliament.
In order to confer about the Hearing a delegation representing the Turkmens in Europe was received on 8th September 2011 by Mr. Metin Kazak, MEP at the European Parliament.

The Turkmen delegation was composed of:

- Iraqi Turkmen Front representative in the European Union Dr. Hassan Aydinli

- Iraqi Turkmen Front representative in the United Kingdom Mrs. Sundus Abbas

- SOITM Chairman Dr. Sheth Jerjis, The Netherlands

- Europe-Turkmen Friendships Director Mrs. Merry Fitzgerald, Belgium.

The Turkmen delegation has also met MEP Ismail Ertug who assured them of his continued support to the Turkmen cause.

The delegation was also received by Mr. Andrew Swan, Programme Manager at UNPO in Brussels. to discuss the modalities of the upcoming Turkmen Hearing at the EU Parliament.

ITF EU Representative
Information Office
Brussels, 9th September 2011

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