First Published: 2011-08-14


Reconciliation between Turkmen and Kurds in Iraq Efforts are Going Nowhere


We have to admit that there are neither deep disputes nor any kind of conflicts between Turkmen and Kurdish people but in fact it is a political dispute between the leaders of Kurdish parties over the rights of Turkmen in general, says Ahmed Alhurmezi.


Middle East Online

The conversation about reconciliation between Turkmen and Kurds within the domain of a united Iraq and the possibility of achieving it seems to be impossible currently. Reconciliation usually occurs between opponents who disagree for subjective and objective reasons that led to divisions and disputes reaching sometimes to the level of hostility. We have to admit that there are neither deep disputes nor any kind of conflicts between Turkmen and Kurdish people but in fact it is a political dispute between the leaders of Kurdish parties over the rights of Turkmen in general.

As it is known the dispute over interests and visions can lead to conflicts and even to a direct or indirect confrontation. After long time, opponents might reach a state of what is called by politicians as (conflict maturity) and in summary it means that both sides soon discover that there is no use of continuing the dispute and there should be a constructive dialogue between them.

As an example, the agreement between Masoud Barazani and Saddam Hussein in the seventies, and the agreement which was about to occur between Barazani, Talabani and Saddam Hussein in 1990 if it wasnt for the second Gulf war despite the disputes between Kurdish people and the central government at that time.

The case of Turkmen and Kurds seems to be different or it operates according to certain rules that make agreements between others possible but between them impossible.

The continuation of the crisis in political relations between Turkmen and Kurds, despite it differs in its intensity from time to time requires us to stop and look for the main reasons behind its nourishment and continuity.

Turkmen went through intellectual and doctrinal conflicts since the establishment of the Iraqi nation which neglected them. These conflicts threatened their existence and identity, and at times they were with Arabs and at other times with Kurds. Both Arabs and Kurds considered Turkmen to be the weakest side in the triangular construction of Iraq which is composed of Arab, Kurd and Turkmen, so sometimes they tried to embrace them and at other times they denied their rights.

Realizing this paradox and sensing the size of the crisis requires us to seek and analyse to reach a true reconciliation between Turkmen and Kurds. A reconciliation that has to start with similar Kurdish steps far from threats, violence, ignorance and attempts to impose a demographic change, as all those proved their failure over history. Kurdish strategic interests need to attract Turkmen more than others.

Reconciliation is a necessity but it requires political, intellectual and national efforts, but would the other side respond??? A question needs to be answered.

Ahmed Alhurmezi is an Iraqi writer.


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