Monday, 26 November 2012

IRAQ -Over 15 groups to participate in the local elections

26 KASIM 2012

The Independent Electoral High Commission (IEHC)reported that over 15 groups have applied to participate in the local elections.
Head of IEHC Serbest Mustafa made a statement to the press saying that over 150 political groups had applied to participate in the local elections. Mustafa said that the applications of the political groups would be approved by the established commission.
On the other hand IEHC Administration Director Mikdat El Şerif made a statement saying that Iraqis abroad would not be able to participate in the local elections scheduled to be held on the 20th of April 2013.

Friday, 23 November 2012

MHP Party Leader Devlet Bahçeli received the ITF mission

MHP Party Leader Devlet Bahçeli received the ITF mission

A mission consisting of the Member of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) Executive Board and Head of Kirkuk Province Assembly Hasan Turan, ITF Official Spokesman Ali Mehdi and ITF Turkey Representative Dr. Hicran Kazancı was received by MHP Party Leader Devlet Bahçeli in his office.

The meeting was held in a very sincere atmosphere and the subjects were the developments in the Middle East and particularly those taking place in Kirkuk recently and the development of Iraq-Turkey relations.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Sandstorms, corruption making ninawa farmers abandon land and home

Former homes and farms in Ninawa are now just covered in sand.
niqash | Mohammed Omar al-Qaysi | Mosul | 22.11.2012

Farmers in Ninawa are being forced to abandon their farms in droves because of desertification. And now they say, to make matters worse, those who don’t even have farms have been claiming subsidies and seeds that belong to the beleaguered agriculturalists.  

Despite the fact that he had been there many times, the old farmer found it almost impossible to get to the house of his brother: the whole house, in a village in the district of Hadar, Ninawa, was almost completely covered in sand.

“Today most of the green farmland that used to be here has gone – because of drought and desertification,” Haleel Ahmed, 60, who grows wheat, barley and maize and raises sheep on a farm about 23 kilometres southwest of here, told NIQASH. “We can’t even plant anything. Even if we irrigate the land with well water the sand just kills the plants before they grow,” Ahmed explains sadly.

“And the people don’t have enough money to drill more wells or buy fuel to operate water pumps,” he adds. These are just some of the reasons his brother’s house – and the houses and farms of others here - have been abandoned.

This is the result of desertification which Mosul University’s Remote Sensing Centre – which gathers information remotely, usually through aerial surveys – now says, affects around 166,600 square kilometres of Iraq. That is closing in on half of the country; Iraq is only around 438,000 square kilometres big. The Remote Sensing Centre says that this means more dust storms for everyone – about 300 days worth of them for some cities, they estimate.

Ninawa province has plenty of desertification to call its own. The province has very high temperatures, strong winds and high evaporation and transpiration rates. Climate change has also had an effect and as temperatures have risen, the districts of Hadar and Biaaj have been particularly badly affected.

Figures released by Ninawa statisticians indicate a decrease in the production of wheat and barley in the area between 2001 and 2010. Figures for the past years were not available but as Muhanna al-Tak, head of the local Department of Agriculture, said, “it’s no secret that wheat and barley production has fallen”. .

Despite this it seems that Ninawa’s local Ministry of Water Resources has refused to undertake a suggested project for improving local water supplies – even though the project is estimated to cost around IQD40 billion (US$26 million).

“Soil and water tests done in our laboratories indicate that the land here is suitable for a large number of crops, especially grains,” Sabbar Abdullah Salih, the head of the Natural Resources Research Centre at the University of Tikrit, said.

Salih accused Ninawa authorities of not being serious about the problem of desertification in the area.

On Oct. 10, the Iraqi parliament held a conference titled The Reality of Agriculture in Ninawa and Salahaddin. There Ninawa’s governor, Atheel al-Nujaifi, warned that the reasons why agriculture is suffering in Ninawa included “lack of subsidized help and administrative problems as well as environmental issues”.
Al-Nujaifi stressed the need for a proposed project to drill 400 more artisan wells in areas hit by desertification, the creation of green belts and the rehabilitation of abandoned villages. The governor also felt that all parties needed to cooperate to come up with a strategic plan for agriculture in the province.

Meanwhile locals blame corruption for some of the problems they are having.

Locals in Hadar’s villages agree that 90 percent of the farmers there have been forced to abandon their farmland and move to other areas because of desertification and drought.

“The people of the villages have spent all their savings over the past years,” Jihad al-Shammari, 43, the headman of Mukhtar village in the Biaaj district, told NIQASH. “Some have sold their cattle to buy seeds and fodder because they couldn’t get any government subsidies. Nor were there any job opportunities that would have allowed them to stay on their land or plant it.”

As for compensation or subsidies that are given out, farmers claim they’re going into the wrong hands. The money is apparently being handed out to the rich rather than the poor and to individuals who have forged proof of agricultural work or farm ownership.

A member of Hadar’s local council, Jassim Mohammed concurs, saying they have discovered around 50 such cases and blames Department of Agriculture officials for the problem.

The Department of Agriculture says that the forged contracts were discovered because of complaints from local farmers and that investigations are under way to find out who is behind the forgeries.

Meanwhile Jassim, a local seed merchant who did not want to have his full name used, said that he suspected that farmers, with better relationships with officials, were managing to get a bigger share of subsidized seeds – and then they were going on to sell the seeds on the black market. 

“Political infighting, the fact that Ninawa officials don’t understand the situation properly and the tribal nature of relationships in this area has made things difficult for local farmers,” Mohammed explains the realities of farming in Ninawa. “Government support either goes to the district’s capital or to people who have nothing to do with agriculture or livestock. And that is because of the nepotism and corrupt official methods.”

All of the problems that local farmers face in Ninawa, as well as what they see as growing corruption, sees people like Ahmed, the farmer whose brother’s house was claimed by the desert, growing more worried.

Ahmed says that mostly they are afraid that things will return to a sort of feudal state, where wealthy Iraqis control all the land and others simply work on it. As a result, many local farmers are considering setting up their own committees to call for investigations into subsidized equipment and seeds that never reached those who needed them most.   

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Prime Minister Maliki: We want an honest and transparent election in Kirkuk

20 NOVEMBER 2012

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri El Maliki said that the government wanted an honest and transparent election to be held in Iraq and particularly in Kirkuk.
Maliki who spoke to United Nations Special Envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler made statements regarding the local elections which are to be held on the 20th of April 2013.
According to a statement made by the Prime Ministry, Maliki said that an honest and transparent province assembly elections were desired in the whole of Iraq and particularly in Kirkuk and that a special law exclusive to the Kirkuk elections should be enacted in Parliament.
The statement said that Kobler as a representative of the United Nations was spending a special effort on behalf of Iraq’s situation and particularly for exemption from article seven of the Security Council.
published on: IRAK TÜRKMEN CEPHESI website

President Gül thanked Kazancı

President Gül thanked Kazancı

20 KASIM 2012
President Abdullah Gül thanked Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) Turkey Representative Dr.Hicran Kazancı for the congratulatory message sent on the occasion of the 89th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic.
Kazancı had sent a congratulatory message to both President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wishing for “eternal life for the Republic of Turkey in which the Turkish nation is harmonized with universal values such as democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights and freedoms”.

Friday, 9 November 2012

The Route of Syria and Turkmens, by Emre Kartal

The Route of Syria and Turkmens

The full version of this article is published in Turkish.  Indicative Abstract The recent events in Syria are a revolt, which is comprised of the broad historical background and a...
Indicative Abstract
The recent events in Syria are a revolt, which is comprised of the broad historical background and a social structure that emerged out of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. In order to understand the full extent of these events, the process of establishment of the Syrian Government, ethnic diversity and the structure of the state have to be examined. Turkey is interested in the Syrian territory, both in terms of the border neighborhood and of the ethnic groups. Syria is a country that had been ruled for centuries by the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks. Today, it is also a border country of the Turkish Republic, with which it shares its longest border. In addition, the Kurdish problem is also of interest to Turkey, which is one of the country’s current problems, especially in terms of the Turkmen[1]population. In Syria, there are the Arab Alevis, Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Druze, Armenians and Turkmens, which can be considered as a relic inherited from the Ottoman Empire, which have had a plurality under Assad’s regime.
Seen in the light of history of Imperialism, the uncertain route of Syria for the moment is an indicator of a new ethnic based structure. However, if the massacres are taken into account, it is obvious that this process will be really bloody.  In order to understand Syria’s current path, the political structure and the contemporary history of Syria have to be analyzed. The foundation of the current Syrian structure is based on the French mandate after the First World War. During the French Mandate period, for administrative purposes, France divided the country into ethnically based regions and granted them autonomy.  When France desisted, it constituted an army based on these ethnic grounds. The Baath Party cadres, which rule Syria today, emerged based on the organizational principals of this army. During the independence struggle of Syria, the Arab Alevis were in power, which sowed the seeds of what is called as Ba’athism. The ‘Levant Special Force’ founded by the French in Syria was created by the Arab Alevis, the Druze, and a small group of the Sunni population living in rural areas. Searching for a common identity in this army had been the common denominator of Ba’athism.
Against this background, today, it could be claimed that the current revolt is organized and under the promotion of the Barzani Kurdish population and it has an active political aim. In the northern regions there is even a possibility of an autonomous structure. This is a process reminiscent of the Kurdish administration gaining autonomy in Iraq after the U.S. operation.  The Assad regime is a matter of life and death for the Arab Alevis because the destruction of the regime would mean great difficulties for them.  The Turkmens in the country are facing great difficulties as well as they had under the Assad regime. So to speak, the Turkmens, touted as ‘the descendants of the Ottoman invaders’ by the Baathist Arab nationalism, are either facing great difficulties, or they are partially assimilated. They are the target of both Assad’s attacks, and of the opponents such as the Kurdish Defense Forces (HPK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
An analysis of the latest developments in Syria shows that the sides to this struggle in the country are the following: the Kurdish movement supported by Mesut Barzani, ex-political power holders who are no longer supportive of the Assad regime and who became opponents and, finally, the Sunni Arab uprising in the central region.  The Arab Alevis, previously identified by the regime, may have to share their absolute power with the citizens of other ethnic origins. This may partly be due to the Arab Alevis who no longer support Assad. The most striking example for the Kurdish groups that have political demands in Syria is the Kurdish structuring in Iraq. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the then U.S. president George W. Bush, during a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had guaranteed ‘Iraq’s territorial integrity’. Along the same lines, Mesut Barzani, the leader of the autonomous administration in Northern Iraq, declared themselves in the favor of territorial integrity of Iraq. However, a closer inspection of today’s situation might show that the aforementioned administration is currently a step closer to independence.
Syria’s path is still uncertain. However, out of two possible scenarios, Assad’s overthrow is more likely. It is not possible to sustain the Assad’s regime which is massacring people and has lost its legitimacy in the world public opinion. The possible establishment of a new system will face these ethnic disparities and imperial ambitions. The imperialist experience of the French Mandate in the region and ethnic based system of the latter regime show us that the United States and some Western states are trying to apply the divide-and-conquer logic to this region. The statement by the former U.S. minister of foreign affairs on 7 August 2003 in the Washington Post that ‘the borders of the 22 countries from Morocco to China would change’ supports this claim.
To sum up, the new regime that will be established after the Assad regime’s overthrow will be based on ethnicity due to the historical experiences. Moreover, while the Turkmens will be disenfranchised, there will be a strong Kurdish structure in line with Western and international support. This will cause problems both for Turkey (in terms her struggle with the PKK) and for the Barzani administration. The assimilation of Turkmens in the region will be inevitable. The armed attacks against Turkmens in Kirkuk and other Turkmen cities will continue and massacres against the Turkmen are likely to increase. It is possible to have a structure that is dominated by Sunnis at the center. In my opinion, the activities of the Arab Alevis in the bureaucracy will continue for a while but their liquidation will take place soon.
Emre Kartal, postgraduate student at the Department of International Relations at Yıldırım Beyazıt University
Please cite this publication as follows:
Kartal, Emre (October, 2012), “The Route of Syria and Turkmens”, Vol. I, Issue 8, pp.18-19, Centre for Policy Analysis and Research on Turkey (ResearchTurkey), London, ResearchTurkey. (

[1] The Syrian Turkmen are an ethnic minority of Oghuz Turkish descent living in Syria (e.n.)

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin kuruluşunun 89. yıldönümü töreni Brüksel’de muhteşem bir resepsiyonla kutlandı.

Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Devleti´nin Belçika´daki temsilcileri, 29 Ekim 2012 akşamı,  Tervuren Palais des Colonies salonun’da, Cumhuriyet’in 89. yılına yakışır bir resepsiyon düzenlediler.

Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Brüksel Maslahatgüzarı Oya Turan Yazar´ın ev sahipliğinde düzenlenen resepsiyonda, bayram tebriklerini Maslahatgüzar Oya Turan Yazar, eşi AB nezdinde Müsteşar Mustafa Turan, Brüksel Başkonsolosu Ali Barış Ulusoy, eşi Esin Ulusoy, Askeri Ataşe Kurmay Albay Ömer Faruk Demirbilek ve eşi Nurcihan Demirbilek, birlikte kabul ettiler.

Katılımın yüksek olduğu resepsiyonda seçkin konuklar arasında ITC Avrupa Birliği Temsilcisi Dr Hassan Aydınlı ve eşi davetli olarak yer aldılar.

Resepsiyona  katılanlar  arasında  Belçikanın federal ve bölgesel hükümeti Temsilcileri, Milletvekili ve siyasileri çok sayıda bulundu, bunlaradan beraber Belçikadaki yabancı misyon şefleri, AB nezdinde yabancı Büyükelçiler, NATO nezdinde Askeri Temsilciler, AB nezdinde T.C. Büyükelçisi İzzet Selim Yenel, eşi Sefire Serap Yenel, NATO nezdinde T.C. Büyükelçisi Haydar Berk, eşi Şeniz Berk, NATO Genel Sekreter Yardımcısı Büyükelçi Hüseyin Diriöz, KKTC Temsilcisi Büyükelçi Gizem Alpman, NATO Askeri Temsil Heyeti Başkanı Korgeneral Tahir Berkoğlu, Anvers Başkonsolosu Deniz Çakar, Türk kökenli Belçika senatörü Fatma Pehlivan, Brüksel bölge milletvekili Mahinur Özdemir, Brüksel Saint-Josse Belediye Başkan Yardımcısı Hava Ardıçlık, Belediye Meclis Üyeleri Derya Alıc, Sadık Köksal, Filiz Güles, Belma Tek, Alperen Özdemir, Mustafa Ulusoy, Türk sivil ve askeri delegasyon temsilcileri, siyasiler, sivil örgüt temsilcileri, iş adamları, sanatçılar ve basın mensupları yer aldı.
Resepsiyon’da Irak’taki son siyasi gelişmeler ve özelikle Türkmeneli’de Türkmenlerin siyasi ve güvenlik durumu tartışıldı.

Büyük bir katılımın gerçekleştiği resepsiyonda konuklara lezzetli Türk mutfak ürünleri ikram edildi, resepsiyon da çok güzel bir ortamda gecti.

ITC Avrupa Birliği Temsilciliği
30 Ekim 2012.

Court to hear 490 witnesses against Israel in Mavi Marmara case

A criminal court in Istanbul is due to begin the hearing of 490 witnesses from 37 countries in the case against Israeli officials responsible for the murderous attack on the Mavi Marmara. Nine Turkish citizens were killed by Israeli commandos during the assault in May 2010. According to Turkish newspaper Sabah, the court will also hear the testimony of Haneen Zoabi, an Arab member of the Israeli parliament.

Israel's former Chief of the General Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, the Air Force Chief, the Director of Israeli Intelligence and the Commander of the Israeli Navy are all charged with the offences committed during the assault on the Turkish flagged vessel which was part of a humanitarian convoy to the Gaza Strip when it was attacked in international waters. The indictments include attempted murder, causing physical damage, confiscation of the freedom of individuals and causing damage to the property of others. The prosecution has demanded the jailing of those accused in this case for terms ranging from 9 to 32 years.
Hussein Ouchar, representing IHH, the Turkish relief agency responsible for organising the convoy, told Sabah that the NGO will be submitting the UN Report into the attack as part of their evidence. "The UN Report emphasises Israel's use of excessive force," said Ouchar. "In addition, the forensic report confirms that the cause of death was live bullets fired from very close range and that Israel washed the dead bodies with unusual chemicals."