First Published: 2010-12-09

 

The Human Rights Situation of the Turkmen Community in Iraq

 

The international community should no longer ignore the violation of human rights of Iraq’s Turkmen community, says Ahmed Al-Hurmezi.

 

Middle East Online

The Turkmen community represents the third largest ethnic group in Iraq. Their population size is more than 2 million of the total Iraqi population. The Turkmen of Iraq live mainly in an area which is called Turkmeneli, which stretches from the northwest to the east at the middle of Iraq. They speak "Turkmenelian", which contains some Arabic words and for their written language, they use standard Turkish (have used a modified version of Arabic alphabet in the past).

Most of the Turkmen are Muslims; there are also about 30,000 Turkmen Christians. The city of Kirkuk is considered by the Turkmen as their capital city.

The Turkmen community of Iraq has made considerable contribution to the region of Mesopotamia and to the Iraqi society in general. Unfortunately due to political differences, Turkmens in Iraq faced numerous prosecutions during the British invasion after the fall of the Ottoman Empire (First World War) and subsequent regimes that followed, especially during the devastating period of Saddam's era, which stripped many Turkmens from their right to express their culture and educate their children in their mother tongue.

Iraqi Turkmens continue to face misrepresentation even after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. Kurdification of the Turkmeneli capital Kirkuk and another area where the Turkmen lives being one of the main problems.

Indeed, since 2003, the Turkmens are victims of human rights violation, they are marginalized in their own area, their community is discriminated, their cultural rights are denied and their language is not recognized as an official language where the Arabic and Kurdish languages are imposed as the two official languages.

They are denied their fair share of employment in the administration and they are markedly under-represented in the security forces, in the police and in the armed force which are almost all monopolized by the Arab and Kurds. The Turkmens, not having militias of their own, are left defenceless and are living under constant threats.

The international community should no longer ignore the violation of human rights of Iraq’s Turkmen community and ask UN and EU to intervene without delay and send independent international fact finding mission to Turkmeneli area.

Ahmed Al-Hurmezi is an Iraqi writer.

 

Islamist protesters, police clash in Cairo

New Israel party created amid rumours of early elections

French lawmakers to debate recognition of Palestine

Oil prices nosedive in Asia after OPEC refuses to cede ground to US shale

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

Foreign workers will get more protection in Gulf

Syria, Russia support UN in suspending Aleppo fighting

Powers to push for Iran nuclear deal before new deadline

Iraqi forces, tribesmen battle IS jihadists in Ramadi

Egypt jails 78 minors for pro-Morsi protests

OPEC meets for pivotal decision on oil output

US slams Assad regime for ‘continued slaughter’

Pope to rebuild bridges with Islamic world in Turkey visit

Regime indiscriminate strikes kill scores in Islamic State 'capital' in Syria

Putin meets with Syria Foreign Minister in Black Sea retreat of Sochi

Egypt, France agree to step up cooperation against terrorism

Britain rushes to fight terror with controversial bill

Gunmen kill 3 Egypt policemen in fresh terrorist attack

Iran lawmakers finally approve third Rouhani science minister pick

Turkey clears only suspect in alleged poisoning of former president

Huthis humiliate Al-Ahmar clan with capture of Sanaa headquarters

Christians hold out in Syria second city despite Daesh threat

Libya’s Derna emerges as new IS stronghold

Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing Wednesday

Egypt leader begins two-day trip to France

Tribesmen blow up Yemen’s main oil pipeline

Russia trims oil output

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists