THE KURDS HAVE SET THEIR EYES ON TURKMEN GRAVES
It has been found out that the Kurds will build a shopping mall in an area where stands a graveyard in Kirkuk’s Musallah neighborhood. According to received information, some graves have been destroyed by earthmovers.
In the statement of the Iraqi Turkmen Front on the issue, it was asserted that efforts would be undertaken to stop the project as the construction site did not belong to the Kirkuk Foundations Directorate.
Najat Hussein, a member of the Turkmen Bloc in Kirkuk Provincial Council explained that “lately the Kurds had begun to seize the lands in Kirkuk and an estate of 650 m2 was rented to a citizen of Kurdish origin from Jamjamal district upon his recent request from the Sunni Foundation to build a shop in an area nearby the Musallah graveyard, but that he occupied an additional 900 m2 of land without the Foundation’s knowledge”.
Meanwhile, it was stated that a protest demonstration was organized in Musallah neighborhood by Turkmens who reacted against this practice on grounds that traces of the Turkmens were destroyed. The graves which were removed with earthmovers includes graves which belong to the Turkmens as well as the tomb of the Kirkuk Turkmen popular hero Noureddin Imam who fought back the British occupation after World War I. Additionally, there are also accounts that the Kirkuk based familial registers of some Turkmen families are being transferred to Baghdad city without their knowledge.
It has been stated that the Iraq Human Rights Center have reported this human rights violation which is an encroachment to Turkmen’s cultural rights, in written form to the Baghdad office of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Human Rights Commission of the Iraqi Parliament, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Human Rights, and that a request for investigation was made.