Saturday, November 26, 2005

Ankara Urges Turkmen Groups to Unite

By Suleyman Kurt
Published: Saturday, November 26, 2005
Before the Iraqi elections on December 15, Ankara called Turkmen groups in this country to "unite and go to the elections together" for a more powerful representation.
On Friday, Foreign Minister Abdulah Gul communicated this call to Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC) Chairman Sadettin Ergec, who makes official visits to Ankara. Ergec attended a meeting for reconciliation among ethnic and sectarian groups in Egypt last week and now is having contacts in Ankara before returning to Iraq.
Ergec reportedly informed Ankara about the Turkmen stance before the critical election and Gul pointed out Turkmen’s must be powerful in the elections to correct the situation both Ankara and the Turkmen’s are uneasy of.
Gul asserted Turkey's support continues. "If the Turkmen are at peace in Iraq it means we are at peace, too. Go to the elections under one umbrella. Act in the consciousness of Iraqiness, contribute in the country's unity and integrity," he said to ITC chairman. Ergec in return communicated they will form an alliance only in Musul (Mosul) and they will struggle "under their own flag" in other provinces. Both parties shared also their worries about Kerkuk (Kirkuk) in the talk.