vendredi 1 février 2008



Turkmens of Kerkuk called on Thursday for the government to protect them and threatened to create their own militia.

"We once again urge the government to protect Turkmens who are victims of acts of genocide," said a statement by the Iraqi Turkmen Front, the main political party representing the country's Turkish-speaking community.

"Violence continues to harvest the lives of innocent Turkmens; their mosques, their cafes and the playgrounds of their children are all targets ... Abductions are continuing on the roads."

The statement claimed that the plight of the Turkmens is being ignored by the local and central authorities.

It demanded the "formation of a Turkmen military force within existing Iraqi military units to protect Turkmen territories."

If the demand is not met, Turkmens might create their own militia to protect their communities, the statement implied, by quoting a verse of the Koran.

The statement was issued after the discovery on Wednesday of the decapitated bodies of two young Turkmens near Tuz Khurmato which lies on the main road between Baghdad and Kerkuk. A third was discovered on Thursday.

Four members of a Turkmen family were also kidnapped near the town of Emerli on Wednesday, said Tuz Khurmato police chief Colonel Abbas Mohammed.

"Criminal gangs have escalated their killings and kidnappings of Turkmens in the past fortnight," said Mohammed.

Ali Hashim, deputy chief of the Iraqi Turkmen Front, claimed Turkmens were being subjected to "ethnic cleansing, assassinations, kidnappings and bomb attacks ... to annihilate their existence."

He referred in particular to a devastating truck bombing in the until-then peaceful town of Emerli last July in which at least 140 people, mostly Turkmens, were killed.

After that attack, his party demanded the government create a special force to protect the minority community but this, he said, was ignored.

"Turkmens will be forced, once their patience runs out, to use their own weapons and to work with the Iraqi military to protect their regions," said Hashim.

"The Iraqi government, instead of protecting us, brought forces that are working according to a certain agenda that does not want us to be here."

Hashim claimed that about 300 Turkmens had been kidnapped in Tuz Khurmato in recent months, most of whom had been killed.

"At least 250 highly-qualified people, including businessmen, doctors and engineers, have been forced to leave the country seeking safe places," he said.

1 commentaire:

Jacob a dit…

Hashim claimed that about 300 Turkmen had been kidnapped in Tuz Khurmato in recent months, most of whom had been killed. it training