Saturday, September 17, 2005

Press Release Of Turkmen Culture Assosiation in Denmark

500 Iraqi Turkmen from all over Eroupe demonstrated the Tal-Afar operation and the Iraqi Constitution draft

Press Release 16 sep. 2005 Copenhagen
Iraq is for all Iraqis
We need to live in peace and harmony with all Iraqi segments.

The new constitution should be fair for each community and the priority/importance should be given to the interests of the country.
The principle should be the national development in trust through the rules of the civilized countries.
Iraq should be a republic governed with a democratic, pluralist and parliamentary regime.
All political parts should take role in administration. 18 provinces of Iraq should maintain their position and each province should be granted autonomy or governed by federal system with the consensus of Iraq public.
We would like to underline that the territorial and public integrity should be protected.

The national and constitutional rights of all communities consisting Iraq should be recognized. This principle should be expressed in clear terms in the constitution and none of the nations or communities should be in a secondary position and the role of the other nations or the communities should not be exaggerated.
We are in the opinion that Iraq is a multi national and multi religious country.
The official language should be Arabic, while in the regions of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens are living; Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish should be the official language. Same rights should be given to the ChaldoAssyrians and other communities.
The fate of Kerkuk and which part it would be joined is not a local subject and it should be decided by all Iraqi people.
The legislative, executive and judicial powers should be clearly separated and principles of the judicial independence and the armed forces' administrated by the civil authority should be adopted. All the military forces should be dissolved and there should only be an army to defense the country and the army should not be involved in politics.
All Iraqi people are the owners of all the natural sources including oil and water reserves. Iraqi people should share all the sources equitably and fairly by a legal arrangement.

The Constitution And Turkmen

The Turkmen people of Iraq have suffered a lot under the tyrant regime of Saddam Hussein.
Turkmen dwellings and villages were destroyed and their owners were forced to migration.
Turkmen lands were expropriated. Speaking in Turkmen language was prohibited.
The indigenous Turkmen people of Iraq were expecting a real democracy and an equal share in the new Iraqi government.
On contrary the Turkmen have faced a new era of tyranny and once again have deprived of their basic political, cultural and social rights.
The Turkmen were aiming to participate in the new Iraqi government but unfortunately they were totally excluded from many fields.
Articles 136 and 138 in the draft constitution will totally erase the Turkmen presence in Iraq and will forcibly put the Turkmen under control of other ethnic group. Turkmen language should be Iraq’s second language beside Arabic and Kurdish because the Turkmen are more than three million living in Iraq in the buffer zone starting from Telafer in the North West to Mendeli and Aziziyah in the South East in six major cities Mosul, Erbil, Kirkuk, Salahaddin, Diyalah and Baghdad.
The Turkmen are composing 13% of Iraq’s total population.
The Iraqi Turkmen should not be seen as a danger to Iraqi sovereignty but as an asset to strengthen Iraqi stability and as a part of the big mosaic of Iraqi unity.
The Iraqi government must guarantee human rights for all citizens, regardless of ethnicity and reach agreement about these issues with representatives of Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs. Presently the Turkmen have been undergoing campaigns by the Kurds in Turkmeneli in an often more brutal fashion than carried out on Kurds by Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi Kurds are attempting by various methods to eliminate Turkmen identity especially from Kirkuk City in order To dilute them into Kurdish society. The economic, political and cultural aspects for the Turkmen have been completely disregarded by the new Iraqi government. After the invasion of Iraq, the Turkmen had high expectations of the interim administration established after April 9, 2003.
They expected to see democracy, fairness, and an end to discrimination, the right to self- determination and an end to violence.
Unfortunately, the opposite has happened regarding the human rights situation in Iraq, in particular concerning the Iraqi Turkmen.
The very existence of the Turkmen in Iraq is at a critical junction today with the rapid developments following the fall of Saddam’s regime.
We have forwarded our concerns and recommendations but unfortunately it is not taken into consideration.
This pushes the Turkmen with the other Iraqi segments who are opposing the draft will say (NO) in the referendum on October 15, of this year.
We demand our legitimate rights.
We consider Kirkuk as an Iraqi city where different Iraqi segments are living together at present.
When it comes to Kirkuk’s identity, Kirkuk is a Turkmen city and we will strongly reject any changes.
Kirkuk was given a special status in the former Iraqi interim constitution particularly in article 53-C but unfortunately it is not taken into consideration in the new constitution draft.

Tal Afar Tragedy

The Turkmen town of Tal Afar with a population approximately 400,000 has been under continuous bombing from both the US forces and the newly established Iraqi National Guards - predominately Kurds- for the second time this year. The electricity and water have been cut, approximately 100 people have been killed and over 500 people have arrested-mostly civillian- and all aid organizations are not allowed to enter the town in order to provide them with food or medicine.

Officials have reported that the majority of the victims caused by the collateral damage were innocent women and children. On top of all this tragedy, the people of Telafer are leaving behind their possessions and are desperately seeking a safe environment away from the bombings. However, attempting to leave Telafer is impossible because the checkpoints have been sealed in by U.S forces. All Iraqi Turkmens have deeply condemned and expressed their hatred toward the unreasonable air campaign attacks against innocent civilians

The U.S. should announce to the world the names of the captured insurgents because they might have captured some innocent Turkmens living in Tal Afar.
the U.S. should separate the armed insurgents from the innocent residents of the region.
The Hasankoy district was completely cleared on Monday and the operations are continuing in the Saray district. Turkmens living in the region escaped and began to live in tents around Tal Afar. Some 850 tents were set up for them. They are in a desperate state.
The reports that the Iraqi government had sent a mobile hospital to Tal Afar is not correct. Only the Turkmens living in the region have assisted the desperate Tal Afar Turkmens.

Everyone should recognize that Turkmens in Telafer, a city of great history and rich culture, are not alone in their struggle. All Iraqi Turkmens stand side-by-side with the people of Telafer in preserving one of the Turkmen’s most precious and resilient cities.
No one will ever shake the foundations and alter the true identity of Telafer.
All Turkmens in Turkmeneli, stretching from Telafer to Mendeli, share the pains and wounds of Turkmens in Telafer.

Turkmen urge the Iraqi government and international community to immediately stop the continuing oppression of Turkmen in Tal Afar and to take all the necessary steps to allow their return. In the event of the existence of liberation forces and Kurdish paramilitary in Iraq, there is an urgent need for the UN intervening military forces to prepare for preventing crisis and civil war in the North of Iraq. The Turkmen Commission on Human Rights found that Kurdish party continues to commit extremely grave violations of human rights especially in Erbil, Kerkuk and Tal Afer.

Best Regards

The National Union Of Turkmeneli
Iraqi Turkmen Culture Assosiation- Denmark