samedi 28 février 2009

Ria Oomen-Ruijten, EU Parliament's rapporteur on Turkey: I am receiving threats from the Armenians

Turkey rapporteur: I am receiving threats from the Armenians

The European Parliament's rapporteur on Turkey, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, has said Armenian lobbyists have threatened to destroy her career because she has refused to refer to the World War I-era killings of Anatolian Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as "genocide."

The Dutch Christian Democrat, whose report on Turkey was approved with a record 65 votes against only four votes in opposition and one abstention in the Committee on Foreign Affairs on Feb. 12, said the Armenians have told her that they will do their best to prevent her re-election to the European Parliament.

Oomen-Ruijten, one of the most senior members of the European Parliament, has been hailed for her balanced reports on Turkey in recent years. Despite enormous pressure from the Armenian lobby, Oomen-Ruijten has so far refused to refer to the 1915 events as "genocide."
Her predecessor as the rapporteur on Turkey, Camiel Eurlings, who was also a Dutch Christian Democrat, was heavily criticized for being too pro-Armenian and for authoring biased reports on Turkey. Oomen-Ruijten, who is expected to run for a European Parliament seat again in June, will defend her report in a plenary session on March 11. The report is expected to win the approval of the European Parliament without any major changes.

Speaking Thursday night on "European Desk," a news program on the STVHaber news channel, Oomen-Ruijten agreed that the Armenian lobby did not like her much and revealed that the lobby has made it clear that they will work hard to remove her from the European Parliament.
When asked to comment if these warnings should be seen as threats, Oomen-Ruijten replied: "Absolutely. Ask my office what sort of threats I have already received." Vowing that she would work hard to keep her report as it was, she said: "But I will never step away. If I am convinced that the document is good for both Turks and Armenians, then I will keep the report as it is."

Elaborating on what sort of threats she was receiving, she said, "They vowed that in the next European elections they would do everything in their power to remove me from the European Parliament."
Stressing that she very much appreciated Turkish President Abdullah Gül's visit to Armenia last fall, the first by a president in Turkish history, and also Foreign Minister Ali Babacan's efforts for reconciliation with Yerevan, Oomen-Ruijten added that the Turkish-Armenian border should be opened, but that the Armenians living in Europe and the US are not very interested in the opening of the border.

Joost Lagendijk, co-chairman of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, was also on the program. He said he does not receive threats from the Armenians any more because he is considered a "lost cause." He said he supported the stance taken by Oomen-Ruijten on the 1915 events. "Looking back on eight years of how the issue has been handled, I am so happy that we are now out of the trap that we had put ourselves in. The debate was done around whether someone would call it genocide or not. It was such a sterile discussion that did not mean much in terms of present-day relations between Turkey and Armenia," Lagendijk said.

Ergenekon: cleansing of dirty history

While stressing that she did not want to get involved in an ongoing court-case, Oomen-Ruijten said it was absolutely necessary for Turkish society to clear up the question of Ergenekon, a clandestine criminal network charged with attempting to overthrow the government. By strengthening the language of her report's paragraph on Ergenekon this year, she said, she wanted to put pressure on the investigation itself, but also to draw attention to the rights of the defendants.

Lagendijk acknowledged that he was very happy with the latest version of the paragraph on Ergenekon and said: "Ergenekon is the cleansing of Turkey's dirty past, but please play it by the rules and the book. If you don't, it will turn against you and all the attention will go to the procedures."

In this year's report the paragraph on Ergenekon calls on Turkish authorities to take the Ergenekon case more seriously, particularly on the issue of extrajudicial killings and the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink.

'Baykal should behave in Ankara as he talks in Brussels'

Oomen-Ruijten criticized Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal for getting involved in the Ergenekon case and revealed that she had warned the CHP to be careful with regard to the investigation. "In my private meetings with CHP members, I tell them to be careful with the Ergenekon court case and not to get involved with it. I am coming from another sort of democracy. In my country politicians would never ever get involved in a judicial process," she said.

Lagendijk said Baykal's recent visit to Brussels was very good news, but stressed that the "nice words" of Baykal in Brussels should be followed up with "voting" in Ankara. "I hope the nice words of Mr. Baykal saying they are the only pro-EU party in the country will be proven true during voting in the Turkish Parliament. Because I still remember, unfortunately, that it was his party that voted against a few reforms that were requested by Brussels, such as the revision of Article 301 [of the Turkish Penal Code] and the Law on Foundations. I wish I could believe him. I hope I can believe him. The proof of the pudding is in the eating; in the CHP case it is in their voting. Their willingness to sit with the government to try and find a solution for those big parts of the Constitution that should be revised or changed completely should be put into action."

28 February 2009, Saturday



US Combat Troops in Iraq to be replaced by ...

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff

Irak - ELECTIONS: L'envers du décor

Article de Gilles Munier, à lire dans AFRIQUE-ASIE

Pour la presse, le grand vainqueur du scrutin régional du 31 janvier est Nouri al-Maliki.
En réalité, les Irakiens n’ont pas vraiment eu le choix.

Élections : l’envers du décor

Article en pdf :

Drawdown Plan may leave combat brigades in Iraq

February 28, 2009
Drawdown Plan May Leave Combat Brigades in Iraq
by Gareth Porter

President Barack Obama has given military commanders a free hand to determine the size and composition of a residual force in Iraq up to 50,000 troops, apparently including the option of leaving one or more combat brigades or bringing them from the United States, after the August 2010 deadline for the ostensible withdrawal of all combat brigades now in Iraq.

Although the ostensible purpose of the combat brigades remaining in Iraq would be to protect other U.S. troops in the country, they would also provide the kind of combat capability that U.S. commanders have wanted to maintain to deal with a broad range of contingencies.

The fact that the commanders have the option to nullify Obama's pledge to removal all combat brigades raises serious questions about whether he has given up control over his Iraq policy.
Obama declared, in a speech at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina that by Aug. 31, 2010, "[O]ur combat mission in Iraq will end." But he confirmed earlier indications from administration officials that the residual force would be from 35,000 to 50,000 troops – far higher than Democratic congressional leaders had previously been led to expect by Obama.

Obama did not refer to the possibility that combat brigades would remain in the country after Aug. 31, 2010, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted as much in a question and answer session with reporters after the speech.

Obama also stated, "I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011." But Gates, and the top commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, have both indicated on the record that they wanted to keep U.S. troops in Iraq even after that date, based on the assumption that the Iraqi government will renegotiate the Status of Forces agreement.

NBC News Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski reported just before Obama's speech that discussions had taken place in the Kirkuk area between some U.S. military commanders and Iraqis "to establish what could end up as a permanent air base, U.S. air base, in Kirkuk."

Obama's claim that the U.S. combat mission will end in August 2010 raises the question whether he will call a halt to combat patrols by U.S. personnel embedded with Iraqi units. The sweeping concession made to CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus and Iraq commander Gen. Odierno on the residual force suggests that he will not demand the end of such operations by U.S. troops.

The freedom granted to Odierno and Petraeus on the residual force overshadows his concession to the generals and Gates in accepting the recommendation for 19-month timetable for withdrawing combat brigades.

Obama had appeared to be leaning toward the 16-month withdrawal of combat brigades he had pledged during the campaign as recently as a Jan. 21 White House meeting with Gates and Petraeus.

Obama provided no further details on the residual force. According to the Washington Post report published Friday, two unnamed "senior officials" – one of whom was presumably Secretary Gates – told Congressional leaders Thursday that Obama would let commanders decide not only the exact schedule of withdrawal of combat brigades but the size of the residual force.

In a teleconference with reporters Friday afternoon, Gates appeared to confirm indirectly that he and field commanders have discussed either keeping combat brigades in Iraq but calling them "non-combat" forces or actually sending new combat brigades to Iraq from the United States during the drawdown of the brigades now in Iraq.

A reporter asked Gates, "You have said they're not going to be combat brigades, but are you going to take combat brigades that are in the United States and sort of rename them, redesignate them, or are you going to create new units for this specific mission?"

Gates first sidestepped the question entirely. "[W]ith respect to the 35,000 to 50,000," he said, "I think that that's a question probably better directed at General Odierno." But he then added, "[I]n terms of whether those are new units or whether they are re-missioned units that are already there, I think remains to be seen."

CBS News Pentagon correspondent David Martin, reflecting the leaks from Pentagon officials, reported Feb. 24 that the residual force would be organized in "training and assistance brigades" that would be capable of conducting combat operations and calling air strikes from carrier or land-based aircraft. In a comment to CBS News Political Hotsheet, Martin said the units would be "fully combat capable," suggesting that they would be drawn from combat brigades.

Some leading Senate and House Democrats were clearly taken by surprise by the size of the residual force to which Obama had agreed. On the Rachel Maddow Show Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "I don't know what the justification is for 50,000, a presence of 50,000 troops in Iraq."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Services Committee, both indicated that the figure was higher than they had expected. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, said, "I do think we have to look carefully at the numbers that are there and do it as quickly as we can."

Defeated Republican presidential candidate John McCain, on the other hand, sounded like a loyal supporter of Obama's decision, saying it is "reasonable" and that he is "cautiously optimistic that the plan that is laid out by the president can lead to success."

Obama even took a step toward committing himself to reversing the whole withdrawal policy if violence in Iraq resumes anytime before the end of 2011. Rep. John McHugh, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said Obama had assured him that he would "revisit" the withdrawal plan "if the situation on the ground deteriorates and violence increases."

The decision on Iraq policy announced by Obama Friday ended a four-month period of maneuvering by Gates, Odierno and CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus aimed at getting Obama to change his Iraq policy.

Gates and the two generals had wanted to keep a large residual force, including combat brigades, in Iraq not only through 2011 but for at least another four years beyond that. They had presented a 23-month draw-down plan to Obama at the Jan. 21 White House meeting as an alternative to his 16-month drawdown plan.

Later, they settled on 19 months as an acceptable compromise. It is now clear, however, that the primary objective of the trio was to get Obama to approve complete control by the commanders over the residual force up to 50,000.

The Washington Post reported that the senior administration officials who briefed Congressional leaders Thursday said that Obama's "senior civilian and military advisers" – meaning Gates and Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Mike Mullen – had recommended both the 19-month drawdown plan and the size of the residual force.

The Post reported the "senior officials" as suggesting that the reason for both recommendations was to avoid "jeopardizing Iraq's still-fragile security." However, a source who was close to Obama during the campaign and maintains ties to his advisers said Obama's acceptance of the 19-month plan was to "defuse the conflict with the Pentagon."

Not mentioned in either Obama's speech or briefings by Gates is the question of whether U.S. pilots and planes will be part of the residual force after August 2010. The silence on that matter suggests that U.S. airpower will continue to participate in combat, despite the supposed end of the U.S. combat mission.

Türkmenlerin Dükkanı yandı

Canisi elektirik kabloları sanılan Tuzhurmatuda Türkmenlere ait dördücü kez olarak dükkanları yanıyor ...geçen 3 ay içinde Türkmenlerin iş yerlerinde gecenin geç saatlerinde yangın çıkıyor ve her defasında sebep ayni gösteriliyor ...dün Türkmen Tuzhurmatuda ilçesinde Pazar yerinde 5 mağaza birden tutuşarak içindeki elbiseler küle dönüştü itfaiye ekiplerının olay yerine gelmesine rağmen iş işten geçmiş oldu dükkanların içindeki her şey kül olmuştu bu gibi olayların ard arda Türkmenlerin iş yerinde ve gece vakitleri tekrarlanması her kesin kafasında bir soru işareti yaratmış durumda .


jeudi 26 février 2009

Azeri Türk Kadınlar Birliği Hocalı Soykırımını Brüksel'de andı..

Azeri Türk Kadınlar Birliği´nin Belçika´nın başkenti Brüksel´de düzenlediği ´Hocalı´yı Unutma.. Unutturma´ mitingi Almanya, Hollanda ve Fransa´dan da gelen 2oo´den fazla kişinin katılımı ile gerçekleşti.

Azeri Türk Kadınlar Birliği Avrupa temsilcisi Şerife Özdemir tarafından hazırlanan ve Azeri Türk Kadınlar Birliği başkanı Doç Dr. Tenzile Rüstemhanlı´nın da Bakü´den gelerek onurlandırdığı protesto yürüyüşüne Avrupa´nın çeşitli ülkelerinden gelen sivil toplum örgüt temsilcileri ve öğrenciler katıldı. Belçika´dan Türk Federasyon başkanı Mithat Öztürk, Belçika Türk Spor Federasyonu başkanı Hüseyin Dönmez, Eyad başkanı Metin Edeer katıldı.

Ermenistan büyükelçiliğine verilen kınama mektubunun ardından Square de Meeus´den başlayan yürüyüş Avrupa parlemento binalarının da bulunduğu Place Schuman´da sona erdi.
Yürüyüş sonunda Avrupa Birliği´ne de mektup bırakan Şerife Özdemir Beltürk´e yaptığı açıklamada ´Bu dava hepimizin davası.

Hocalı´da yaşananlardan etkilenmeyen ve duyarsız kalanlar tarih önüne ve Türk milleti önünde gün gelecek hesap verecekdir´ dedi. Yürüyüş sonunda Place Schuman´da bir konuşma yapan Azeri Türk Kadınlar Birliği başkanı Tenzile Rüstemhanlı Avrupa´nın heryerinden gelerek Hocalı davasına destek verenlere teşekkürler ettiği konuşmasında ´Hocalı´da hayatını kaybedip şehit olan yurttaşlarımızın sesini duyurmak için buraya toplandık.

Azerbaycan Türkleri sizin onların sesini burada duyurmanıza herzaman minnettar kalacaktır. Hocalı´da sadece Türkler yaşıyordu. Ve sadece Türk oldukları için soykırıma maruz kaldılar. Hocalı´da şehit olan suçsuz masum insanlarımızın ruhları şu anda sizleri görüyor ve sizlere Azerbaycan davasını sonuna kadar savunduğunuz için minnettarlar´ dedi. Konu ile ilgili olarak ayrıntılı haber ve video yakında Beltürk´te...

-- Şerife Özdemir

Azeri Türk Kadınlar Birliği Avrupa Temsilcisi

Commemorating the HOCALI massacres

mardi 24 février 2009

Solving the EU-Turkey-Cyprus Triangle

Solving the EU-Turkey-Cyprus Triangle: New Crisis Group webpage

Istanbul/Brussels, 23 February 2009: The International Crisis is pleased to announce the launch of a new frequently updated webpage covering the nexus of issues surrounding Cyprus, Turkey and the European Union: “Solving the EU-Turkey-Cyprus Triangle”.

This is a critical year for Cyprus as efforts to resolve the long conflict gather steam, and for Turkey as frustration with EU enlargement fatigue weighs heavy on its chances of approaching membership. With Cyprus a member state of the EU and troops from NATO-member Turkey still in the northern half of the island, the inter-relationships are many.

Will Turkey’s efforts to join the Union be formally blocked if it does not normalise its relations with Cyprus by autumn? Will other EU member states that have a negative stance towards Turkey’s membership continue to argue that Turkey has no place in the Union? Will such moves turn Turkey away from the EU, stifle ongoing reform and push Ankara towards other allies? Will the EU’s need to diversify energy sources and the Nabucco pipeline plans affect thinking in Brussels and member state capitals? And how will all these factors affect the search for a final peaceful settlement between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, elusive for so many decades?

“Solving the EU-Turkey-Cyprus Triangle”, the new Crisis Group webpage, is an effort to continually revisit these questions and others with frequently updated analysis and commentary following the situation as it unfolds. The point is not to respond to every new diplomatic twist and turn, but to make a reasoned and considered assessment of events and offer recommendations to the key actors with greater immediacy than can be done with a longer report.

Part of the reasoning behind this new webpage comes from the results of the online survey Crisis Group conducted a few weeks ago. Through that poll, we learned that 74% of our subscribers find our themed pages on specific conflicts useful -- our most popular website feature. More than half of the over 11,500 survey respondents said they would like Crisis Group to produce more frequently updated analysis and commentary on our website. Almost as many said they wanted more information from the field.

This new webpage will meet these expectations, with updates and new material once or twice a week from Crisis Group Europe Program Director Sabine Freizer in Brussels and Turkey/Cyprus Project Director Hugh Pope in Istanbul. With these frequent inputs into the public debate, we intend to play our part in the peaceful resolution of the Cyprus conflict in a way that can draw Turkey and the EU closer together.

Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) +32 (0) 2 541 1635Kimberly Abbott (Washington) +1 202 785 1601
To contact Crisis Group media please click here

lundi 23 février 2009

Sündüs Abbas ITC Londra Temsilcisi Oldu

Sündüs Abbas ITC Londra Temsilcisi Oldu

Dış Türkmenler Birliği

Irak Türkmen Cephesi Yürütme Kurulunun 12 Şubat 2009’daki olağan toplantısında, Sündüs Abbas hanımın Londra temsilcisi olarak atanmasına karar verilmiştir.1965 doğumlu ve Londrada yaşayan Sündüs hanım Iraktaki Salahaddin Üniversitesinden İnşaat mühendisi olarak mezun olmuştur. Londradaki Greenwich Üniversitesinden Bilgisayar Bilimlerinden diploması vardır.

Türkçe, Arapça ve İngilizce bilen Sündüs hanım faal Türkmenlerden Elektronik mühendisi İmad Saki’nin eşidir ve 2 çocuk annesidir.

Halen İngiliz hükümetinin kadınlara sosyal yardım sağlayan AAINA Womens Group kurumunda müdürdür.Ekip çalışmasına ve danışmaya inanan Sündüs hanım her zaman İngiltere ve İrlandadaki faal Türkmenlerle (Necati Kılıncı, Muvaffak Salman, Dr. Eyyüp Bezzaz, Abbas İmami gibi şahsiyetlerle) birlikte çalışmıştır. Bu özelliğinden dolayı İngiltere ve İrlandadaki tüm Türkmenlerce seviliyor ve sayılıyor.

Siyasi Faaliyetleri:
2003’ten önce Avrupa ve Ingilterede Türklere hitap eden Avrupadaki Türk gazeteleriyle Türkmenlerin çektiği sıkıntıları ve durumları hakkında görüşmeler yaptı. 2002-2003 arası Londra temsilcisi rahmetli Mustafa Kemal Yayçılıya yardımcı olarak çalışmıştır.

Kerkükün Kürtler tarafından işgal tarihi olan 10 Nisan 2003’ten sonra, derhal İngiliz milletvekili John Austen ile iki görüşme yaptı ve işgalden sonra peşmergelerin Türkmenlere karşı işlediği cinayet ve haksızlık olaylarını fotoğraflarıyla beraber anlattı.

Verilen bilgilere ek olarak, Başbakan Tony Blair ve Dış Işleri bakanı Jack Straw’e iletilmek üzere iki mektup verdi. Amerikan elçiliğindeki birinci sekreter Ethan Goldrich ile temas kurdu ve Kuzey Irakta Türkmenlere yapılan haksızlıklara karşı Türkmenlerin kızgınlıklarını iletti.2004’te Amerikanın desteklediği peşmergelerin Türkmenleri öldürmelerini kınamak için Londradaki Amerikan elçiliği önünde protesto yürüyüşünü örgütleyen komitede bulundu. Amerikan hükümetine iletilmek üzere bir protesto mektubunu elçilik sözcüsüne verdi.Türkmenlerin haklarını savunmak için, İngiliz TV kanalları; BBC1 ve Sky News ile Arap Uydu TV kanalları, Al Mustakille, ANN, El Cezire, Abu Dabi’de tartışma programlarına katıldı.

Irakın ilk genel seçimlerinde, İngilteredeki Türkmenleri toparlayan bir dizi toplantı yaptı ve seçimlerin önemini anlatarak katılmalarını ve ITC’ye oy vermelerini öğütledi. Londradaki Irak elçiliğiyle temas kurdu ve Londra ile Mançesterde Türkmenleri seçim gözlemcisi olarak bulunmalarına yardımcı oldu.

Ayni işlemi ikinci seçimlerdede tekrarladı.Halen Iraklı yetkililerle yapılan görüşmelere katılıyor ve Kerkük, Türkmen hakları konularında Türkmenlerin görüş açısını anlatıyor.

Halen İngilteredeki Türklerin hazırladığı tüm faaliyetlere katılmakta ve Türkmenleri toparlayan faaliyetler düzenlemektedir.Dünya ve Irak siyasetinde çok önemli yeri olan İngilterede, Türkmenlerin uzun zamandır meydanı boş bıraktıklarına inanan Sündüs hanım, eksikleri bir an önce tamamlamak için çok hızlı ve etkin icraat yapmayı düşünmektedir.

Çok yakın gelecekte, Kor Gurubu adı altında toplanan faal Türkmenlerle birlikte yapılacak işlerin stratejisini çizecek ve ardından Londrada bulunan Türkmenlerle “Türkmen davası için seferberlik” toplantısı yapacaktır.

Türkmen gerçeklerini İngiliz hükümeti, devleti ve medyasına iletmeye azimli olan Sündüs hanım Türkmenlerarası ayrılıklara (mezhep, lehçe, bölge...vs.) şiddetle karşı durmakta, konuşmaktan ve gösterişten ziyade icraata ve ekip çalışmasına inanmaktadır
Dış Türkmenler Birliği olarak Sündüs hanımı desteklediğimizi açıklar tüm Türkmenlerin ona yardımcı olmalarını dileriz.

Dış Türkmenler Birliği
Merkez Kurulu

samedi 21 février 2009

Jews against zionism - A must watch video


GENOCIDE OF THE AZERBAIJANIS - The History of a Tragedy (video)

In Azerbaijan, March 31st is known as the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis, referring to the tragic events that started on March 30, 1918, and continued until April 1

To watch the video please click on:

Dunya tarihinin son donemlerde yasadigi en buyuk soykirimlardan biri olan HOCALI soykirimini anma gunu 26/02/2009 tarihinde brukselde cesitli etginliklerle anilacaktir ,Turk dunyasinin ortak sorunu olan bu davayi sagir ve dilsiz dunyaya anlatmak icin yuregi insan sevgisiyle yanan butun kardeslerimizi davet ediyoruz

Ayhan Demirci

Avrupa parlementi binalarinin onu olarak bilinen, Place Schuman meydaninda 26/02/2009 tarihinde sabah saat 08.00 den 15.00 kadar surecek olan cadir icinde resim sergisi, televziyondan hocali gosterisi ve imza kampanyasi yapilacakdir, butun Turk milleti bu gosteriye davetlidir.

malumat icin:0475/706589
Bulent Gurcam
Ayhan Demirci

Xocali soyqirimina hesr edilmish klip / tebligat uchun istifade ede bilersiz
Hormetli dostlar, Bir neche gunden sonra Xocali soyqiriminin 17-ci ildonumu qeyd edilecek. Bu munasibetle hem Azerbaycanda, hem de dunyanin ayri-ayri yerinde yashayan soydashlarimiz anim tedbirleri teshkil edecekler. 1992-ci il fevralin 25-den 26-na kechen gece Xocalida ermeni vehshileri terefinden heyata kechirilen soyqirimi hadisesinin esl mahiyyeti baresinde ictimaiyyete melumatlar chatdiracaqlar.

mercredi 18 février 2009


SOITM - Iraqi Turkmen Human Rights Research Foundation

18th February 2009
No: Rep.3-B1809


Provincial elections in the north of Iraq:
The Kurdish parties and the non-governing Iraqi Communities (Minorities)

To read the report please click on:


Iraqi Child Victim of Depleted Uranium

Lest we forget the thousands of prisoners in Iraq


As for Iraqi Journalist Muntadher al-Zaidi, I have not been able to find anything about his trial which was supposed to begin in Baghdad.

Muntadher’s lawyer has only been authorized to visit him once since he has been detained.

Muntadher was right to do what he did, he did it in the name of all Iraqis who have suffered and are still suffering because of the US invasion, destruction and occupation of their country.

Those shoes demonstrated Iraqis’ refusal of US occupation.

Muntadher’s shoe throwing was a symbolic gesture in the name of all the Iraqi deaths, in the name of millions of Iraqi widows and orphans.


mardi 17 février 2009

Abant Platform calls for tolerance in closure statement

The Abant Platform's meeting in Arbil, "Searching for Peace and a Future Together," held in cooperation with Salahaddin University and the Mukriyani Institute, was conducted with goodwill and sentiments of friendship felt by participants.

Gathered together and guided by the common denominators of human rights, democracy, the rule of law, mutual security and stability, the participants underlined the need to foster tolerance and friendship.

In the two-day discussions, it was strongly emphasized that mutual relations and the freshly established dialogue process should be maintained and expanded.

The Abant Platform, Salahaddin University and the Mukriyani Institute hereby announce the following points as a text jointly approved by all parties:

1. Developing relations between Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq will bring peace and stability not only to both parties, but also to the entire region. This development will be to the benefit of Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Assyrians, Syriacs, Keldanis, Armenians and all Middle Eastern peoples in Iraq.

2. History, geography and culture have made the Turkish and Kurdish peoples sister peoples. It is our responsibility to reinforce these ties of brotherhood.

3. All sorts of policies based on ethno-nationalism are rejected.

4. Iraq's border with Turkey is a gateway to Europe for Iraq. Turkey's border with Iraq is a
door to history and civilization for Turkey. These doors must be kept fully open.

5. Close cooperation should be established between Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq not only in politics, but also in culture, economy, commerce, education and health.

6. Passage through border gates should be facilitated as soon as possible.

7. Parties regard respect for human rights secured by the rule of law as the most precious common denominator.

8. Every opportunity or occasion should be used to establish and improve an atmosphere of tolerance and dialogue.

9. Parties believe that securing democratic rights and freedoms, reinforcing democratic institutions and mobilizing democratic players in these relations are inevitable.

10. Parties deem it a positive step to organize a conference where Kurdish political groups may discuss issues through peaceful and democratic methods.

11. Media organizations should use peaceful, respectful and constructive language.

12. Parties reject violent methods in the settlement of all sorts of problems.

13. Parties attach importance to organizing and popularizing meetings of this kind by utilizing all available resources.

14. It is a generally voiced wish that a Turkish consulate should be opened in Arbil and a representation office of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq should be opened in Ankara.

17 February 2009, Tuesday


Political Instability on Horizon in Iraqi Kurdistan?

Michael Rubin

Iraqi Kurdistan may no longer be the bastion of stability which its lobbyists say it is. Over the weekend, five senior members of Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan—including the former prime minister—reportedly resigned. There have also been resignations in Qubad Talabani’s office in Washington. According to the independent Kurdish newspaper Hawlati (whose editor Jalal Talabani and his son Qubad have sought to jail), Jalal Talabani has ordered 3,800 members of the Kurdish peshmerga militia who are providing security in Baghdad back to Sulaymani in case of trouble.

Meanwhile, reports that, in another sign of declining confidence in Iraqi Kurdistan, KDP leader Masud Barzani’s son Masrour Barzani has been trying to pull strings to gain U.S. citizenship, presenting a test for the Obama administration, which would have to waive disqualifying factors involving Masrour’s connection, according to the Austrian police and several human rights agencies, in questionable human rights practices.

samedi 14 février 2009

More photos from the "oil-rich" city of Kerkuk

Recent photographs taken in Kerkuk by Iraqi Turkmen photographer Mohammed Kelenchy

show how the Turkmens' capital city, oil-rich Kerkuk continues to be neglected

Infamous military contractor 'BLACKWATER' renamed 'Xe'

Blackwater Worldwide Hopes New Name Will Remove Taint

"Xe" Will Be the New Name for Infamous Military Contractor

February 13, 2009
Brand recognition is usually a good thing. Unless you’re Blackwater Worldwide, that is. The military contractor who’s name has become synonymous with some of the ugliest chapters in the war in Iraq has decided that it would be best to change its name. Henceforth, they shall be known as Xe (pronounced “zee”).

So from now on, Xe will be the contractor that is banned from operating in Iraq. The State Department will be looking for a replacement for Xe, and the contractors facing 14 counts in manslaughter will now be Xe guards. Oh, and Xe is under review in Afghanistan.

The company says its attempt to rebrand reflects that it is moving away from “providing private security.” Cleansing itself of its sordid history is likely to take considerably more than an enigmatic new name.

vendredi 13 février 2009

Yezidis voted against Kurdish dominance in North Iraq

GMT 2-13-2009 1:33:37Assyrian International News Agency

North Iraq (AINA) -- The Yezidi Movement for Reform and Progress, an independent entity in Iraq, won the one quota seat reserved in the Nineveh province for the Yezidi minority. The win has infuriated Kurdish leaders who were taken by surprise by the strong Yezidi opposition to Kurdish dominance.

Kurdish political groups have invested heavily over the past years in the Kurdification of the Yezidis (AINA 12-1-2008) by different methods as well as presenting them to the outside world as Kurds, amounting to an attempt to eradicate an ancient indigenous community with roots in ancient Mesopotamian civilization.

The surprising win of the independent Yezidi Movement for Reform and Progress in Nineveh province is seen as a rebuke of Kurdish aggression.

Commenting for AINA, Qanat Hammo, one of the founders of the Yezidi Movement for Reform and Progress, said "Despite all the oppression and coercion of the Kurds our people were able to fight back using the ballot box. We want them to leave us alone, we are not Kurds and they need to respect this fact." Yezidis are erroneously described as Kurds for political reasons, an identity to which they object. They make up the majority in the Sinjar area west of Mosul and in the Shekhan district in the Nineveh Plain.

Observers maintain the independent Yezidis won the seat because the Kurds were taken off guard.

"The Kurds thought they had the Yezidis in their pockets, so they put all their efforts on the Assyrians instead," said Qanat Hammo, "going to great length to make sure the Assyrian seat would be won by the Kurdish backed Ishtar slate, but they were really taken by surprise."
The Kurdish backed Ishtar slate won the Assyrian quota seat in the Nineveh province amidst many allegations of illegal campaign methods (AINA 2-12-2009, 2-10-2009).available as: html

mardi 10 février 2009

The EU must recognize the fact that "Kurdish terror" exists in the north of Iraq

Street in the "OIL-RICH" city of KERKUK
Photo by Mohammed Kelenchy

In Kerkuk Kurdish asayish and peshmerga continue to intimidate the city’s original inhabitants: the Turkmens

When will the Turkmens feel free and safe in their capital city?

The answer is: not as long as the chauvinistic Kurdish warlords and their brutal peshmerga and asayish are allowed to impose their rule by force in northern Iraq.

Our friend Mr. Mohammed Kelenchy, an Iraqi Turkmen photographer who lives in the U.K. has recently travelled to Iraq where he visited Baghdad and Kerkuk.

He spent several days taking photographs in and around Kerkuk of people, mosques, churches, important buildings and monuments. While he was taking some photos in the streets of Kerkuk a Kurdish policeman arrested him and started to question him in a rude manner, refusing to talk to him in Arabic or Turkmen. Our friend was obliged to ask someone to translate for him. Later five more policemen arrived in a van and they brutally pushed him into the van and continued to treat him rudely. His camera was taken and checked and all the photographs he had taken (over 250) in view of making a documentary on Kerkuk city and its surroundings were deleted by the chief police officer (a Kurd) without any justification. Our friend was very annoyed because he lost most of the important shots he had taken during the past two days.

When leaving Iraq Mr. Kelenchy travelled from Kerkuk to Turkey by road, during the journey he and his fellow travellers were stopped twelve times - at each check point - and every time they were questioned and searched and their passports were checked by the Kurds. He said it was a terrifying experience as they did not know whether they would be allowed to continue their journey and because he was afraid that the Kurdish police would confiscate all his CDs and memory sticks.

Our friend further reports that most Arab passengers were taken out of their cars and buses and were forbidden to go through the regional Kurdish area.

It is high time that the European and American human rights defenders and policy makers pay attention to the reports, appeals and complaints from Turkmen, Arab, Shabak, Yezidi and Assyrian communities in the north of Iraq who continue to be victims of exactions and threats by Messrs. Talabani’s and Barzani’s peshmerga and asayish.

An honest and impartial assessment of the situation in the north of Iraq is urgently needed, the European Union must admit that Kurdish terror exists in the north of Iraq and European politicians must put pressure on the Kurdish warlords Messrs. Talabani and Barzani and demand that they immediately stop their racist behaviour and criminal actions against non-Kurds in Iraq.

samedi 7 février 2009

The Horrors in Iraq

Iraq's Shocking Human Toll: About 1 Million Killed, 4.5 Million Displaced, 1-2 Million Widows, 5 Million Orphans

02.02.2009 By John Tirman, The Nation

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