dimanche 28 septembre 2014





jeudi 25 septembre 2014

Iraqi Turkmen leader calls for support

Iraqi Turkmen leader calls for support


Arshad al-Salihi called for a safe zone to support the threatened minority.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Iraqi Turkmen Front President Arshad al-Salihi has said Western countries should provide weapons to Turkmen in Iraq.

Speaking at a meeting of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) in Ankara on Wednesday, where latest developments in Iraq and those facing Turkmen were discussed, al-Salihi said: “The West should also support us Turkmen with weapons, we are in need.”

Salihi said that the Turkmens’ lives and territory were in danger and stated that a “safe zone” should be provided for the threatened minority.

“All Turkmen, Shia or Sunni, have been exposed to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants’ attacks,” he said.

He also stated that Turkmen had seen the most casualties during ISIL militants’ attacks on the northern Iraqi province of Mosul.

‘Biggest target’

Al-Salihi said: “Three of our deputies are still in the hands of ISIL, who call us every day saying they will cut their heads off.”

“Turkmen are the biggest target and we are being ignored.”

Referring to the militants’ attacks on Tal Afar since June, he said: “About 300,000 Turkmen have been forced to migrate to different regions, mainly to the south of Iraq and most of them will probably not be able to return.”

He added Turkmen had not received any humanitarian aid, unlike other minorities such as Christian, Yazidi and Kurds.

The president said: “Humanitarian supplies came only from Turkey.”

“We distributed all the supplies from the Turkish Red Crescent to everyone – not looking at whether they were Turkmen, Yazidi or Kurd – but today we need equal help from the West.”
‘Starvation danger’

According to al-Salihi, Iraq’s new government has also ignored Turkmen.

Last week, Nahla Sallamah, a Turkmen MP in the Iraqi parliament, said more than 350,000 Turkmen asylum seekers were in danger of starvation because the government had failed to financially support them.

The chaos created by ISIL militants has displaced more than one million Iraqis from their homes.
The group has mainly targeted Shia Muslims, Turkmens, Yazidis and Christians.
The Iraqi army failed to halt a sudden offensive by ISIL in June, which led to the group taking control of large swathes of land in the country, including the province of Mosul in the north.

lundi 22 septembre 2014


  • Updated : 21.09.2014 13:01:16
  • Published : 21.09.2014 12:04:50
Turkmen refugees in danger of starvation: Turkmen MP

BAGHDAD — More than 350,000 Turkmens, who have become
asylum seekers due to the ongoing conflict in Iraq, are "in danger
of starvation," according to a Turkmen MP from the Iraqi

"The number of Turkmen refugees has exceeded 350,000, and they
are in danger of starvation because the government failed to
financially support them," Nahla Sallamah said during a press
conference Saturday in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.

250,000 of the asylum seekers were from the northern
Turkmen-majority city of Tal Afar, the MP said.

Sallamah called on the government to pay the salaries of Turkmen
civil servants as soon as possible.

The chaos created by militants with the self-proclaimed Islamic
State of Iraq and al-Shma (ISIS) has so far displaced an estimated
1.2 million Iraqis from their homes. The group has mainly targeted
Shia Muslims, Turkmens, Ezidis, and Christians.

The Iraqi army had failed to respond to a sudden offensive by
ISIS in June, which led the group to take control of large swathes
of land in the country, including Mosul province in the north

dimanche 21 septembre 2014

Internally Displaced Students are a burden on Iraqi schools

Displaced Iraqi children, who fled from Islamic State violence in Mosul, play outside their tent at the Baherka refugee camp in Erbil, Sept. 14, 2014.  (photo by REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

Displaced students burden on Iraqi schools

BABIL, Iraq — In preparation for the start of school, authorities in Babil province have managed to evacuate displaced families from the many schools that had served as shelters, said educational supervisor Qasim Sultani in an interview with Al-Monitor.

With the new school year approaching, Iraqi schools in Babil province will be facing major problems with the massive number of displaced students.
Author Wassim BassemPosted September 19, 2014
Translator(s)Joelle El-Khoury

Since the outbreak of fighting between the Iraqi army and allied militias on the one hand and the Islamic State and its allies on the other in northern and western Iraq, hundreds of families have fled conflict areas, seeking safety in the central and southern provinces. Over the summer, empty schools in Babil province, 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Baghdad, received hundreds of displaced families.

The schools will be overcrowded with students for the 2014-15 academic year, following the cabinet's recommendation that the Ministry of Education enroll displaced children and youths. According to Hashim Sultani, a professor at the Babil province education directorate, doing so will put the average number of students per class at 50 to 60. He told Al-Monitor that the recommendation is “an inevitable solution.”

Sultani noted, “The new academic year will officially start on Sept. 21 … The displaced families will be moved from the schools to mosques, enclosed halls and some municipality buildings." He said, “In the city of Hillah, the capital of Babil province, the famous Babil Hotel was evacuated to host displaced families,” so the schools could be readied for the academic year. According to Sultani, only one school — the Manama school in the small town of Hamza al-Gharbi, 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Babil, which has 10 elementary schools — will be used to accommodate the displaced.

“In some central and southern parts of Iraq, where there is no accommodation available for displaced families, it is necessary to divide a school into two parts: a section for the families and another one for the students. In two-story schools, the upper floor will accommodate the displaced, while the students will attend classes on the first floor,” said Sultani.

Sahar Abdul-Hussein, public relations officer at the immigration department in Babil, under the Ministry of Displacement and Migration, told Al-Monitor, “The number of displaced in the province has increased to 4,600. The concerned parties have done their best to ensure their stability in terms of work and to enroll their children in schools and colleges.”

Yet, a teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al-Monitor, “The educational authorities have failed to address the lack of schools and the extensive damage caused to them by the displaced having lived there. The bigger problem, which has yet to be resolved, is the massive number of students per semester.”

Kawthar Kallabi, a social and educational researcher, pointed out another problem to Al-Monitor — "the troubled mental health of displaced students, while there are no available treatment mechanisms.” She said, “Treatment consists of improvisational techniques by the teachers themselves that are limited to consolation and pep talks. However, there is a need for psychologists and social workers, who are not present at schools.”

Kallabi stated, "Many displaced students share stories with other students and children of slaughter with knives, killings, corpses and bloody scenes, all of which they have witnessed.” Such experiences will almost certainly cause serious social problems for some of the displaced children and youths, who number in the thousands.

Qasim al-Rubaie, educational supervisor at the Babil province education directorate, spoke of another problem, this one involving “the language [challenge] for Turkmen and Yazidi students, who do not have the required reading and writing proficiency in Arabic.” He said, “This requires additional time and for the teachers to further focus on the quality of the lessons, which cannot happen with the large number of students in the classroom.”

The students confirm this. Ali Lafteh told Al-Monitor, “Even before the arrival of the displaced, there was a single desk for every five students, and sometimes some of us would even sit on the ground.” Lafteh also said, “The lighting is not good. There is no heating system in winter nor a cooling in summer. The buildings of lots of schools are damaged.”

Mahdi Sultani, a member of Babil’s provincial council, told Al-Monitor, “The provincial administration is determined to build caravans and speed up [the establishment] of prefabricated schools, to contain the massive number of students that has became a problem plaguing most parts of Iraq.”

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/09/bail-schools-overcrowded-displaced-iraq.html#ixzz3DzCYRnww