Thursday, 27 March 2014

Altunköprü Katliamı'nın 23. yılında

Altunköprü Katliamı'nın 23. yılında

Türkmen Altunköprü kasabasında 28 Mart 1991’de Saddam
rejimi güçleri tarafından 100'ün üzerinde masum Türkmen'in
ölümüne neden olan katliamda hayatını kaybeden
şehitlerimizi anmak ve yaklaşan Irak genel seçimlerinde
Türkmenlerin durumunu değerlendirmek üzere bir
panel düzenlenecektir.
Toplantımıza tüm halkımız davetlidir.

Tarih : 29 Mart 2014 CumartesiSaat : 16.00
Yer : Irak Türkleri Kültür ve Yardımlaşma Derneği Genel
Adres : Halıcılar Cad. No.92 K.3 D.8
Telefon: 0212 534 88 29 - 42
Web :

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

United Nations Releases New Official Unemployment Numbers For Iraq

United Nations Releases New Official Unemployment Numbers For Iraq

Posted by Joel Wing - Musings on Iraq

The United Nations recently released a new set of official unemployment statistics for Iraq. The national rate was at 11.3%. Just over half the country’s eighteen provinces had a lower jobless rate than that. A bigger problem was that less than half the population was involved in the work force. This was especially true for women who are still handicapped by cultural and religious mores that have kept the vast majority of them at home. Another issue is that services are the largest job type meaning that Iraq is not producing much. With such a large and young population Iraq needs to develop its economy more, so that it can find meaningful employment for all.


According to the U.N. most of Iraq’s 18 provinces were doing quite well when it came to joblessness. The official rate for the country was 11.3%. Ten provinces had a lower figure starting with Kirkuk, which was at the bottom with 2.5%, followed by Irbil 7.3%, Ninewa 7.3%, Dohuk 8.8%,Babil 9.5%, Karbala 9.6%, Baghdad 9.7%, Wasit 9.7%, Basra 10.3%, and Najaf 10.4%. The ones that were not doing so well were Salahaddinwith 13.5%, Qadisiayh 13.7%, Muthanna 14.5%, Diyala 15.0%, Sulaymaniya 15.0%, Maysan 15.4%, Anbar 18.1%, and Dhi Qar 19.4%. What was interesting about these numbers was that there were no regional trends. Kurdistan for example had two of the best governorates in Irbil and Dohuk with single figure unemployment numbers, but then Sulaymaniya was the fourth worst. Likewise the south had Karbala and Wasit at 9% each, but then Maysan and Dhi Qar with two of the highest numbers.

Unemployment By Province
Iraq 11.3%
Kirkuk 2.5%
Irbil 7.3%
Ninewa 7.3%
Dohuk 8.8%
Babil 9.5%
Karbala 9.6%
Baghdad 9.7%
Wasit 9.7%
Basra 10.3%
Najaf 10.4%
Salahaddin 13.5%
Qadisiyah 13.7%
Muthanna 14.5%
Diyala 15.0%
Sulaymaniya 15.0%
Maysan 15.4%
Anbar 18.1%
Dhi Qar 19.4%

One major cause for provinces to do so badly was the high unemployment rate for women. Only three provinces had jobless numbers for females below the national level. Those were Kirkuk, 3.4%, Salahaddin, 7.4%, and Wasit 9.9%. The other 13 were in double digits starting with Babil, 13.2%, Basra 13.2%, Anbar 15.1%, Ninewa 15.7%, Maysan 16.1%, Muthanna 16.1%, Dohuk 16.4%, Irbil 19.6%, Qadisiyah 21.2%, Najaf 23.4%, Baghdad 24.9%, Dhi Qar 24.4%, Diyala 33.3%, Karbala 34.1%, Sulaymaniya 37.5%. Here there was some correlation with Dhi Qar, Sulaymaniya, and Diyala being in the bottom for both overall and female unemployment.

Female Unemployment
Kirkuk 3.4%
Salahaddin 7.4%
Wasit 9.9%
Babil 13.2%
Basra 13.2%
Anbar 15.1%
Ninewa 15.7%
Maysan 16.1%
Muthanna 16.1%
Dohuk 16.4%
Irbil 19.6%
Qadisiyah 21.2%
Najaf 23.4%
Baghdad 24.9%
Dhi Qar 24.4%
Diyala 33.3%
Karbala 34.1%
Sulaymaniya 37.5%

As could be expected Iraqi men found it much easier to find work. 11 governorates had male unemployment below the national rate. Kirkuk was at 2.3%, Irbil at 4.1%, Karbala had 6.1%, Ninewa 6.2%, Baghdad 6.3%, Najaf 7.2%, Dohuk 7.6%, Babil 8.6%, Sulaymaniya 8.8%, Wasit 9.6%, and Basra 9.9%. Those at the other end were Diyala 11.9%, Qadisiyah 12.3%, Salahaddin 13.5%, Muthanna 14.3%, Maysan 15.3%, Dhi Qar 18.7%, Anbar 18.8%. Diyala, Salahaddin and Anbar not only saw major fighting, but displacement and disruption of their local economies, which could account for their high joblessness. The south is underdeveloped, especially for provinces with little to no oil or religious sites like Qadisiyah and Muthanna. Petroleum is not labor intensive however meaning if a governorate doesn’t have other industries there is little work, which accounts for Maysan being towards the bottom.

Male Unemployment
Kirkuk 2.3%
Irbil 4.1%
Karbala 6.1%
Ninewa 6.2%
Baghdad 6.3%
Najaf 7.2%
Dohuk 7.6%
Babil 8.6%
Sulaymaniya 8.8%
Wasit 9.6%
Basra 9.9%
Diyala 11.9%
Qadisiyah 12.3%
Salahaddin 13.5%
Muthanna 14.3%
Maysan 15.3%
Dhi Qar 18.7%
Anbar 18.8%

Iraq has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the Middle East and North Africa. That offers both opportunities and problems for the country. Finding jobs for the young in an oil dependent country is very difficult, and Iraq is failing in this effort. Kirkuk was the only province that was doing well at 6.0%. All the others were in double digits. Ninewa was at 12.0%, Irbil 12.4%, Wasit 13.6%, Dohuk 13.9%, Karbala 14.0%, Najaf 14.6%, Babil 15.2%, Baghdad 17.1%, Salahaddin 18.8%, Sulaymaniya 19.5%, Muthanna 20.8%, Basra 21.9%, Diyala 22.3%, Qadisiyah 22.6%, Maysan 25.2%, Anbar 29.9%, and Dhi Qar 32.8%. These figures are another reason why some governorates are struggling. Again, Maysan, Anbar, and Dhi Qar were in the bottom three for both overall and youth unemployment. Iraq lacks a diversified economy. The vast majority of its money comes from the energy field that only employs 1% of the population. That means that country can’t produce enough jobs annually to keep up with the population growth. As a result these statistics will likely get worse with time unless a real move is made at economic reform. Unfortunately there is little political will to do so though since the ruling elite benefit from the current system since it makes them independent of the public.

Youth Unemployment (15-29)
Kirkuk 6.0%
Ninewa 12.0%
Irbil 12.4%
Wasit 13.6%
Dohuk 13.9%
Karbala 14.0%
Najaf 14.6%
Babil 15.2%
Baghdad 17.1%
Salahaddin 18.8%
Sulaymaniya 19.5%
Muthanna 20.8%
Basra 21.9%
Diyala 22.3%
Qadisiyah 22.6%
Maysan 25.2%
Anbar 29.9%
Dhi Qar 32.8%

Another sign of the lack of a healthy economy is the fact that less than half the population participates in the labor force, meaning people that are either working or looking for a job. Anbar does the best at 48.0%, but the fact that it has the second highest jobless level means that many of those people are searching for work. At the bottom is Dohuk at 37.6%. That is the least developed of the three provinces in Kurdistan. After that are the southern provinces of Muthanna 40.6%, Qadisiyah 41.8%, and Maysan 42.0%. The remainders are Ninewa 42.1%, Diyala 42.3%, Kirkuk 42.8%, Irbil 42.9%, Salahaddin 43.1%, Karbala 43.2%, Basra 43.6%, Baghdad 44.7%, Sulaymaniya 45.4%, Babil 45.8%, Wasit 46.8%, and Najaf 47.8%. Again there are huge gender disparities. For male labor force participation Dohuk again starts the list at 65.6%, then Irbil 69.4%, Sulaymaniya 70.5%, Diyala 71.1%, Dhi Qar 71.1%, Salahaddin 71.8%, Qadisiyah 71.9%, Kirkuk, 73.4%, Babil 73.6%, Baghdad 73.8%, Ninewa 74.2%, Basra 74.6%, Wasit 74.6%, Anbar 75.1%, Karbala 75.5%, Muthanna 75.8%, Maysan 76.1%, and Najaf 76.1%. Those compared to women at only 7.2% in Muthanna, 9.7% in Ninewa, 10.0% in Dhi Qar, 10.1% in Basra, 10.8% in Karbala, 11.6% in Dohuk, 11.9% in Maysan, 12.6% in Diyala, 12.6% in Kirkuk, 12.6% in Qadisiyah, 15.3% in Salahaddin, 16.3% in Baghdad, 17.4% in Irbil, 18.4% in Babil, 19.2% in Najaf, 19.3% in Wasit, 19.8% in Sulaymaniya, and 20.4% in Anbar. Even the best province only had one fifth of their women at work or searching for employment, and again that was in an area with horrible job prospects. The turn towards conservatism following the 2003 invasion, and widespread violence were two major reasons why women have such low numbers. This decline has been going on for decades however beginning with the demobilization following the Iran-Iraq War. Before that the Baath Party had actively sought to bring women into the work force first as part of its modernization program, and then to fill the openings left by men joining the army. Afterward however as men left the armed forces the government started talking about women returning to the home.

Labor Force Participation
Dohuk 37.6%
Dhi Qar 40.5%
Muthanna 40.6%
Qadisiyah 41.8%
Maysan 42.0%
Ninewa 42.1%
Diyala 42.3%
Kirkuk 42.8%
Irbil 42.9%
Salahaddin 43.1%
Karbala 43.2%
Basra 43.6%
Baghdad 44.7%
Sulaymaniya 45.4%
Babil 45.8%
Wasit 46.8%
Najaf 47.8%
Anbar 48.0%

Male Labor Force Participation
Dohuk 65.6%
Irbil 69.4%
Sulaymaniya 70.5%
Diyala 71.0%
Dhi Qar 71.1%
Salahaddin 71.8%
Qadisiyah 71.9%
Kirkuk 73.4%
Babil 73.6%
Baghdad 73.8%
Ninewa 74.2%
Basra 74.6%
Wasit 74.6%
Anbar 75.1%
Karbala 75.5%
Muthanna 75.8%
Maysan 76.1%
Najaf 76.1%

Female Labor Force Participation
Muthanna 7.2%
Ninewa 9.7%
Dhi Qar 10.0%
Basra 10.1%
Karbala 10.8%
Dohuk 11.6%
Maysan 11.9%
Diyala 12.6%
Kirkuk 12.6%
Qadisiyah 12.6%
Salahaddin 15.3%
Baghdad 16.3%
Irbil 17.4%
Babil 18.4%
Najaf 19.2%
Wasit 19.3%
Sulaymaniya 19.8%
Anbar 20.4%

The final mark of Iraq’s problems was shown by the domination of services as the main form of work. The country has become more oil dependent with the passage of time. That was partly due to the closing of many industries and state owned enterprises by the United States and the opening of the borders to trade following the 2003 invasion, which allowed cheap imports in and put a lot of Iraqi businesses out of work. Now economic policy is focused upon increasing the role of energy even more. Those are all major reasons why service jobs are so prominent. Najaf had the lowest rate at 28% in services, followed by 30% in Ninewa, 30.5% in Babil, 34% in Karbala, 34.5% in Kirkuk, 38% in Baghdad, 38.6% in Basra, 39% in Qadisiyah, 39.1% in Muthanna, 40% in Maysan, 40.5% in Diyala, 41% in Dhi Qar, 42.9% in Sulaymaniya, 50.4% in Dohuk, and a whopping 79.2% in Irbil. Wasit and Salahaddin were the only exceptions where farming, 31.4%, and mining/manufacturing 32.6%, were in the lead. Even then 31% of workers were in services in Wasit. Agriculture could be an industry that would offer growth, unemployment, and needed products for domestic consumption, but it has been in decline since 2003. While 13 provinces still had sizeable farming sectors, for most of them they were a very small fraction of the work available. Those were Irbil, 5.9%, Dohuk, 7%, Sulaymaniya, 7%, Diyala, 10%, Ninewa, 13.8%, Dhi Qar, 14%, Kirkuk, 15.1%, Najaf, 18%, Qadisiyah, 18%, Maysan, 20%, Babil, 24.5%, Salahaddin, 30.9%, and Wasit, 31.4%. The United States, Baghdad, and Irbil have all talked about developing farming, and some policies have been implemented, but they have not been that effective.

Employment By Sector In Each Province
Najaf: Services 28%, farming 18%, wholesale, retail, restaurants, hotels 16.8%
Ninewa: Services 30%, construction 23%, farming 13.8%
Babil: Services 30.5%, farming 24.5%, construction 13.9%
Karbala: Services 34%, wholesale, retail, restaurants, hotels 20%, construction 19%
Kirkuk: Services 34.5%, farming 15.1%, wholesale, retail, restaurants, hotels 15%
Baghdad: Services 38%, wholesale, retail, restaurants, hotels 18.2%, construction 14.3%, transportation, communication 12.4%
Basra: Services 38.6%, construction 20%, wholesale, retail, restaurants, hotels 14.1%
Qadisiyah: Services 39%, farming 18%, construction 16%
Muthanna: Services 39.1%, construction 25.2%, whole, retail, restaurants, hotels 11.3%, transportation, communication 11.2%
Maysan: Services 40%, farming 20%
Diyala: Services 40.5%, construction 18.7%, wholesale, retail, restaurants, hotels 12.9%, farming 10%
Dhi Qar: Services 41%, construction 17%, farming 14%
Sulaymaniya: Services 42.9%, wholesale, retail, restaurants, hotels 16.3%, construction 11.6%, farming 7%
Dohuk: Services 50.4%, construction 17.5%, wholesale, retail, restaurants, hotels 10.8%, farming 7%
Irbil: Services 79.2%, manufacturing 14.9%, farming 5.9%
Wasit: Farming 31.4%, Services 31%
Salahaddin: Mining, manufacturing 32.6%, farming 30.9%, construction 12.8%

The major problem with the official unemployment rate is that there are plenty of others that claim the actual figures are much higher. Not only that there is massive underemployment. The government for example is the largest employer yet many workers are hired as family and political supporters in patronage networks and are never meant to really work. They show up for their jobs and do very little and often serve only a few hours a day. That is even more reason why economic reform is desperately needed in Iraq to find futures for the ever growing populace. The industrial and agricultural sectors of most provinces are squandering away, while ineffective and lackadaisical planning is not helping. Instead both Baghdad and Irbil are set not only on building rentier states, but increasing their dependence upon oil. That’s the reason why both the central and regional governments main solution to the unemployment dilemma is to simply hire more government workers rather than diversify and deal with the root problems of the country’s economy.


Joint Analysis Unit, “Anbar Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Babil Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Baghdad Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Basrah Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Diyala Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Dohuk Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Erbil Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Kerbala Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Kirkuk Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Missan Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Muthanna Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Najaf Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Ninewa Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Qadissiya Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Salah al-Din Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Sulaymaniya Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Thi-Qar Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014
- “Wassit Governorate Profile 2013,” February 2014

Friday, 21 March 2014

The Iraqi Parliament Completes the First Reading of the 2014 Annual Budget

The Iraqi Parliament Completes the First Reading of the 2014 Annual Budget

Posted by Reidar Visser on Monday, 17 March 2014 14:23
In a significant move, the Iraqi parliament has completed the first passage of the 2014 annual budget despite boycotts by the Kurds and the Mutahhidun bloc loyal to the parliament speaker, Usama al-Nujayfi.
The sheer arithmetic behind the successful quorum at Sunday’s session speaks volumes about shifting political winds in Iraq ahead of the 30 April parliament elections. In order to go ahead with the first reading, 163 MPs needed to be present to reach the legal minimum requirement for taking parliamentary action. According to the official parliament record, 164 deputies attended. In the context of boycotts by Kurds and Mutahhidun alike, this is a remarkable achievement. It means, firstly, that the Shia bloc in parliament is exhibiting internal discipline at a level not seen since 2005. Altogether the three main Shiite factions – State of Law, Muwatin and the Sadrists – command around 161 deputy votes. The numbers suggest that despite internal turmoil among the Sadrists (or because of it?) a majority of these deputies will have been present during the budget reading. Whereas previous occasions involving Kurdish opposition to Maliki have seen widespread ISCI solidarity with the Kurds, no such major Shiite challenge to Maliki appears to have materialized this time around. But beyond this, importantly, there must have been some MPs from the Sunni and secular camps attending as well. The numbers don’t lie: even on a good day, there are no more than aroundd 160 Shiite Islamist MPs, and most of the handful of minority MPs from small non-Muslim groups and ethnic micro-minorities are loyal to the Kurds. Accordingly, in the context of continued criticism of PM Maliki by Iraqiyya leader Ayyad Allawi, it makes sense to assume that at least some of the breakaway elements of Iraqiyya that materialized in 2012 were present to secure the necessary quorum.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

من الشخصيات التربوية التركمانية .. التربوي كمال عبد الله جعفر اورانقاي

من الشخصيات التربوية التركمانية .. التربوي كمال عبد الله جعفر اورانقاي

فلاح يازار اوغلو

ولد التربوي كمال عبدالله جعفر اورانقاي عام 1946 في كركوك ، من عائلة تركمانية عريقة وكادحة .. درس الابتدائية في مدرسة القلعة الثانية الابتدائية في عهد مديرها محمد علي البياتي عام 1957م ، ثم درس المرحلة المتوسطة في متوسطة المصلى للبنين عام 1963م ، وبعد تخرجه من المتوسطة درس في دار المعلمين الابتدائية في كركوك وتخرج منه عام 1966م . عين عام 1967م بصفة معلم في احدى قرى قضاء داقوق . 
وخدم في المدارس التالية : 
1ـ مدرسة البشير الابتدائية في قرية البشير التابعة لناحية تازة خورماتو للفترة من عام 
1970 لغاية عام 1979م . 
2ـ مدرسة الشورجة الابتدائية للبنين للفترة 1980ـ 1983م . 
3ـ مدرسة عشتار الابتدائية في منطقة الإسكان للفترة 1984 ـ 1987م . 
4ـ مدرسة شط العرب الابتدائية في حي النصر للفترة 1988 ـ 1995م . 
أحيل إلى التقاعد عام 1995م بعد ان امضى خدمة 28 عاماً في سلك التعليم بتقدير عال. 
وخلال أعوام 1984 لغاية 1995م نسب للعمل في التربية الخاصة بعد اجتيازه الدورة بنجاح . 
أن التربوي كمال عبد الله كان يمتاز بالروح الوطنية والقومية العالية والإخلاص والأمانة في حياته الوظيفية ، ودائماً يحث الطلبة لحب الوطن ولغتهم الأم التركمانية وأبناء جلدتهم .. 
دخل أول دورة في تعليم الدراسة التركمانية خلال عام 1970 ـ 1971م حين منحت الحقوق الثقافية للتركمان في عهد النظام السابق وتم في حينه فتح المدارس التركمانية في مدينة كركوك وضواحيها . شارك في دورة تدريبية في معهد الالكتروني لمدة 6 أشهر خلال أعوام السبعينيات ، وكذلك شارك في المؤتمر التربوي الأول للتربية الخاصة عام 1988م . 
دخل التربوي كمال عبد الله بدورات تربوية عديدة منها في التربية الخاصة واجتازها بنجاح وتفوق وحصل على شهادات تقديرية وكتب شكر من قبل وزارة التربية والمديرية العامة لتربية كركوك .. 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Baghdad:‘KRG’s annual ports income is $6 Billion’

Amin Hadi, an Iraqi MP on the committee of finance, has announced that the Kurdistan Region’s annual income from ports of entries is close to $6 billion, and that these funds have not been added to Iraq’s annual income, nor to the KRG’s. 

The MP said the finance committee has done its investigations and concluded that the KRG is hiding the annual income it gets from ports. 

The MP said that, while it is so far unclear who controls the revenue, it is clear that the money has not been used to serve the people of the Kurdistan Region. According to the Iraqi Constitution, all regions and provinces should submit their annual incomes to the federal budget. (KT)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

In Southern Iraq, Archeological Riches Rivaling Ur Await Discovery

In Southern Iraq, Archeological Riches Rivaling Ur Await Discovery
By Adel Fakhir
Posted 2014-03-07

Iraq's national museum in Baghdad (Photo: AFP).BAGHDAD -- Iraq's southern Dhi Qar province is "a global museum of antiquities," dotted with hundreds of unexcavated ancient cities whose archeological treasures could rival those of the great Sumerian capital of Ur, experts say.

The imposing ziggurat of Ur, the Biblical birthplace of the Prophet Abraham and capital of a prosperous empire that ruled over Mesopotamia more than 4,000 years ago, could be one among many such monuments, according to Amer Abdul Razaq, an Iraqi antiquities expert.

"The archaeological sites in Dhi Qar may contain more than one ziggurat, which were mostly places of worship for the people of Sumer and Babylon," he says.

"We must highlight important and significant kingdoms and empires in the province of Dhi Qar," Razaq adds, likening the area to "a global museum of antiquities."

"There are more than 1,200 cities comparable and equivalent to the archeological city of Ur," waiting to be unearthed, he says.

"Ur of the Chaldees," mentioned several times in the Bible, was first excavated in the 1850s by the British consul John George Taylor.

Razaq notes that the archaeological site of the ancient Sumerian Kingdom of Lagash, which lies north of the Dhi Qar capital of Nasiriyah, is the largest in the Middle East, spreading over an area of 1,600 square kilometers.

The Sumer region was long believed to have been inhabited around 4,500 BC. But flint, stone tools and other relics discovered there now lead archeologists to believe that the area was inhabited by an unknown prehistoric people who are termed the "Ubaid."

Ninety kilometers north of Nasiriyah lies a city called Umm al-Ajarib (Mother of Scorpions) and the Kingdom of Ki An, in an area that cradles one of the oldest agricultural villages of Mesopotamia.

In addition, there are more than 400 archeological sites dating back to the Islamic Abbasid era.

"These sites are all unexcavated. Substantial sums of money are needed to make a quantum leap in the field of antiquities and archeological tourist cities in the province and to set up a museum worthy of the antiquities," Razaq says.

Hussein Sharifi, an Iraqi MP and member of the Commission of Tourism and Antiquities, agrees.

"The government must develop plans and strategic programs to improve the reality of tourism in the field of archeology," he says.

Many of the old sites in Dhi Qar have recently attracted a large number of international exploration missions, Iraqi officials say.

The important site of Tel Khyber is being excavated by a British mission, following an agreement between Manchester University and Iraq's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

"The British team came back again for excavations for the second season at the archeological site of Khyber, after they discovered artifacts in the first season that dated back to the era of ancient Babylon, the first dawn dynasties," explains Wissal Naim, director of the Archeological Inspectorate of Dhi Qar.

She adds that an Italian team also has returned to continue work on the site of Tal Abu Tberh, and a Belgian team is working on the site of Tel Yuha.

"The governorate allocated two billion Iraqi dinars from the budget last year, as a first step for the maintenance of the royal cemetery and the ziggurat of Ur," Naim explains.

There have been no major excavations at Ur since digs funded in the 1920s and 1930s by the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania. Experts say that only 10 percent of the site has so far been excavated, and that treasures may lie literally under the feet of excavators and visitors.

Last November, more than 150 Christians, including clergymen, nuns and ordinary worshippers from the cities of Basra and Amarah, performed a spiritual pilgrimage near the house of the Prophet Abraham, singing hymns and calling for peace to be restored to Iraq's war-torn provinces.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Votes or Voice? By Nermeen Al-Mufti

Votes or Voice?

February was the most violent month in Iraq since 2008, with hundreds of people being killed in the run-up to next month’s parliamentary elections, writes Nermeen Al-Mufti in Baghdad

February marked the bloodiest month in Iraq since 2008, and although 2013 was the bloodiest year in Iraq in more than five years, the February death toll was more than three times that of February 2013.

According to casualty figures released last week by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), a total of 703 Iraqis were killed and another 1,381 were injured in acts of terrorism and violence in February.

The number of civilians killed was 564, including 152 civil police, while the number of civilians injured was 1,179, including 262 civil police. A further 139 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed and 202 were injured, not including casualties from the Anbar province operation.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Why the inhabitants of the Belgian village of Faymonville are called 'Turks'.

In the 16th and 17th century, the principality of Stavelot-Malmedy was often requested to contribute by its prince-priests to the needs of Christendom in the struggle against the Turkish invasion of the Holy Empire. The fund raisings were frequent in the churches belonging to the princedom (among which ‘Waimes’).  Faymonville, falling under the jurisdiction of the Duchy of Luxembourg, and not under that of the priest-princedom, evaded these taxes. This is the reason why the inhabitants of Faymonville who were accused of making a pact with the Muslims were called 'Turks'.

Far from being offended, the inhabitants of Faymonville have accepted this name which makes part of their folklore. This is the reason why the crescent is represented on their flag and why their music band parades in Turkish costumes in all the carnivals in which it participates. The football club of Faymonville is called ‘RFC TURKANIA’ and the young people’s group is called “Les Jeunes Turcs Réunis” and the village hotel is called “Le Vieux Sultan”.

Iraqi Turkmens were present at the Faymonville carnival in 2014

Iraqi Turkmens were present at the Faymonville carnival in 2014

Crescent and Star on the coat of arms of the village of Faymonville

Iraqi Turkmens were present at the Faymonville carnival in 2014

Iraqi Turkmens were present at the Faymonville carnival in 2014


Uzun yıllardır her yıl geleneksel olarak yapılan Faymonville Türk Karnavalı bu yılda coşkuyla kutlandı. Brüksel Başkonsolosu Ali Barış Ulusoy'unda izlediği Festivalde Belçika'da yaşayan Türkler büyük coşku yaşadı.

Asırlardır kendilerini Türk hissettiklerini İfade eden Faymonville köyü sakinleri ‘Karnaval’da ellerinde bayraklarla at üzerinde geçit kortejinin önünde yer almaktalar. Bando Takımı Türk bayraklarıyla atlıları takip etmekte.

Kültürel giyisileriyle karnavala renk katan bir çok ulusa mensup gruplar dansları ve oyunlarıyla karnavala renk kattılar.

Karnavalı izleyenler arasında Brüksel Başkonsolosu Ali Barış Ulusoy, Emniyet Müşaviri Hüseyin Tunçoğlu, Schaerbeek Belediye Başkan Yardımcısı Sait Köse, Bakan Danışmanı Nebahat Acar, Schaerbeek Belediye Meclis Üyesi Döne Sönmez, SP&a adayı Erdinç Utku, Belçika, Almanya, Hollanda ve Fransa’dan gelen Sivil Toplum Kuruluş Temsilcileri ve kalabalık Türk toplumu vardı.

Havanında geçen yıllara nazaran güneşli oluşu da Karnavalı adeta canlandırdı. Kortejin geçişi sırasında ellerinde Türk bayrakları olan yüzlerce kişi büyük bir coşku yaşadı. Kimi seyircilerin konfetlerle mücadelesi gözlerden kaçmadı.

Genel Yayın Yönetmenimiz Celil Gündoğdu geçen yılki kortejin önündeki Türk giysileri içerisinde Türk bayrağı taşıyan öncü atlıları Belçika Haber be.nin kapağına taşımıştı. Gündoğdu geçen yıl atlı süvaride bulunan öncülerden birisine dergiyi takdim etti. Atlı öncü elinde Belçika Haber Be.nin dergisiyle objektifimize görüntü vermesi çok anlamlıydı. Belçika Haber Be. Olarak yaklaşık 7 yıldan beri bu Karnavalı takip etmekteyiz.

Her yıl olduğu gibi bu yılda buradan objektifimize yansıttığımız renkli görüntüleri haberimizin altında bulunan resim galerisinden takip edebilirsiniz.

Faymonville hakkında

Belçika'nın Almanya sınırına yakın Arden Dağları bölgesindeki Faymonville köyünün meydanında, Belçika ve Valonya otonom bölgesi bayraklarının yanında Türk bayrağı da dalgalanıyor.

Köyün merkezinde, bugün kütüphane olarak kullanılan binanın girişinde, mermer üzerine oyulmuş ay yıldız, binanın içindeyse camlara işlenmiş Türk bayrağı motifleri dikkati çekiyor.

Faymonville'deki tek otel "Eski Sultan" (Le Vieux Sultan) adını taşıyor. Köyün futbol takımı RFC Turkania (Genç Türkler Birliği) amatör liginde Türk bayraklı logosuyla mücadele ediyor.

Faymonville'e "Türk köyü" denilmesi ve Türk bayrağının bu köyün sembolü olması, çeşitli rivayetlerle izah ediliyor. Bu geleneğin 8'inci yüzyıldan kaldığını savunan köylüler bile var.

Bir rivayete göre Faymonville köylülerine, Haçlı seferlerine katılmadıkları ve vergi vermemek için "Türk" denildi.

En yaygın rivayete göre ise 16'ncı ve 17'nci yüzyıllarda, Osmanlı'ya karşı koymak için Kilise önderliğinde Avrupa'da toplanan vergilere katılmayı reddeden Faymonville köylüleri, Müslümanlarla ittifak yaptıkları gerekçesiyle "Türk" olarak adlandırıldı.