Friday, August 26, 2005

Emotions run strong over Iraqi charter

By Ahmed Janabi
Friday 26 August 2005, 2:29 Makka Time, 23:29 GMT
Iraqi Shia and Turkmen factions have voiced reservations over the Iraqi constitution draft, saying it does not serve the interests of all Iraqis.

Turkmen & US Ambassador to Iraq Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad

Turkmen, who constitute Iraq's third largest ethnic group, are not comfortable with geographical or ethnic federalism, and say such a system will jeopardise their existence as well as put the whole country in danger.

"Geographical or ethnic federation would leave the third ethnic group in Iraq as a minority in a Kurdish federation. Even though we are a majority in several parts of Iraq such as Talafar and Kirkuk," said Nabil Herbo, the media representative of Turkmen Front in Talafar.

He told that the constitution does stipulate that Turkmen are the country's third ethnic group but does not specify their rights and obligations.

"The constitution left the Turkmen language untouched. We want to teach our language in our areas, but the constitution does not give us that right" he said.

However, Herbo said negotiations are still going on, and his Front will go eventually with what the Turkmen bloc in the parliament decides.
Resources Asif Soturkman, the representative of Turkmen Front in Britain, criticised the attempts to seize the wealth of Iraq in the draft constitution.

"They say the resources of each region in Iraq go to the ethnicity that rules that region. What does that mean? If an Iraqi Arab or Turkmen lives in a region without resources, he or she would starve to death?" Soturkman said.

"It is well known that revenues of a country go to the people of that country. Iraq's resources are for all Iraqis".

He said federalism is about gathering several small entities in one big powerful country as is the case in Canada for example. But what is happening in Iraq is the contrary: they want to break an already powerful country.

Soturkman accused the Kurds of bringing hundreds of thousands of Iranian Kurds into Kirkuk claiming they were displaced by Saddam Hussein's government. "The Turkmen used to be a majority in Kirkuk. We lived in city and know what had happened in it. All that the Saddam regime had displaced were around 11,000 Kurds and Turkmen, but now Kurds have become a majority in Kirkuk."

Soturkman said: "The Kurds want Arabs out of Kirkuk by 2007. Will they do the same with Kurds who have been living in the restl of Iraq? Will they tell the million Kurds in Baghdad to go back to the north? Why they do not want others to live with them?"

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Constitution Excluding Sunnis Would Cause Chaos and Fragmentation in Iraq

The official languages are Arabic and Kurdish. The Kerkuk (Kirkuk) issue will be solved after 2007.

Iraq trades batch of Kirkuk oil to 3 MNCs

(Reuters)25 August 2005
LONDON — Iraq has sold a rare batch of Kirkuk crude to three multinationals as Baghdad’s running battle with saboteurs prevents steady flows of oil through its vital northern pipeline.

About 400 Sunnis, Shiites rally near Kirkuk against federalism

About 400 Sunni Arabs and Shiite followers of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rallied Wednesday in this town southwest of Kirkuk to protest the draft constitution and plans for federalism.

The Constitution Draft: Erase The Turkmen!

By Savas Noredin
24 august 2005- Copenhagen
-Conflicts on the new constitution draft of Iraq continues. The constitution draft of 153 articles gives a hint how the Kurds invading Kirkuk whith kurdisation policy in Iraq. According to this draft, the Turkmens are the most vulnerable ethnic groupe.

Although it is admitted in the draft that Iraq is consisting of different religions, sects and nations; only Kurdish and Arabic are stated as official languages. It is also considered that Islam is the main source of the legislation. Besides, the special statutes of Kerkuk and Baghdad ends which means a path to include them in the ferderal regions. The draft guarantees de facto circumstances formed by Kurds and lays the groundwork for a federal structure in Iraq.

58 articles linked with one another and paragraph (a) of article 53 of the Transitional Administrative Law of Iraq remain same in the constitution draft. With the article 149 related to the Turkmens and Turkmeneli region, Kurds' returning and settling down to Kerkuk is legitimized. The offical papers of Kirkuk municipality also shows that the population of the city is increased from 870 thousand to over one million since 2003. which shows the demographic change from 60% Turkmen populated Kirkuk to over 60% Kurdish. Therefore Kerkuk is indirectly included to the formation in north. And yet, with the article 152, the Kurdish formation whose borders are determined on March 19, 2003 is formally recognized. Duhok, Erbil and Suleymaniye take place in the Kurdish federation thereby.

It is also stated in the draft that a referendum will be held for the approval of the people living in Kerkuk and the conflicting areas not later than December 31, 2007 .

Even though the draft allows Turkmens to use their own language in the regions where they mainly live, choosing Turkmen language as an additional official language in these regions is bound on a referendum.

In such case Turkmens become assimilated in Iraq of which they were one of the the founders and to date they defended the territorial integrity thereof. After 2007, it seems impossible to mention about neither Turkmens nor Turkmeneli which such ethnic erase policy can’t be accepted.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Partial Text of the Iraqi Constitution

CHAPTER ONE: Basic PrinciplesArticle (1): The Republic of Iraq is an independent, sovereign nation, and the system of rule in it is a democratic, federal, representative (parliamentary) republic.Article (2): First, Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:

BP, Total, Spain's Cepsa win Kirkuk oil tender

LONDON (MarketWatch) -
- BP PLC (BP), Compania Espanola de Petroleos SA (CEP.MC), or Cepsa, and Total SA (TOT) have won Iraq's second Kirkuk oil tender of this year, taking 1 million barrels each, a senior official from the State Oil Marketing Organization told Dow Jones Newswires Wednesday.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Iraq constitution received, no vote for 3 days

22 Aug 2005 20:51:32 GMT
Source: Reuters
Hassani said four issues remained to be resolved: federalism, the means by which regional autonomy is determined, de-Baathification, and the delegation of authority from the presidency to the prime minister.

Fear of big clashes in Kerkuk

Regional sources reported fear among Turkmens as the constitutional disagreements continue.The fear is caused by a possible Kurdish militia attack to Kerkuk in purpose of taking the control of oil rich city. The sources also reported the Sunni Arab preparation for defending the city and defeating the Kurdish armed peshmerga.

theres also expected clashes all over iraq if the parts cant agree on the new iraqi constitution.

Militias on the Rise Across Iraq - Shiite and Kurdish Groups Seizing Control, Instilling Fear in North and South

...Across northern Iraq, Kurdish parties have employed a previously undisclosed network of at least five detention facilities to incarcerate hundreds of Sunni Arabs, Turkmens and other minorities abducted and secretly transferred from Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and from territories stretching to the Iranian border, according to political leaders and detainees' families. Nominally under the authority of the U.S.-backed Iraqi army, the militias have beaten up and threatened government officials and political leaders deemed to be working against Kurdish interests; one bloodied official was paraded through a town in a pickup truck, witnesses said.
"I don't see any difference between Saddam and the way the Kurds are running things here," said Nahrain Toma, who heads a human rights organization, Bethnahrain, which has offices in northern Iraq and has faced several death threats.....

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Turkmens want federal region in Iraq

Sunday, August 21, 2005
‘If there is to be a Kurdish federal region in the north and a Shiite federal region in the south, then we say there should also be a Turkmeneli federal region,’ says the ITC’s Muratlı FATMA DEMİRELLİANKARA - Turkish Daily News


Arbil, 19 August (AKI) - Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric, Ali al Sistani, has come out against the incorporation of the northern city of Kirkuk, one of Iraq's riches oil producing centres, into an autonomous Kuridsh state. "His Excellency [al Sistani] will not allow Kirkuk to be included in Kurdistan since it belongs to all Iraqis regardless of their national, religious and confessional background", said the Iraq news agency, quoting a press release from Sistani's office.

Security incidents in Iraq, Aug 20

KIRKUK - Gunmen attacked the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party -- one of two main Kurdish parties -- in the ethnically mixed northern oil capital of Kirkuk wounding three guards, police and hospital officials said.
The attack followed a demonstration led by Arab politicians against plans for federal autonomy they fear could hand power in the city to Kurds.


Sunni leaders say they are resigned to the Kurds maintaining their current autonomy in the north -- though not to the Kurds extending their territory into the northern oilfields -- but said they would not tolerate an autonomous Shi'ite region.
Ethnic tensions in the northern oil city of Kirkuk spilled on to the streets on Saturday as hundreds of Arabs demonstrated against federalism -- code for Kurdish ambitions to annex Kirkuk -- and gunmen shot up the office of a Kurdish political party for the second time in a month, wounding three guards.

weapons hideout found in Kirkuk voting

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Police on Sunday found a weapons hideout in a voting center in Kirkuk, northern Iraq.A press release issued by the Informational Team in north central Iraq said today that the members of Kirkuk Police found the hideout in a school used currently as a polling station in northern Kirkuk Province.It added that the hideout contained six 60mm mortar rounds, two rocket lunching assemblies, detonator, and an explosive belt, noting that the weapons were clean and wrapped in fabrics.The Independent Commission for Elections in Iraq opened 25 voting centers in Kirkuk Province in preparation for the referendum process on the permanent Iraqi constitution. (pickup previous) ahh.