Sunday, 16 June 2013

ITF EU representative Dr. Hassan Aydinli met with Brussels Minister Brigitte Grouwels

Brigitte GROUWELS, Brussels Minister and Hassan AYDINLI, ITF EU Representative at the Brussels Parliament

Members of DÜTAP , Dünya Türkleri Avrupa Platformu, (European Platform of Turkish people worldwide) were invited at the Brussels Parliament by Ms Brigitte GROUWELS, Brussels Minister and Brigitte DE PAUW, CD&V-fractievoorzitter Brussel on 16th June 2013.

ITF EU representative Dr Hassan Aydinli (who is also a Member of DÜTAP) met with Minister Brigitte Grouwels. He informed the Minister about the situation of the Turkmens in Iraq and of Kirkuk in particular, explaining that Kirkuk was mainly inhabited by Turkmens before the arabization policy was implemented under the Baath regime several decades ago and before the massive influx of Kurds into the city especially after the occupation of Iraq by the US-UK in April 2003.

He described how this has left the Turkmens vulnerable and how they are constantly being targeted and continue to be marginalized despite the regime change in Iraq, adding that the concept of democracy is taking time to be fully understood and implemented by the Iraqis who have lived under dictatorial regimes since decades.

Dr Hassan Aydinli spoke about the similarities which exist between the city of Brussels (Capital of the European Union) and the city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq as both cities have a mixed population composed of several ethnicities. The city of Brussels has a long experience (20 years) of reaching compromises by democratic means and the city of Kirkuk could greatly benefit from the Brussels example.

Minister Brigitte Grouwels listened attentively and said she is willing to share her expertise on how to reach compromises among different ethnic/cultural components should the officials in Kirkuk city seek her advice on this matter and that she would be happy to meet with them in Brussels.

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