Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday attended a foreign ministers’ meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in preparation for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit which officially starts today. Speaking to reporters, Gul said that UN-led efforts have been underway for clearing the names of non-residents from voter rolls in Kirkuk, Iraq. Asked about Iraqi Turkmens’ concerns regarding the situation in Kirkuk, Gul described the city as a “mini Iraq” and said that Turkey has been closely monitoring the situation there. The foreign minister also said that he recently sent a letter outlining Turkey’s concerns to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and added that everybody is against artificial changes to Kirkuk’s demographic makeup. Gul also said that the “OIC 10-Year Action Plan” covering problems facing the Islamic world, important events, and developments was the most important subject discussed at the meeting of foreign ministers. /Star/

Monday, December 05, 2005

Kerkuk's Status Depends on Iraqi Constitution, not on Barzani

By Zaman Published: Saturday, December 03, 2005

US State Department Deputy Coordinator for Iraq Robert Deutsch said the decision about the ultimate status of Kerkuk (Kirkuk) will be made according to the Iraqi constitution.
Assessing Massoud Barzani’s, the elected president by the regional administration in northern Iraq, statement that “in 2007, Kirkuk will be controlled by the Kurds,” Deutsch said, "I am sure this process to be completed by the end of 2007 will work in favor of all Iraqis."
Deutsch, the undersecretary at the US Embassy in Ankara until a few months ago, met Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Ali Tuygan on Friday.
The American diplomat answering the press members' questions after the meeting said Kirkuk's status will be determined in accordance with the Iraqi constitution. Iraqis are waiting for the implementation of the constitution for the problems to be solved, he said, and the differences to be removed.
When reminded about the terrorist organization Kurdish Workers's Party (PKK) attempts to take part in the upcoming Iraqi elections on December 15, the US diplomat said the Iraqi independent electoral committee makes the decisions about the elections.
People or groups involved with those encouraging violence will not be allowed to join the elections, Deutsch said highlighting the committee's decision. "The electoral committee must practice its rules." Tens of thousands of Iraqis, trained by some US non-governmental organizations, will serve as observers in the December 15 elections.

Turkey Contributes To Democratization Process In Iraq, Deutsch

ANKARA - U.S. Deputy Coordinator for Iraq Robert S. Deutsch said on Friday that Turkey contributed to the democratization process in Iraq.
Robert S. Deutsch met Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ali Tuygan and exchanged views with him about the recent developments in Iraq prior to the Iraqi elections on Dec. 15th, 2005.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Deutsch said that 2006 would be an important year for Iraq which walked on the path of being a pluralist, federal and democratic country. Turkey contributes positively to this process, Deutsch said.
When asked about the recent statement of Massoud Barzani, leader of Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) who had said that Kirkuk would belong to Kurds in 2007, Deutsch stressed that the Iraqi Constitution would be the determining factor regarding this issue. The Constitution prepared by Iraqis would also cover Kirkuk-related issues, he said and added that he hoped the consequence of that legal process would be to the interest of all Iraqis.
When reminded of the news on the initiative of the terrorist organization PKK to take part in Iraqi elections, Deutsch said that the rules of the Iraqi electoral commission didn't permit militants or groups that incited violence to take part in elections.
Deutsch said he believed the Iraqi elections would be fair, legitimate and comply with international standards, adding that Turkey and the international community supported Iraq.

Published: 12/4/2005