Over the past three years many Turkmen intellectuals and historians have written to Prof Cole to point out that he's got it all wrong about the number of Turkmens in Iraq, but Prof. Cole has decided to ignore their well documented reports and claims and he continues to write that the Turkmens in Iraq are only 800.000 !!!
It is inadmissible that a Professor who claims to be 'well informed' over the Middle East and about Iraq in particular continues to disregard the real number of the Turkmens in Iraq, for economical and geopolitical reasons as pointed out by Dr Hassan Aydinli, the Representative of the Iraqi Turkmens in Europe.
Besides, when referring to the Turkmens as "little brethren of the Turks" Prof. Cole is undermining the importance of the Turkmens in Iraq who have played an important role in the country's history for over a millenium and who today with their 3.000.000 (THREE MILLION) people represent the third main ethnic group in Iraq (at least 12% of the Iraqi people).
Note: In the same post Juan Cole calls the PKK terrorist organization which is on the list of terrorist organizations in the EU and in the U.S and which is "one of the bloodiest terrorist organizations in the world" according to MI5 "PKK guerrillas"...
The following is an excerpt of what Juan Cole writes in his blog "Informed Comment" today:
"The threat of a Turkish hot pursuit of PKK guerrillas into Iraqi Kurdistan is starting to have an effect on Kurdistan's economy and stability. Inflation is high and some Turkish businesses that had won bids to operate in the Kurdistan Regional Authority (KRG) are going back home in fear of trouble. Getting banks to underwrite economic enterprises is getting harder, which could result in a slowdown for Iraqi Kurdistan. This area was the last in Iraq not to be hit hard by instability, but tensions are growing.
Imagine what things look like from a Turkish point of view. Remember that Turkey is a NATO ally, that it stood with the US during the Korean War (in which its troops fought), during the Cold War, and during Bush's war on terror. Turkey gives the US military facilities, including the Incirlik Air Force base, through which large amounts of materiel for the US forces in northern Iraq flows.
Then, the US gave the Kurdistan Regional Authority control over the Kirkuk police force and unleashed Kurdish troops on the Turkmen city of Tal Afar. (The Turks look on Iraq's 800,000 Turkmen as little brethren, over whom they feel protective, and don't want them dominated by Kurds).
The Kurds promptly announced their aspiration of annexing 3 further provinces, or at least big swathes of them, including the oil province of Kirkuk, and including substantial Turkmen populations. Not only was that guaranteed to cause violence with the Arabs and Turkmen, but it would give Kurdistan a source of fabulous wealth with which it could hope to attract Kurds in neighboring countries to join it, a la German Unification after the fall of the Berlin Wall - except that this unification would dismember several other countries.
Then the Kurdistan Regional Authority gave safe haven to 3,000 to 5,000 Kurdish guerrillas from eastern Anatolia in Turkey who have been killing Turks and blowing up things, reviving violence that had subsided in the early zeroes. Despite the US military occupation of Iraq, Washington has done nothing to stop what Turkey sees as terrorists from going over the border into Turkey and killing Turks. Turkish intelligence is convinced that the camps in Iraqi Kurdistan are key to weapons provision for the PKK, and that funding is coming from Kurdish small businessmen in Western Europe. "