Dr. Hicran Kazancı Dr. Hicran Kazancı

The Iraqi Turkmens Should Not Be Scapegoat For Short-Sighted of politicians

16 August 2021
The Iraqi Turkmens Should Not Be Scapegoat For Short-Sighted of politicians

After the US intervention, it is evident that the Turkmen who are the third constituent element in Iraq have been left out of the political equation. Following the intervention almost all the regions inhabited by Turkmen starting with Kirkuk have become a constitutional crisis in terms of article 140 of the constitution between Baghdad-Arbil. In particular there is a security and migration problem in the Turkmen zones, which are rich in terms of energy and agriculture. As of the 10th of June 2014 with the advance of ISIS Turkmen settlements such as Telafer district and the surrounding villages of Mosul, Tuzhurmatu, Süleyman Beg, Yengice, Emirli, Bastamlı of Selahattin province, Tazehurmatu and Beşir village of Kirkuk and Karatepe, Hanekin, Sadiye affiliated with  Diyale have virtually been surrounded by fire.

On the other hand, Turkmen are being massacred and a humane drama is going on in regions controlled by ISIS. Since June close to 300 thousand Turkmen have been forced to migrate within the country while 3 thousand Turkmen families have migrated to Turkey and Iran. Close to 300 Turkmen have lost their lives. 5 to 10 children lose their lives daily due to hot weather conditions reaching 50 degrees and the poor conditions of the areas where they have taken refuge. The main reason for this problem is that the Turkmen do not have a zone such as Northern Iraq, which is under their control. For this reason, the Turkmen who are forced to migrate are squeezed between Arab and Kurdish zones. After ISIS occupied Mosul it is evident that the regional and international community practice ethnic discrimination against the Turkmen. The reaction of the regional and international community and primarily the US after ISIS occupied Sincar district and Mahmur affiliated with Mosul and inhabited by the Yezidi is an example of this. Despite the human drama, which has taken place since the 10th of June in Turkmen regions under ISIS control the United Nations and other international organizations have maintained their silence. For example, the Turkmen township of Emirli with a population of 15 thousand has been blockaded by ISIS for the past two months and it is noteworthy that both the US and Baghdad and Arbil have failed to initiate any form of rescue or human relief initiative for the people in the Sincar area.

Neither the countries in the regions nor the international community has taken any steps to resolve the humanitarian problems of the Turkmen in Talefer of Mosul, Yengice, Bastamlı, and Emirli of Tuzhurmatu, Karatepe, Hanekin, and Celavla of Diyale province. None of the activities following the developments in Sincar such as the provision of humanitarian relief to Yezidi migrants and arming the Peshmerge forces by the UN, the US, and the European Union included the Turkmen. 

The territories, which occupied by the ISIS were retaken. But, the Turkmen could not return to their own lands and homes as who were.  The Turkmen have suffered a lot and are again threatened. We are all responsible to prevent Turkmeneli from being sacrificed to yet another new and heinous plot.

The city of Kirkuk is contested between Arabs and Kurds, which has been complicated by major demographic changes under Saddam Hussein’s “Arabisation” programmed and a large influx of Kurdish since the fall of the regime till 2017. After than, Kirkuk has been applying of extensive of the Arabisation plan again.

In the light of regional developments, Iraq also would experience dramatic events. In order to protect Iraqi Turkmens from an unexpected incident should be found the exit strategy.

Hence, we are obliged to declare a Turkmeneli Assembly centered in Kirkuk. This assembly would be supra parties and politics and affiliated with the central government in Baghdad However, it must take initiative in terms of the security, sustainability, and economic development of Turkmen regions. We must realize the establishment of a Grand Iraqi Türkmen Assembly with a supra party identity to cover all parties and groups. Turkmen must make local decisions regarding their own regions and be more active in administration mechanisms.


 Dr. Hicran Kazancı

ITF Executive and Administrative Member