dimanche 9 novembre 2008

Abduction of Turkmens by Kurdish Asayish in Iraq

Turkmeneli TV news reader Mr. Timor Beyatli

Abduction Turkmen News Reader by Kurdish forces in Erbil

By Mofak Salman

Mr. Timor Beyatli is a Turkmen [1] citizen who is employed by the Turkmeneli [2] TV as a news reader at the Arabic section that broadcast from Kerkuk in Iraq.

On 5th of November 2008, Mr Timor Beyatli left the city of Kerkuk and drove to Erbil airport to catch his flight to Istanbul (Turkey) where he had been invited to participate in a conference about Media and Journalism. Before boarding the airplane he made a call to his family in Turkey informing them that he was on his way to Istanbul and that he would contact them upon his arrival at Istanbul airport. Unfortunately, when the plane landed in Istanbul Mr. Timor Beyatli was not among the passengers because he had been abducted just before he got on the plane (on the 8.15 pm flight) at Erbil airport by the Kurdish security forces (known as the Asayish [3]) which belong to the Kurdish leader of the KDP party Massoud Barzani. Mr. Timor Beyatli was transferred from Erbil airport to a prison in the city of Erbil for further investigation.

On the 25th November 2007, Mr. Hassan Turan, a Turkmen member of the governing council of Kerkuk, was arrested by the Kurdish Asayish at Erbil airport in northern Iraq following his return from participation in the international conference that was held in Istanbul (Turkey) under the name of Kudus and International Conjunction .

On Saturday 27th October 2007, Mr. Qasim Sari Kahya, a Turkmen writer, journalist and Secretary Editor for the Fraternity Club of Kardeslik in Baghdad, was abducted along with another three Turkmen citizens near the Kerkuk General Hospital by the Kurdish security forces known as Asayish. Several hours later, three of the detainees were released, but Mr. Qasim was kept for further interrogation.

On 8th of July 2007, Mr. Lokman Nejam Ahmed, a Turkmen (born on 1st July 1968 in the district of Telkeef which is linked to the city of city of Mosul) was arrested on the Iraqi/Turkish border Ibrahim Alkhalil by the Kurdish secret police (Asayish) while he was travelling from the city of Mosul to Turkey with a group of Turkmens from the city of Erbil.

The following document refers to the kidnapping and arrests of Turkmens in the north of Iraq. “Parts of confidential State Department documents circulated to the White House, the Pentagon and the U.S Embassy in Baghdad about the abduction of the minority Arabs and Turkmen in Kerkuk and their transfer to the Kurdish north.” [Doc.1]

note: Sorry I wasn't able to copy the document in this post

Doc. (1)
Because of the public, political, and journalistic outrage and due to the public appeal on TV and radio and Media, Mr. Timor Beyatli was released on 7th November 2008. He was released without formal charges and his case has not been submitted to the court.

The Turkmens of Iraq launch an appeal to all the human rights organisations, government officials, intellectuals, and to the Iraqi and Turkish governments asking them to intervene without delay and put pressure on the Kurdish police which is terrorising the Turkmen people in Turkmeneli.

The Turkmens of Iraq also call upon the Iraqi Journalists Union and all Iraqi and international organizations defending the rights of journalists and the freedom of the press to intercede with the authorities of the Iraqi government at the highest levels to guarantee the protection of the Turkmens, Arabs and Assyrians who are oppressed and mistreated by the Kurdish parties in the north of Iraq.

Mofak Salman
Turkmeneli Party Representative for Both Ireland and United Kingdom

[1] Turkmen: The Iraqi Turkmen live in an area that they call “Turkmenia” in Latin or Turkmeneli” which means, “Land of the Turkmen. It was referred to as “Turcomania” by the British geographer William Guthrie in 1785. The Turkmen are a Turkic group that has a unique heritage and culture as well as linguistic, historical and cultural links with the surrounding Turkic groups such as those in Turkey and Azerbaijan. Their spoken language is closer to Azeri but their official written language is like the Turkish spoken in present-day Turkey. Their real population has always being suppressed by the authorities in Iraq for political reasons and estimated at 2%, whereas in reality their numbers are more realistically between 2.5 to 3 million, i .e. 12% of the Iraqi population.

[2] Turkmeneli is a diagonal strip of land stretching from the Syrian and Turkish border areas from
around Telafer in the north of Iraq, reaching down to the town of Mendeli on the Iranian border in
Central Iraq. The Turkmen of Iraq settled in Turkmeneli in three successive and constant migrations
from Central Asia, this increased their numbers and enabled them to establish six states in Iraq.
[3] Asayish is an unrecognized and illegitimate force that is utilized by both Kurdish parties to terrorize innocent civilian people. They are used to kidnap and kill people who defy the Kurdish aspiration for establishing a Kurdish state.

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