Monday, September 12, 2005

The Turkmen will say (NO) in the referandum (October 15, 2005)

Iraqi Turkmen Front UK Representative Asif SERTTURKMEN has explained the reasons why the Turkmen in Iraq will reject the draft constitution in especial program in the Democracy Channel TV broadcasting from London-UK. Sertturkmen during the TV interview has declared that: “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 minority. Turkmen language should be Iraq’s second language beside Arabic and Kurdish because we are more than three and half 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 Baggdad. The Turkmen are composing 13% of Iraq’s total population. We have forwarded our concerns and recommendations but unfortunately our voice was not heard. Therefore more strongly 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 need to live in peace and harmony with all Iraqi segments. We demand our legitimate rights. Iraq is for all Iraqis”.An answer to the future of the city of Kirkuk Sertturkmen declared that: “First of all we in the ITF 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 rejecting any changes. Kirkuk was given a special status in the former Iraqi interim constitution particularly in article 53-C but unfortunately it was not taken into consideration. I wonder how possible is to exclude 3.5 million Turkmen in Iraq?”