Comments sent to the Editor of Iraqi Crisis Report on 3rd September 2007
regarding article “Minorities Lose Out in Classroom”
(ICR N° 231 dated 30th Aug 2007) please see:
For the attention of Samah Samad
How come you have such a short memory?
Your statement: “For instance, in Kirkuk — which has a substantial Kurdish community, as well as smaller minority groups, such as Turkomans and Assyrians — schools delivered only one lesson in Kurdish, but only after 10th grade” implies that Kurds are and have always been the majority in Kerkuk.
By omitting to provide historical facts concerning the different ethnic communities living in the city of Kerkuk you are misinforming your readers, leading them to believe that the Turkmens are and have always been a ‘small minority group’ in this city by putting their number at the same level as that of the small Assyrian community living in Kerkuk!
To give your readers an accurate account of the situation in Kerkuk it is necessary to explain HOW the Kurds have recently become the majority in Kerkuk, by placing the original inhabitants of the city, the Turkmens, in front of a ‘fait accompli’ since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 by the Anglo-American coalition troops who allowed the Kurdish militia to occupy and control the Turkmen cities and towns.
On 9th April 2003 as a reward for the Kurdish parties of Messrs Barzani and Talabani’s collaboration during the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. forces allowed the Peshmerga to impose their hegemony over Kerkuk, they turned a blind eye when the Peshmerga looted the city’s two most sensitive office buildings, the Population Registry Office and the Property and Deeds Office, after seizing all the archives and registers.
The U.S. forces also turned a blind eye when the Kurdish militia used violent means and intimidations to enforce their rule over the unarmed original inhabitants of Kerkuk, the Turkmens. The American occupiers gave the preference to their Kurdish allies and gave them the lion’s share by allowing them to get the majority of the seats in the Kerkuk city council.
It is a well known historical fact that Kerkuk has been the Turkmens’ capital city and main cultural centre in Iraq since more than 800 years.
In March 2003, before the invasion of Iraq by the Anglo-Saxon forces, Kerkuk counted 850.000 inhabitants according to the city’s official registry, but since April 2003 the Kurdish parties, KDP and PUK, have brought in over 650.000 Kurds into the city. The majority of these ‘illegal immigrant’ Kurds are not originally from Kerkuk, they have been brought in by the Kurdish parties to change the demographic structure of the city in view of the referendum which is supposed to take place before the end of 2007. It is no secret that the Kurds want to annex oil rich Kerkuk to their autonomous region and thereafter proclaim their independence. A large number of the Kurds who were brought to Kerkuk since April 2003 came from outside Kerkuk province and many of them even came from Iran, Turkey and Syria.
With the help of the Americans the Kurds have managed to change the demography of the Turkmen region, what Saddam Hussein’s regime had not been able to achieve in 35 years!
Since April 2003 the situation of the Turkmens has deteriorated dramatically they continue to be subjected to ruthless policies of discrimination, marginalization and oppression, but this time by the Kurdish parties.
How much did you receive from Barzani or Talabani to write this piece of Kurdish propaganda?
Merry Fitzgerald – Committee for the Defence of the Iraqi Turkmen Rights - Belgium