mercredi 29 juillet 2009

Kerkuk, Irak: Les Turkmènes commémorent les victimes Ouïghours



Les représentants du Front Turkmène Irakien (Irak Türkmen Cephesi)
d'Irak, de Turquie, de Belgique, d'Allemagne et du Royaume Uni ont prié pour leurs frères Ouïghours lors d'une cérémonie à la mosquée Avçı à Kerkuk (Irak) le 17/07/2009.

Kerkükte'ten Dogu Türkistan'a destek!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdpZueCjIME


Les représentants des Turkmènes irakiens de Turquie, de Belgique, d'Allemagne et du Royaume Uni se sont rendus à Kirkouk pour participer aux cérémonies de commémoration du 50ième anniversaire du terrible massacre des leaders turkmènes par les marxistes kurdes à Kirkouk le 14 juillet 1959.


Au cours de cette semaine de commémoration (14-20 juillet 2009) les Turkmènes ont également tenu à manifester leur solidarité avec leurs frères Ouïghours qui sont victimes de répression par les autorités chinoises.
Ils se sont rassemblés dans la mosquée Avçı à Kirkouk où ils ont prié pour les martyrs Ouïghours.


Lors des discours à la fin de la cérémonie les Turkmènes d'Irak ont fermement condamné le massacre des Ouïghours et demandé à la Chine de respecter les droits de l'homme au Turkestan Oriental.

BEWARE OF THE KURDS





For recent article "The Kurds Way" by Melik Kaylan please see:

http://merryabla64.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/the-kurds-way-by-melik-kaylan/



In March 2003 Melik Kaylan wrote:

BEWARE OF THE KURDS

By MELIK KAYLAN
MARCH 19, 2003

Some miles over the border into the Saddam-controlled part of Northern Iraq, a local contact told me that Saddam Hussein has placed tanks and explosives in narrow streets to maximize collateral damage. He has also forcibly billeted troops and loyalist cadres in civilian homes in readiness for street fighting -- and to prevent the populace from fleeing. Saddam has done this in neighborhoods mostly populated by the Turkmen and Assyrian Christian minorities, whom he has repressed and decimated. His troops, though, are unlikely to survive their hosts' ire once the shooting starts.
* * *
Back across the border in the Kurdish zone I returned to Irbil, the stronghold of Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) chief. (Barzani sports a silent-movie moustache above a chubby figure and has a way with native headwrapping that rivals Yasser Arafat.) I have been living here in the guise of a businessman. Not being registered as a journalist means I don't need a KDP minder "for my protection." In the age-old fashion, such minders have a distinct influence on what foreign journalists see and think. In this case, journalists have not noted the nefarious activities of the Kurdish authorities in charge of the northern "no-fly" zone. Perhaps the media think that it's all too inside-baseball for readers back home. That is a mistake. Within days, the Kurds could be in charge of the oil towns of Kirkuk and Mosul, and their habits of government will matter very much.



Here's a likely scenario: As the Turks agonize over their role in the imminent conflict, the Kurds are gearing up to go ahead without them. There are signs that the U.S. intends to use the Kurdish militias as a "Northern Alliance" to open a second front against Saddam. A number of such irregulars were recently caught inside Saddam territory in preparation for a Kurdish uprising around the oil towns. Saddam's northern 5th Army Corps is starving and demoralized, so it's likely to offer little resistance. (Top defectors try to come across daily, but no one wants them.) In short, the Kurds could succeed quickly.
If so, they would integrate into their northern zone a population of Turkmens and Assyrians that would almost match their own -- and for a while, perhaps for a long while, they would rule over them. Their treatment of those minorities to date in their own preponderantly Kurdish zone suggests it won't work, especially once the balance of numbers change. Result: a potential civil war and a major headache for the U.S.

Consider the Turkmens, whose total Iraqi population is not much less than the Kurds. I witnessed a "spontaneous" stone-throwing riot against their party headquarters by a Kurdish mob in Irbil, which the KDP offered to dispel by occupying the premises. The Turkmens refused, as the KDP have a passion for invading and looting their offices. Some nights later, KDP commandos occupied the high-points around Turkmen office buildings and pointed Kalashnikovs at the guards.
Turkmen officials are detained without charge, their homes looted anonymously. At times they are forbidden to hang their calendars or listen to their radio station in public. Fixated on the Kurds as the definitive minority of the region, the wider media notes nothing of the Turkmens' plight. Yet, they have perhaps suffered more than any other group in the region.

Saddam used them as cannon fodder in the Iran-Iraq war. Many were taken prisoner by the Iranians. Others escaped to Irbil, leaving behind relatives at Saddam's mercy. Saddam in turn has tortured and killed those unfortunates for having "foreign" connections. Now the Irbil exiles are stuck with Barzani -- dubbed "Mini Saddam" -- who also treats them as spies for the Turks.
Barzani's rival-cum-uneasy confederate, who rules the other official Kurdish zone as strongman of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), is a mite more civilized, though insidious. He refused minority-language TV channels, for example, on grounds that he couldn't protect them adequately. The Turkmens, for their part, dream of repatriation to Kirkuk and Mosul and for safer conditions in the interim, perhaps from their ethnic cousins the Turks. That help has not arrived for decades and may not yet, due to Ankara's indecision. And the outcome may be a nightmare for Turkey and Turkmens alike -- a Kurds' entity flush with oil money but with no checks on power in their region. The Kurds have moved to accomplish this by excluding Turkmen and Assyrian participation in Iraqi opposition conferences and by stoking fear of the Turks through state-ordered marches against the Turkish army's "evil designs" on Kurdish terrain. I say state-ordered because I have read the documents. (One would think that it's plain for all to see that, but for their American allies, the Turks want to dodge the whole matter, even at the cost of sacrificing the Turkmens.)
It's ironic that Barzani should incite such ardor for the "sacred Kurdish soil" which he occupied with Saddam's armor in 1996. Soon after, he rounded up Turkmen and Assyrian leaders and handed them over to Saddam's spies. None returned.

Behind the rhetoric, Barzani's new-found pan-Kurdish nationalism is pragmatic. Any change in the status quo brought on by Turkish or American forces breaks his monopoly on trade and smuggling revenues and threatens his financial hold over the mercurial Kurdish tribes. Until the trade in oil with Iraq stopped a few days ago -- after Turkey closed the border -- Barzani made nearly a billion dollars a month on transit "taxes." His family takes a cut from all trade in tobacco, textiles, tea, alcohol and medicines. None of this bodes well for his future governance in a wider Kurdish area. It is an open secret here that he has allowed Iraqi intelligence to operate under cover, and that Saddam's family and friends have regularly visited here -- after all, Barzani and Saddam's son, Qusay, co-own the local firm that traded in U.N.-sanctioned oil. Word has it that Barzani helped pay for Iraq's 5th Army around the northern oil towns in case he needed them again to prop up his regime. No wonder he opposes foreign armies on his soil.
* * *
Of late there's been a feast of finger-wagging among Western mea-culpa circles to the tune of "I tell you, in the end, we will betray the Kurds again." Barzani himself mentions it in speeches. It's certainly true that any tribal groups the West begins by romanticizing, it ends by spurning.
Their otherness first attracts, then repels. Witness T.E. Lawrence and the tribal Arabs, the mythologizing of the Afghan Pathans, and now the Kurds. Ultimately the truth sinks in and the West realizes that the natives were never ready for primetime. The Kurds are certainly in for a letdown if their brave new autonomous zone comes under proper scrutiny. The idyllic statelet-in-waiting we keep reading about is a venue for well-oiled warlordism. Telephone calls are monitored. Armed checkpoints pepper the roads. Property is easily confiscated. Loyalties are bought and sold by the tribeful. Rights don't exist except when forcibly backed by fellow tribesmen.
Often that is not enough: Just days ago Barzani purged the entire Hoshnave tribe southwest of Irbil, who, after a daylong firefight, left with their wounded to the PUK region in a convoy of 100 vehicles.
In the weeks I've been here, I've learned the last thing local leaders want, or intend to employ, is democracy and the rule of law. Western allies, and Turkey, would do well to anticipate the consequences.

Mr. Kaylan, a New York-based writer, is completing a history of Istanbul. He is currently in northern Iraq.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB104803694263927600.html#printMode

dimanche 26 juillet 2009

Iraqi Turkmen Front Communique regarding possible boycott of census by the Turkmens

Hereunder is the message addressed by Dr. Hassan AYDINLI, ITF E.U. Representative to Journalist TIMOTHY WILLIAMS , further to his article published in the NY Times “Turkmens in Contested Oil-Rich Province vow to Boycott Iraq’s National Census“:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/24/world/middleeast/24turkmen.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print


Dear Mr. Timothy Williams,

I read your article entitled “Turkmens in Contested Oil-Rich Province vow to Boycott Iraq’s National Census“ with great interest.

However, I would like to point out that there has been some confusion regarding the interpretation of the 2% mentioned in the last paragraph of the ITF Statement released on Thursday 23rd July 2009.

In order to clarify the contents of their statement and avoid any further misquoting, ITF Information Office has issued a communiqué on 25th July 2009 (please see hereunder).

I would be grateful if you could convey this important clarification to your readers.

Regards,


Dr Hassan Aydinli
ITF Europe Representative (Belgium)


QUOTE :

THE IRAQI TURKMEN FRONT

(Head Quarter)
Information Office

25th July 2009

IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION
Regarding ITF communiqué dated 23rd July 2009


We would like to clarify the contents of our statement of 23rd July 2009 – regarding the possible boycotting by the Turkmens of the general census in Iraq which is supposed to take place in October 2009 – which have been misquoted in some Western media.

In our statement we wrote: “Turkmens announce boycotting the census unless the concerned authorities respond to their demands” “the boycotting of the census by 12% of the Iraqi people will certainly make it loose its credibility”.

Census is a very important matter for a nation, it must be carried out with great care and precision, there should be no errors and all Iraqis must be counted. Even a margin of error of 1%-2% is unacceptable. Therefore, if the Turkmens who represent almost 13% of the Iraqi people were to boycott the general census it would certainly make it null and void.

Iraqi Turkmen Front
Information office

25/7/2009
Kerkuk-Baghdad St., near the Governorate building
Itc_media@yahoo.com

UNQUOTE

mercredi 22 juillet 2009

Iraq's Kurdistan Region Democracy Deficit

Kurdistan's Democracy Deficit

Reformers in Iraq's Kurdish region hope for Change in the upcoming election.
by Jerry Weinberger 07/22/2009 12:00:00 AM

On July 25th, the Kurdish region of Iraq is scheduled to have its first major election since 2005. The election is pivotal, and vital to U.S. interests, because it will determine whether Kurdistan takes a first step toward genuine democracy or, through another stolen election, lurches toward presidential dictatorship.

Democracy and stability are progressing in the rest of Iraq. The January 2009 provincial elections were competitive and fair and conducted under rules that made individual candidates accountable to voters. Religious political blocs are splintering. The parliament wrangles about oil because the competing parties and the people know what resources and funds are at stake. Public pressure has forced a crackdown on ministerial corruption and the crooks are going to jail. Messy business--but that's democracy, and democracy in a whole Iraq is the lynchpin of stability in the region, and thus the proper goal of U.S. policy.

Things don't look so good in Kurdistan, where if the crooks went to jail there'd be no one left to run the government, and the public hasn't a clue about oil contracts or anything else that goes on in the black boxes of government. The Kurdistan esteemed in the west as a beacon of democracy and good government is a myth. I'll bet the U.S State Department believes the multi-storied building frames that dot the city of Sulaimani are signs of economic development. They're not.
They're giant, never-to-be finished piles of concrete used to funnel public funds into the private pockets of the ruling party.

The democratic deficit in Kurdistan stems from the collusion of the two corrupt political parties that have governed the region since the end of a bitter civil war in 1998: the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the north, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in the south. The parties are organized on the Soviet model, each with a powerful politburo calling the shots from the top. The KDP, headed by Massoud Barzani, is more rigid and conservative and nepotistic and enjoys the support of powerful landowners and tribal leaders. The PUK, headed by Jalal Talabani, was in its origins a coalition of progressive and socialist groups and as a result is still today a looser political structure than the KDP.

The parties exert control through their vast and coercive networks of patronage that descend from the two politburos through the government, the economy, the institutions of civil society, and to almost every family in Kurdistan (since almost one in four Kurds is employed by the government).

In the 2005 election for the Kurdish Regional Government, the two parties joined, along with some smaller parties, into a single electoral list. The purpose was to stifle opposition and to divide the political spoils prior to the election, and then use their joint patronage to guarantee the result. Even though there was no serious opposition, there were reports of widespread voting fraud.

Since that election, and against long and dangerous odds, a serious opposition developed within the looser PUK, led by the first Deputy Secretary General and co-founder of the PUK, Nawshirwan Mustafa, and other courageous and honest former members of the politburo desirous of real democracy and sickened by the monumental corruption in both parties. (One can tell they're honest just from the shabby clothes they wear and the tiny, book-strewn houses in which they live.) In March of this year, they formed a rival PUK election list called "Change."

Change admires classical Western liberalism and the American Founding and advocates fiscal transparency in party, government, and business; a professional civil service; election-law reform; and a vast contraction of the public sector. In its platform, Change proposes to "support the rule of law and enhance the principle of separation of the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary authorities while consolidating the independence of the judiciary." In today's Kurdistan, that's a constitutional revolution for the better.

The opposition stands boldly against the grotesque corruption: when a Change leader disclosed to the press that the Kurdish Government gives the two parties each $35 million per month for "expenses," the Finance Minister could but sputter that he "was not permitted to discuss the exact amount given to the parties."

But most important, Change respects the supreme authorities of the federal government and wants comity with Baghdad and resolution of Kirkuk according to the terms of the federal constitution, and, while desiring strong local government, wants no truck with the bellicose nationalism and go-it-alone policy pursued by the ruling parties, especially the KDP.

Change is especially popular in the more liberal south, but it expects to surprise in the more conservative and traditional north. That's why the ruling parties have again combined for the election. With so much at stake, Change fears that the unified party Goliath will again rig the election.

Already in the south, Change endures the vast coercive power of the PUK patronage machine. Hundreds of people, many of them policemen and security guards and low-level officials, have been fired from their jobs for siding with Change. The two parties control the mass media and have threatened to cut salaries of staffers of an independent radio station, established by the United States, who dare to stray from the prescribed line.

The parties also control the means of physical coercion: the militias, the police, and the secret service. Perhaps most important, Change cannot trust the Independent High Election Commission of Iraq. Its Director General in Baghdad is a Barzani loyalist. The Commission's record so far in Kurdistan: supervision of the suspect 2005 election and a pathetic fine of $2,500 just levied against the united parties for a raft of campaign violations.

A stolen election will be bad enough: but not nearly as bad as the Presidential putsch Massoud Barzani is hatching to squash the first glimmer of democracy in Kurdistan.

After the legally mandated June 1 session-end of the Kurdish National Assembly, Barzani forced an extension of its deliberations. He then rammed through a drastic revision of the Kurdish Constitution that creates a presidential system with an impotent parliament and vast and unchecked power at the top. The new constitution also extends his possible terms for another eight years.

Barzani is doing all he can to rush a referendum on the constitution: limiting the time for public debate on the document will of course improve its chances of electoral success. If that happens and the banana-republic constitution is "voted in," the Kurds will lose such liberties as they have to Massoud Barzani. Barzanistan will not be good for the rest of Iraq. The intemperate president thrives on tension with Baghdad, and he'll be alone at the wheel of state in the delicate negotiations necessary to settle the incendiary issues of Kirkuk, the disputed territories, and the extent of Kurdish independence: all matters that endanger the integrity of Iraq.

If the Kurds want to submit to Massoud Barzani, there is nothing the U.S. can or should do about it. Change has called for international and U.S. monitoring of the parliamentary election. Let's hope it materializes. Our interest in a whole and democratic Iraq, and the U.S. blood and treasure invested in that cause, dictate a full-throttle effort to ensure that the Kurdish opposition has a fair opportunity to head off disaster.

Jerry Weinberger is Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University and an adjunct fellow of the Hudson Institute in Washington D.C. He just returned from four months of consulting for the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/759kgeub.asp?pg=1?ZoomFont=YES



lundi 20 juillet 2009

Video: Black market organ trade thrives in Iraq

AlJazeeraEnglish

July 20, 2009

Illegal organ trading is thriving in Iraq, with a healthy kidney likely to fetch up to $10,000 on the black market.
Al Jazeera's Mosab Jasim reports on how, six years after the US-led invasion, growing poverty has left many Iraqis with little choice but to take extraordinary measure to support their families.

To watch the video please click on:
http://www.uruknet.de/?p=m56186&hd=&size=1&l=e


Iraqi Kurds raise stakes as they vow to annex parts of Mosul

By Shirzad Abdulraham
Azzaman, July 18, 2009

In a move that will certainly fuel tensions in an already restive region, Iraqi Kurds have threatened to annex large swathes of land which have traditionally been part of the Sunni-Arab dominated city of Mosul.

The two main Kurdish factions – Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) – have vowed to add at least 16 administrative divisions currently linked to the Province of Nineveh to Kurdish-held areas.

The Province of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital, has historically been a mosaic of religions, sects and ethnic groups.The Kurdish autonomous region officially includes three provinces – Arbil, Dahouk and Sulaimaniya. But it seems there is no end to KDP and PUK’s insatiable desire to expand their dominions.But since the 2003-U.S. invasion, the province’s territorial borders have been something like 'moving sands.’The Kurds, taking advantage of the chaos that followed the downfall of former leader Saddam Hussein, deployed their militias, known as peshmerga even in the provincial capital Mosul.

Apparently the Kurds are adamant to add large portions of Nineveh to their areas, including the oil-rich area of Ain Zala.An anti-Kurdish front is emerging in Mosul with political parties and tribes coming together to halt Kurdish expansion at the province’s expense.With the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad warming up to Iraqi Arab Sunnis, there are fears of government troops taking sides in the standoff.Most of the towns and districts the Kurds want to annex are inhabited by Iraqi ethnic and religious minorities like Shebeks, Yazidis and Christians.

Many of them now fear of being used as scapegoats for Kurdish covetous intentions.

Christians are under immense pressure in Mosul, a city which used to have one of the largest Christian groups in the country.

Christians living in the string of villages to the east and north of Mosul, currently under Kurdish control, fear retaliation by insurgents fighting U.S. troops and Kurdish militias at the same time.

Some of these villages are only a few kilometers (miles) away from Mosul.

dimanche 19 juillet 2009

Les Ouïgours de France ont manifesté samedi à Paris


18 juillet 2009, midi. Place de la République. Les Ouïgours de France manifestent pour la deuxième fois, à l’appel de l’Association des Ouïgours de France.



Iraq's Turkmen intellectuals searching for their future

For the attention of Turkish and Western journalist reporting from Iraq

Please see Hasan Kanbolat's article below:

HASAN KANBOLAT
h.kanbolat@todayszaman.com
Columnists
Iraq’s Turkmen intellectuals searching for their future


The third meeting of the Iraqi Turkmen Press Council was held between April 10 and 12 in İstanbul. The purpose of the meeting, organized under the guidance of Professor Suphi Saatçi, Mehmet Tütüncü and Şükran Kayacı, was to promote the Iraqi Turkmen press.


The Turkish press, intellectuals, bureaucrats and politicians were uninterested in the meeting. Interestingly, even İstanbul deputies and representatives of local party organizations did not pay heed to the meeting. The only notable attendees were Erşat Hürmüzlü, the chief advisor to President Abdullah Gül on the Middle East, and Iraq's consul general in İstanbul. Considering the fact that President Gül met with Turkmen and Arab intellectuals in İstanbul on April 11, one can suggest that the Turkish presidency was the only body that attached importance to the meeting. It is an odd contradiction for Turkish intellectuals and politicians to show close interest in Iraqi Kurds while turning a blind eye to Iraqi Turkmens.

Iraqi Turkmens have always been shadowed by the fact that they are regarded as extensions of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. They could not manage to get their voices heard about the pressure they were subjected to and the losses they suffered both during the time of Saddam and the US occupation. Their cries were always muted. They were always a community living in the shadows. However, Iraqi Turkmens are intellectual people. They do not like conflicts. They always seek to find conciliation with other groups. They believe in their hearts in territorial integrity, increased welfare and democratization. They do not want be a minority, but desire to be a community within the majority and contribute their richness to Iraq by preserving their identity. This is well exemplified in their past.

The first Iraqi Turkmen newspaper was published in 1915. However, it is ironic that there is no Turkmen press association in Iraq. They note that for several months, they have experienced difficulty in their attempts to become members of the Iraqi Press Association and that they are not allowed to establish their own trade unions. In Iraq, there are more than 100 TV channels -- about half of which operate via satellite -- but Turkmens have only one TV channel, namely Türkmeneli TV. Another problem they face is that although they have local papers, they do not have a national newspaper through which they could have their voices heard by the general public in Iraq.

Turkish and Western journalists who go to Iraq are, in general, not specialized in the topic of Iraq. They do not know problems or details. They tend to run analyses without knowing the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites or between Kurmanji or Sorani. They tend to cover groups such as Kurds and organizations that make sure their voices are heard by resorting to the use of arms. They tend to see peace-loving peoples like Turkmens as mere folkloric elements. They do not even try to understand the existing war.

About 75 percent of Iraqi people watch satellite TV channels to stay informed, while 6 percent tend to use Internet news sources. The written press does not have any weight in society. In Iraq, rife with attempts at disinformation, it is hard to say that there is a free press. For this reason, a new press law is in the making. If free and democratic press organizations cannot exist in Iraq, we cannot expect democracy to take root and territorial integrity to be secured.

Turkmens represent a cornerstone for democratic order in Iraq. The place of Turkmens within the integrity of Iraq should be given greater emphasis so that future generations can live in peace. It should not be forgotten that various languages are part of the wealth of Iraq. Iraq needs peace and dialogue. Iraq no longer wants to see more bloodshed.

http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/yazarDetay.do?haberno=172356


Meat smuggling is the PKK’s new source of income

According to data released by the Agricultural Association of Turkey, 25 percent of the 1.2 million tons of meat consumed in Turkey annually is smuggled meat. The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is believed to control over 70 percent of the meat and animal smuggling business.

According to studies conducted jointly by the Agricultural Association of Turkey and the Turkish Union of Dairy, Meat, and Food Producers (SETBIR), an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 tons of meat consumed in Turkey comes from animals that have been smuggled into the country. The revenue loss Turkey incurs from animal and meat smuggling reaches up to $3 billion annually. But the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) contends the cost is much higher, stating that the figure is approaching $5 billion. Live animals are smuggled into Turkey from Iraq, Syria and Iran by the PKK.

The supply gap in the meat industry is expected to reach 170,000 tons by 2015 in Turkey, as the population increases but meat production remains relatively constant.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Gendarmerie General Command and the Customs Undersecretariat launched a joint effort in 2005 to counter animal and meat smuggling. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has also set up a working group on animal smuggling, but despite all efforts the crime has not been prevented and the rate of smuggling continues to increase.

It is believed that the PKK has full control over animal smuggling across the Iranian and Iraqi borders in eastern and southeastern Turkey. According to data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the Agricultural Association of Turkey and the Turkish Veterinary Medical Association, around 450,000 tons of smuggled meat reaches Turkey each year, creating an estimated loss of more than $3 billion.

PKK holds monopoly on animal smuggling

The biggest incentive for smuggling meat into Turkey is the access to cheap meat in Iran, Syria and Iraq, where the price of meat is just $2 per kilogram. The number of animals smuggled from Iran, Syria and in recent years Iraq reaches 20,000 on average each year.

A significant amount of chopped meat is brought into Turkey through Mediterranean ports, especially in Mersin.

The PKK has almost full control over animal smuggling, which is a major source of income for the outlawed organization. The PKK controls around 70 percent of the $3 billion meat smuggling market. Hakkari's Şemdinli, Yüksekova and Başkale districts are the places where most smuggled meat is traded.

Animals from Iran are brought illegally to Turkey from Iğdır. Animals from India, Afghanistan and Pakistan are also smuggled into Turkey from Iğdır.

The importation of live animals and meat is not allowed in Turkey. But in an effort to prevent animal smuggling, the Meat Producers Association (ETBİR) has requested that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs allow the importation of dairy cattle. ETBİR believes allowing the importation of high-milk-yielding and meat-providing animals will not only increase meat and dairy production in Turkey but also decrease costs over time. Currently, the ministry has no plans to remove the restriction on importing live animals and meat.

Livestock on decline in Turkey
In 1940 there were 44 million hectares of grass and pasture used for raising cattle as livestock. Since 2000, this area has dropped to 12 million hectares, which became the leading factor hindering animal husbandry. There was a sharp decline in livestock in Turkey in 2006. Turkey had 13 million heads of cattle between 1983 and 2005, but this figure dropped to 10.6 million by 2007. In 2008 the number of cattle started to increase, reaching 11.1 million, but while cattle numbers are on the rise, the number of goat and sheep continues to decline. In 2006 there were more than 40 million sheep, around 25.5 million in 2007 and just 23.3 million in 2008.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has been providing subsidies to the animal husbandry sector since 2001 as part of efforts to prevent a rapid decline in the number of livestock animals. Although the ministry has offered $1.5 billion in assistance to the sector in the last five years, the decline in the number of livestock continues.

Turkey has expensive meat
Meat producers sell one kilogram of meat for around TL 8 in Turkey. After slaughterhouses add operations costs and taxes to the price, consumers buy meat for TL 14 per kilo on average. The average price of meat around the world is around $2 or $3 per kilo. Just as the case with gas, Turkey has the most expensive meat in the world.

SETBIR advocates a reduction in the rate of value-added tax on meat to prevent animal smuggling. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is attempting to raise different breeds of cattle. Conducting studies on Turkish cattle breeds, the ministry is seeking to raise breeds that can easily adapt to Turkey's geography and provide higher yields of milk and meat. The main reason for this is that while in developed countries one cow provides more than 500 kilograms of meat, in Turkey one cow provides only around 300 kilograms.

19.07.2009

News

YUSUF BULUT

http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-181358-100-meat-smuggling-is-the-pkks-new-source-of-income.html

vendredi 17 juillet 2009

Saatçi'nin gözünden "Türkmen Boyları"


17 Temmuz 2009, Cuma


Suphi Saatçi'nin ''Irak Türkmen Boyları Oymakları ve Yerleşme Bölgeleri'' isimli çalışması, Kerkük Vakfı tarafından yayımlandı. Alınan bilgiye göre, Kerkük doğumlu yazarın Irak'ta Türkmenlerin yaşadıkları il, ilçe, nahiye ve köyleri ele alan çalışması, Türkmeneli coğrafyasındaki Türkmen boy ve oymaklarını, aşiret ve ailelerini tanıtıyor.
Türkmen beldelerinin konumu, tarihi ve kültürel yapılarının incelendiği kitapta, ''Musul, Erbil, Altunköprü, Kerkük, Tazehurmatu, Beşir, Tavuk, İmam Zeynelabidin, Tuzhurmatu, Kifri, Karatepe, Hanekin, Mendeli ve daha bir çok Türkmen kenti hakkında bilimsel veriler ışığında bilgiler'' sunuluyor.
Saatçi'nin bizzat gerçekleştirdiği araştırmalar ve incelemelerle şekillenen bir başvuru kaynağı niteliğindeki kitapta, Türkmen coğrafyası ve insanlarına ait fotoğraflara da yer veriliyor.
İlk ve orta öğrenimini Kerkük'te tamamlayan, İstanbul Devlet Güzel Sanatlar Akademisi Yüksek mimarlık bölümünü 1974'de bitiren 2002 yılında Prof. Dr. unvanını alan Saatçi'nin Kerkük folkloru üzerine yayımlanmış birçok çalışması bulunuyor.
(Anadolu Ajansı)

Metni Oylayın

mercredi 15 juillet 2009

Irak Türkmenleri Şehitler Haftası 1959 – 2009



(14-20 Temmuz 2009)
“Kerkük Katliamı’nın 50. Yıldönümü”

14 Temmuz 2009, Irak Türkmenlerinin Kerkük’te uğradıkları en büyük katliamın 50. yıldönümüdür. Bu tarih, katliamlar zincirinde en önemli halka olduğu için unutulmaz ve bütün şehitler her yıl o gün saygıyla ve minnetle anılır..

Türkmenler kadar; tarihte hiçbir millet yoktur ki, neredeyse her şehri bir katliamla anılmasın… Tarihte hiçbir millet yoktur ki, yıllar itibariyle bakıldığında, sistematik olarak katledilmesin… Tarihte hiçbir millet yoktur ki, soykırıma ve asimilasyona bu kadar maruz kalmasın..

Osmanlının uzantısı, Türkiye’nin devamı bir coğrafyada yaşayan bu insanların tek suçları, Türk asıllı olmalarıdır. Irak’taki hemen hemen bütün yönetimlerin, Türkiye’ye olan hırslarını ve hınçlarını, Türkmenlerden çıkardıklarını söylemek yalan ve yanlış olmaz.. Buna karşın bu milletin, Türklüklerini korumak için verdiği mücadele çoğu zaman fark edilmemiştir…

Türkmenlerin katline, 1920′de Irak’ın Osmanlıdan kopup İngiliz denetimine geçmesiyle birlikte başlanmıştır.. Bundan sonra da Türkmenler, 89 yıl süreyle, Irak’ta hangi rejim ve kim gelirse gelsin, bu makus talihi yenememişlerdir.

İngiliz mandasındaki idareden krallığa; krallıktan cumhuriyete; cumhuriyetten diktatörlüğe; ezilen ve yok edilmek istenen tek millet, Türkmenler olmuştur. Çok sayıda münferit katliam vardır… Ancak kitlesel katliamları unutmak mümkün değildir. Bu nedenle, Türkmenlerin katliamı ve toplu idamları sırayla; 1920, 1924, 1946, 1959, 1979, 1980, 1991, 1996 yıllarında ve hatta Irak’ın işgalinden sonra da sürmüştür.. Ama Irak Türkleri, bunların içinde 1959 ve 1980′i hiç unutamazlar… Ve bütün şehitlerini de 1959′daki Kerkük katliamının yıldönümünde anarlar..
Irak Türkleri, tarihlerinin en büyük ve en korkunç katliamını, 14 Temmuz 1959′da yaşadılar.
Irak’ta Tümgeneral Abdülkerim Kasım, kraliyeti devirmiş ve cumhuriyet ilan edilmiştir. Irak’ta bu ihtilal, Lozan’da Türkiye’den koparıldıktan sonra zulüm altında yaşayan Irak Türkleri için bir umut olmuştur. Cumhuriyetin ilanının birinci yıldönümünde, bu coşkuyu yaşamak onların da hakkıdır. Ne yazık ki bu sevinç ve ümit çok geçmeden yerini büyük bir hayal kırıklığına bırakır. Irak Türklerine bu yıldönümü şenlikleri zehir olur. Bir kalleş baskının kurbanı olurlar…

Katliam öncesinde, Irak Türklerinin önde gelenleri tutuklanarak, tecrit kamplarına gönderilirler… Bu yetmiyormuş gibi, 14 Temmuz 1959 günü saat 17:00 civarında, gözü dönmüş caniler, şenliğin birinci yıldönümünü kutlamaya hazırlanan Türkmen halkına saldırırlar. İlk şehit Osman Hıdır olur. Daha sonra konan sokağa çıkma yasağı da sadece Türkmenlere uygulanır. Bu vahşet 3 gün 3 gece sürer. Kadın-erkek, genç-ihtiyar demeden yüzlerce kişi boğazlanır, iplerle caddelerde sürüklenerek katledilir… Çok daha fazlası da yaralanır, sakat kalır. Cana kast edenler, mala da göz dikmişlerdir… Bu süreçte, Türkmenlere ait işyerleri ve mağazalar da yağmalanır…

Bağdat’taki rejim ise bütün bu olup bitenleri görmezden geldiği gibi Türkiye’den de ses çıkmaz… Üstelik, Kerkük’te yaşanan insanlık tarihinin en acımasız vahşeti, Türk kamuoyundan da gizlenir… Bu tutum, Irak Türkleri için karşılaştıkları katliamlardan daha acı ve daha hazin olmuştur. 1959 Kerkük katliamı, bugün dahi Türkiye’de esefle hatırlanmaktadır.
Sonraki yıllarda, soykırımın aktörleri değişecek ama Türkmeneli yöresi ve Türkmenler için akıbet değişmeyecektir. 1968′de Baas parti iktidara gelecek ve Türkmenler bu kez Irak’ın işgaline kadar Saddam Hüseyin’in korkusuyla yaşayacaklardır.

Saddam döneminin katliamları da saymakla bitmez… Ancak, 16 Ocak 1980 tarihinde, 4 Türkmen liderin (Türkmen Kardeşlik Ocağı Başkanı Emekli Albay Abdullah Abdurrahman, Doç. Dr. Necdet Koçak ve İşadamı Adil Şerif ile zindana atılan ve bir daha izine rastlanamayan Dr. Rıza Demirci) idamları da asla unutulmaz… Bu bir dönüm veya kırılma noktası olmuştur. Bu katliamda, Türkmen – Türkiye ilişkilerinde tedavisi uzun yıllar alacak bir yara açmıştır. Bu tarihte Türkmenler, ilk kez Türkiye’den umutlarını kesmişler ve bir sahipsizlik duygusuna kapılmışlardır…

İsimlerini saymakla bitmeyen şehitlerimiz vardır… Katliamlara ise tarihi bir perspektiften bakacak olursak şöyle sıralanabilir:

01- Kaçakaç Katliamı, Telafer – 1920
02- Levi Katliamı, Kerkük -1924
03- Gavurbağı Katliamı, Kerkük – 1946
04- Kerkük Katliamı, 14-17 Temmuz 1959
05- Tazehurmatu Katliamı-1, 1979
06- Türkmen Liderlerin Katliamı, 16 Ocak 1980
07- Tazehurmatu Katliamı-2, 25 Mart 1991
08- Altunköprü Katliamı 28 Mart 1991
09- Erbil Katliamı, 31 Ağustos 1996
10- Tuzhurmatu Katliamı, 22 Ağustos 2003
11- Telafer Katliamı-1, 9 Eylül 2004
12- Telafer Katliamı-2, 21 Şubat 2005
13- Musul Katliamı, 24 Eylül 2005
14- Yengice Katliamı, 10 Mart 2006
15- Karatepe Katliamı, 4 Haziran 2006
16- Kerkük Katliamı, 13 Haziran 2006
17- Tavuk Katliamı, 8 Haziran 2007
18- Amirli Katliamı, 7 Temmuz 2007
19- Tazehurmatu Katliamı-3, 20 Haziran 2009
20- Telafer Katliamı-3, 9 Temmuz 2009

ABD ve koalisyon güçlerinin işgali altındaki topraklarda saldırılar hız kesmemiş, üstüne üstlük toplu katliamların yanında münferit cinayetler işlenmeye devam etmiştir. Saldırılar bu kez, ITC mensuplarına ve Türkmen kanaat önderlerine yönelmiştir. Bu dönemde işlenen münferit cinayetlerde; suikastlar ve yargısız infazlar ile trafik kazaları gibi şüpheli ölümler dikkati çekmektedir.

Bunlar arasında; M.Kemal Yayçılı (1 Mayıs 2004), Dr. Ferik Sait Efendi, İhsan Abdullah Efendi, Ahmet Arafat ve Azad Erbilli (23 Nisan 2004), İsmail Tuzlu, Yaşar Cengiz (8 Ocak 2005), Sabah Ketene (22 Nisan 2006) sayılabilir…

Bütün bunlar göstermektedir ki Türkmenler, Irak’ta sürekli baskı ve zulme maruz kalmaktadır. Nihai hedef; Türkmenleri yok etmek, yok edilemeseler bile, Türkiye’den, Türk milletinden ve hatta Türk dünyasından koparmaktır.

1959 Kerkük katliamında, en son 20 Haziran 2009 günü Kerkük Tazehurmatu’da ve 07 Temmuz 2009 günü Telafer’de yapılan bombalı saldırıda ve bütün öteki katliamlarda şehit olan Türkmen kardeşlerimizin ruhları şad olsun. Bizler onları unutmadık, unutturmayacağız.
Irak Türkmen Cephesi

ÖNEMLİ NOT:

1959 Kerkük katliamında, en son 20 Haziran 2009 günü yine Kerkük Tazehurmatu’da ve 9 Temmuz 2009 günü Telafer’de yapılan bombalı saldırıda ve bütün öteki katliamlarda şehit olan Türkmen kardeşlerimizin aziz hatıraları anısına Ankara Kocatepe Cami’in de 17 Temmuz 2009 günü, Cuma namazını Müteakip icra edilecek Mevlid-i Şerif’e Tüm halkımız davetlidir.

Tarih: 17 Temmuz 2009 – Cuma
Saat: Cuma Namazını Müteakip
Yer: Kocatepe Camii / ANKARA

lundi 13 juillet 2009

Massacre of 14th July 1959 against the Turkmens by the Communists and the Kurds


Excerpt from Mofak Salman Kerkuklu's book: Brief History of Iraqi Turkmen:

"On 14th July 1959, the Turkmen in the Turkmen city Kerkuk were preparing for the first anniversary of the 1958 revolution and more than 600 Turkmen men, women and children started marching from Al-Jumhuriya street. Passing by the local Officer's Resting House chanting Turkmen songs, they were ambushed by Kurdish militia forces established by the communist and supported by the Iraqi Communist Party.

The massacre was pre-planned. Electricity and telephone lines had both been cut off prior of the march. And the Kurds communist militia groups surrounded Kerkuk City and secured all routes in order to prevent any assistance from Turkmen villagers coming to help and rescue their brothers in Kerkuk from the massacre.

The first bullet was fired at martyr Osman Hidir, the owner of a Turkmen cafe shop, and his body was dragged savagely through the streets of Kerkuk by tying it to a car. According to my father and very close relatives who participated in the march, Kurdish communists were holding ropes in their hands and started tightening the hands and feet of the Turkmens behind cars and pulling them in the streets of Kerkuk City."

Turkmens in Iraq and in the Diaspora commemorate the massacre of 14th July 1959.

This massacre against unarmed and peaceful Turkmens lasted for three days.

The streets of Kerkuk were filled with the blood of innocent Turkmens.
Witnesses say that the Kurds were shouting: "One kilo of Turkmen meat for fifty cents".

Barzani's peshmerga and Iraqi soldiers also attacked the houses belonging to Turkmens and workplaces belonging to Turkmens were plundered by the Kurds.

Référendum/constitution kurde reporté

AFP 13/07/2009
Le référendum sur la constitution kurde, texte qui a provoqué la colère des communautés arabe et turcomane d'Irak en prévoyant d'inclure des régions mixtes du nord au Kurdistan, a été reporté à une date indéterminée, a affirmé aujourd'hui à l'AFP le président du Parlement kurde.

"Le Parlement a décidé de reporter la tenue du référendum sur la constitution régionale à une date qui n'a pas encore été déterminée", a affirmé à l'AFP son président Adnane al-Mufti.Selon lui, la nouvelle date devra être fixée par le président du Kurdistan irakien, Massoud Barzani, en accord avec le Parlement. Mahmoud Othman, un député kurde du parlement irakien, a indiqué que le référendum serait reporté "de plusieurs mois".

"Je pense qu'il sera reporté de deux ou trois mois car les gens ne peuvent pas se rendre aux urnes en juillet puis encore en août" pour le référendum, a-t-il indiqué à l'AFP.Le 6 juillet, la commission électorale irakienne a affirmé qu'elle ne pouvait organiser le référendum sur la constitution kurde le jour même des élections provinciales, législatives et présidentielle prévues le 25 juillet au Kurdistan, arguant que la "crédibilité" du processus serait remise en cause. Elle a proposé un report du référendum en août, ce que le Parlement kurde a rejeté.

Le Parlement kurde a adopté le 24 juin la future constitution du Kurdistan (nord) qui prévoit de rattacher à cette région la province de Kirkouk ainsi que des localités situées dans les gouvernorats de Ninive et de Diyala, provoquant la colère des communautés arabes et turcomanes du pays. Ces derniers ont accusé les Kurdes de vouloir mettre en oeuvre un "projet sécessionniste".

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2009/07/13/01011-20090713FILWWW00221-referendumconstitution-kurde-reporte.php

dimanche 12 juillet 2009

Iraqi Turkmen leader’s call to arms

12 July 2009, Sunday

A leader of the Iraqi Turkmens has made an appeal to the Iraqi authorities to let members of his community take up arms to protect themselves against "genocide."

Sawash Auji, who oversees human rights violations in Turkmen-dominated areas in Iraq, made the call following an upsurge in attacks against Turkmens, particularly in the northern parts of the country.


In one such attack in the predominantly Turkmen town of Telafer, to the west of the city of Mosul, 34 people were killed and scores injured. "It is of vital importance that Turkmens are permitted to take up arms and form a force to guard their areas against genocide," Auji said.


Most Iraqi Turkmens live in the disputed oil-rich city of Kerkuk and towns administratively linked to it. But sizeable communities are found in the Province of Nineveh of which Mosul is the capital. Iraqi militias known locally as peshmerga keep Turkmens under surveillance and reject their attempts to take up arms.


Auji said the struggle between Iraqi factions over control of areas which are predominantly inhabited by Turkmens "is the real reason for the latest attacks on Telafer."


Kerkuk.net

British crimes in Iraq: The Story of Baha Mousa, by Robert Fisk

Baha Mousa and his family

'He was a decent guy. They didn't need to do that'


Iraqi inquiry sees video of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by british soldiers


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8146614.stm
Video footage of his detention was shown to the jury


A video of a British soldier screaming abuse at hooded prisoners in Iraq has been played at a public inquiry into the death of an Iraqi civilian.




Sunday, 12 July 2009

I first heard about Baha Mousa from his family. He was working as a hotel receptionist in Basra when British troops surrounded the building and arrested seven men. They were taken to a British barracks, hooded and beaten. Two days later, as his weeping father recalled for me, Mousa was dead. His family was given $3,000 in compensation and rejected a further $5,000. What they wanted was justice. His father had been appointed a police officer by the British authorities themselves. He was wearing two pistols on his hips. He was "our man", and we killed his son.


The outrageous death of his 26-year-old son, arrested in front of his own father, remains one of the most shameful episodes of our occupation of southern Iraq. As they beat the seven men, the British soldiers gave them the names of footballers. I guess it is always easy to demean those who you are going to brutalise. One of his comrades, who worked in the same hotel, and who spoke to me in great pain from his hospital bed, described how Baha had pleaded for his murderers to stop kicking him. "He was a decent guy. They didn't need to do that to him," he said.


When I first heard this story, it reminded me – alas – of all the accounts that I had heard in Northern Ireland, of British Catholics taken from their homes and beaten up in British army barracks, called "terrorist" by those who should have controlled their tormentors. I had heard it all before. Always, but always, those who had been beaten and kicked were always the bad guys.


In Basra, the British like to say that they knew how to treat the locals, that they had learnt from Northern Ireland. Oh, how they had learnt!


I remember sitting in front of Baha Mousa's children – his wife had already died of cancer – and, listening to his father's account, I doubted if justice would be done. It was not. The bad guys got away with it. As they usually did in Northern Ireland. It's not about hearts and minds. It's about justice. And this we do not administer.


Ban Racism And Not The Burqa

By Bindu Gurtoo
11 July, 2009
Countercurrents.org

So the French president has gone and done it. In the first presidential address in the French Parliament since 1848, the esteemed President talked about… the Burqa! By declaring, quite theatrically in the parliament that there was no place for the burqa in France, Mr. Sarkozy has undone the goodwill that President Obama so painstakingly earned for the West in Cairo last month. Not only that, by making a fatwa like declaration, he has given the Islamic hardliners another opportunity to raise the bogey of western cultural imperialism.

Well, what else can one expect from a man who seems to have little clue on how to deal with global recession, or to tackle the rising unemployment in his country or even to get his countrymen and women to put in an honest day’s labour without going on a strike. Bombastic statements such as these confirm the long held belief of the coloured world that liberty is the white man’s concubine who uses her exclusively for his pleasure.

Pray, Mr. Sarkozy, how is burqa a garment of exclusion while the catholic nun’s habit is not? Granted that the burqa condemns the wearer to a claustrophobic formlessness, but, what about the two piece bikini designed by a man for the voyeuristic pleasure of the male gaze? How can a culture which connives in forcing teenagers to attain impossible thinness and applauds bizarre garments as high fashion, or sit in judgment over others’ attires? Come on Frenchies, tell us, as instruments of debasement and oppression, how are decadence, racism, substance abuse, bulimia, porn and pedophilia any less than the burqa? If, by banning the burqa you are trying to rescue Muslim damsels in distress, then may we suggest a more worthy alternative? How about giving the Muslims in your country genuine equal opportunities that are not sabotaged by racial snobbery?

While you rush to ban the burqa the way you banned the turban, why not ban a few other things such as tobacco, liquor and skinny fashion which have debased and destroyed a great many of your people? But we know you are not going to do that, Mr. Sarkozy for these are valued as expressions of the haute French culture. And one does not desecrate one’s culture by rudely hiving off bits, does one? We suspect Mr. Sarkozy that you have learnt your lessons in governance from the redoubtable Robespierre whose guillotine had once worked overtime in the name of democracy.

Perhaps Mr. Sarkozy, it is time you stepped out of the Muslim woman’s wardrobe and directed your attention to some real issues such as climate change, recession and the future of the European Union. Or do we conclude that it is because you are incapable of pondering over these problems that you take refuge in her cupboard? Do come away from her closet, President and let the Muslim woman decide for herself what she would like to wear.

Ah! You are only trying to lend a helping hand, aren’t you? Please desist! For history shows us that the helping hand often ends up slapping the helper. As the president of the nation that pioneered popular uprising, you ought to know that revolutions have to germinate in native soil and can never be successfully grafted. Instead, place your trust in the Muslims to decide on the destiny of their cultures for themselves.

Perhaps, Mr. Sarkozy, the time has come for France to follow the example from across the Atlantic of her once good friend and partner- in- revolutions and elect colored leaders? Though it may seem a daunting task for a man of your intellect, but think Mr. Sarkozy, think!

(The author is a member of Citizen News Service (CNS) Writers' Bureau. Email: bindugurtoo@gmail.com, website: www.citizen-news.org)
http://www.countercurrents.org/gurtoo110709.htm

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samedi 11 juillet 2009

Osmanlı´nın Musul modeli yeniden oluşuyor



Osmanlı´nın Musul modeli yeniden oluşuyor


http://www.kerkukmedya.com/index.php?action=view&id=434&page=1


Uluslararası Kriz Grubu´nca hazırlanan rapor, Türkiye´nin bölge etkisi ve Kerkük konusunda ilginç tespitlerde bulunuyor.

Perşembe, 09 Temmuz 2009

Dünya Bülteni/ Haber Merkezi

Uluslararası Kriz Grubunun "Irak ve Kürtler" raporunda, Irak´ın kuzeyindeki bölgesel yönetimin, "komşularına ve Bağdat yönetimine karşı koruyucusu ABD´nin kaybedeceği beklentisiyle, tek gerçekçi alternatif olan Türkiye´ye yöneldiği" iddia edildi. Merkezi Brüksel´de bulunan Amerikan düşünce kuruluşunun raporunda, Kürt liderlerinin, Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisinin 2007 yılındaki ikinci seçim zaferinin ardından, "Türkiye ile anlaşma ihtiyaçlarını açıkça konuşmaya başladıkları ve bunun ardından ilişkilerin istikrarlı şekilde geliştiği" anlatıldı.

KERKÜK SORUNU´NUN ÇÖZÜMÜ İÇİN TARAFLAR BİRARAYA GELMELİ Raporun asıl konusunu oluşturan Kerkük Sorunu´nun çözümü konsuunda taraflara tavsiyelerde bulunan raporda, ABD, Bağdat Hükümeti, Kuzey Irak´taki bölgesel yönetim ve BM sorumlu taraflar olarak zikredildi. Raporda, bölgede 25 Temmuz´da yapılacak seçimler ve 2010 Ocak ayında tüm Irak´ta yapılacak parlamento seçimleri öncesinde herhangi bir anlaşmaya varmanın zor olduğunu belirtildi. Tarafların, ABD´nin Irak´tan ayrılması ile tehlikeli bir ayrışmanın ortasında kalabileceğini belirten raporda, kuzeydeki Kürt bölgesini Irak´ın geri kalanından ayıran "tetik çizgisi" boyunca çatışmaların yaşanabileceği ifade edildi. Bunu önlemenin yolunun ise tarafların birbirleriyle müzakere etmesinden geçtiğini belirten rapor, seçimlere kadar kurulacak geçici bir bilgilendirme mekanizmasının ve tarafların tek taraflı adımlardan kaçınmasının çözüm yolunda önemli safhalar olduğu belirtildi.

KÜRTLER TÜRKİYE İLE İTTİFAK YAPMAK ZORUNDA Raporda, Irak´ın kuzeyindeki bölgesel yönetimin lideri Mesud Barzani´nin özel kalem müdürü Fuat Hüseyin´in şu sözleri aktarıldı: "Eğer (Iraklı) Şiiler İran´ı ve Sünniler Arap dünyasını seçerse, Kürtler de Türkiye ile ittifaka girmek zorunda kalacak. Türkiye´nin de bu kapsamda Kürtlere ihtiyacı olacak.

Biz Türkiye ile birlikte olmak zorundayız ve Türkiye açısından bakarsanız Irak´ta bizden başka dost ya da ortakları yok." Raporda, Mesud Barzani ile Cumhurbaşkanı Abdullah Gül ve Başbakan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arasında henüz görüşme yapılmamış olsa da Kürt yetkililerin üst düzey Türk yetkililerle birçok kez bir araya geldiği hatırlatıldı. "Tüm bu gelişmelerin, Osmanlı sonrası Türkiye´nin hak iddia ettiği ´Musul vilayeti´ fikrini yeniden canlandırdığı" kaydedilen raporda, "şaşırtıcı bir şekilde bu kez isteğin Türk milliyetçi çevrelerinden değil, üst düzeydekiler dahil Kürt tarafından geldiği" ifade edildi. Raporda, isim verilmeden Irak´ın kuzeyindeki bölgesel yönetimden ve Türkiye´den üst düzey yetkililerin Uluslararası Kriz Grubu´na yaptığı açıklamalara da yer verildi.

TÜRKİYE İLE BİRLİKTE OLMAYI TERCİH EDERİM Irak´ın kuzeyindeki bölgesel yönetimin adı açıklanmayan bir yetkilisi, "Bağımsız olmak hakkımız, fakat bu olmazsa ben Türkiye ile olmayı Irak´la birlikteliğe tercih ederim. Çünkü Irak demokratik değil" diyerek, tek çıkış yolunun bölgenin "Musul vilayeti" adıyla Türkiye´ye, Türkiye´nin de kendi içindeki Kürtlerin durumuna çözüm olarak AB´ye katılması" olduğunu ifade etti. Buna karşın Ankara´nın Iraklı Kürtlerle "resmi birliktelik" seçeneğine sıcak bakmadığı kaydedilen raporda, adı açıklanmayan üst düzey bir Türk yetkilinin şu görüşlerine yer verildi: "Iraklı Kürtlerle ekonomik birliktelik gelecekte mümkün. Fakat bu resmi değil, fiili bir birliktelik olmalı. Biz Irak´ın bütünlüğünü korumasından yanayız. Irak, bölgedeki etnik ve mezhepsel dengenin barometresi gibi.

Fakat ekonomik teşvikler mümkün. Bağdat´la anlaşarak Kürt bölgesiyle sınırımızı esnek hale getirip ekonomik (serbest) bölge oluşturabiliriz." TÜRKİYE, KERKÜK´TE NÜFUZ SAHİBİ OLACAK Barzani´nin özel kalem müdürü Hüseyin, Kürt yetkililerinin, Başkan Barack Obama´nın açıkladığı takvime uygun olarak ABD´nin Irak´tan çekileceğine ve bunun sonucunda Irak´ın çökeceğine ikna olduğunu belirtti. Hüseyin, "Kürtler bu şartlarda Türkiye´nin koruması altında rahat ederken, bunun karşılığında Türkiye´nin, Kerkük´teki dev rezervler dahil, Irak´ın kuzeyindeki bölgenin petrol ve doğal gazına doğrudan erişim imkanı elde edeceğini ve dolaylı yollarla Kerkük´e sahip olacağını" ileri sürdü.

Uluslararası Kriz Grubu´na göre, bölgedeki gelişmeleri dikkatle izleyen Ankara ise Irak´ın kuzeyinde Türk girişimcilerin yatırımlarını teşvik ederek bölgedeki petrol ve doğal gazın ihracat kapısı olmak istiyor. İran´ın Irak üzerinde etkinlik kazanmasını istemeyen Ankara, bu riski azaltmak için bir yandan merkezi hükümeti güçlendirmek amacıyla Bağdat yönetimiyle bağlarını geliştirmek isterken, diğer yandan Mart 2009´da Basra´da konsolosluk açarak ülkenin güneyindeki "İran etkisini sınırlandırmayı" hedefliyor. Raporda, "Ankara´nın çıkmazı, Amerikan ordusunun ayrılmasının ardından (Irak´ta) ne olacağını bilmediği için tüm yumurtalarını Bağdat´ın sepetine koyarak Kürtleri yabancılaştırma riskini almak ile İran´ın güçlü etkisi altındaki geleceğin Irak´ıyla arasında bir tampon bölge oluşturmak için kuzeydeki bölgesel yönetimi destekleyerek Bağdat´ı kızdırmak arasında kalması... Etkili olmak için bahislerini koruma altına alarak, her iki tarafla ilişkilerini dengeliyor" deniliyor.

TÜRK PETROL ŞİRKETLERİ KUZEY IRAK´TA Raporda, Genel Enerji ve PetOil gibi Türk şirketlerinin "Ankara´dan aldıkları yeşil ışıkla" Irak´ın kuzeyinde faaliyet gösterdiği ve "ileri kol" rolü oynadığı öne sürüldü. Uluslararası Kriz Grubu raporunda, Irak´ın kuzeyindeki bölgesel yönetimin, Türkiye üzerinden AB´nin doğal gazda Rusya´ya bağımlılığını azaltacak Nabucco projesine doğal gaz arzını başarması halinde, Bağdat yönetimiyle ilişkilerde elini önemli ölçüde güçlendireceği savunuldu.

vendredi 10 juillet 2009

Dün meydana gelen bombalı saldırı nedeniyle ITC bir kınama mesajı yayınladı



Dün Telafer'de yapılan intihar saldırısında ilk belirlemelere göre 50 masum insan şehit ve çoğunluğu çocuk ve kadından oluşan, yüzden fazla kişi yaralanmıştır. Bundan önceki terör oyunları, Karakoyunlu ve Musul'a bağlı Bavice bölgesinde oynanmış, orada da birçok şehit ve yaralı verilmiştir. Türkmen mevcudiyetini hedef alan ve aratarak devem eden terör saldırılarını şiddetle kınıyoruz.

Irak Türkmen Cephesi olarak Irak'taki tüm masum sivilleri hedef alan terör saldırılarının açığa çıkarılması için Tüm yetkili mercilerin bir araya gelip çalışmalarını istiyoruz.

Özellikle Tazehurmatu'daki menfur saldırı üzerinden 3 hafta geçmesine rağmen, saldırıyla ilgili herhangibi bir somut sonuç alınamamıştır. Aynı zamanda Irak'taki yetkili mercilerden, güvenlik boşluğundan kaynaklanan, genel olarak Iraklı sivilleri, özel olarak Türkmen sivilleri hedef alan terör saldırılarının nedenleri ve faillerinin tespit edilmesini istiyoruz.

Irak Türkmen Cephesi olarak şehitlerimize rahmet, yaralılarımıza acil şifalar , yakınlarına ve milletimize Allah'tan sabır dileriz.

Irak Türkmen Cephesi Başkanlığı
Kerkük - Irak

In Iraq, twin bombings follow insurgent's renewed call to fight US

The attacks underscore the security challenges after the US withdrawal from cities, particularly in the volatile areas in the north.

By Jonathan Adams

posted July 09, 2009 at 8:10 am EST

• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Dozens were killed in bombings in Iraq Thursday, underscoring the security challenges remaining after US combat forces withdrew from Iraqi towns and cities last month.
At least 34 people died in back-to-back suicide attacks in the town of Talafar, in northern Iraq, the BBC reported. A suicide bomber blew himself up early in the morning, then a second blast ripped through the crowd that had gathered after the first.

Separately, seven were killed and 20 injured in bombings in Baghdad's notorious Sadr City. (Click here for a map from the Associated Press.)

The Associated Press reports the Talafar attacks targeted the home of an antiterrorism officer. The first blast killed the officer, along with his wife and child, at around 6:30 a.m., the news service reported.

The New York Times reported that the bombings in Talafar "bore the signature" of the Islamic State of Iraq, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda, without giving details.

The attacks came a day after a reputed leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, whom the Iraqi government claimed to have captured this year, issued a taped statement calling on Iraq's Sunnis to join the fight against Shiites and American troops.
The statement, which was released on the Internet and attributed to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, said attacks on American forces should continue despite the withdrawal from Iraqi cities by U.S. combat troops....

"Even if they are in one spot in the Iraqi desert, away from all forms of life, every Muslim must fight them until they are kicked out of that spot," the statement said.

Northern Iraq has increasingly become the most violent area of the country. Thursday morning's bombings followed attacks in Mosul the day before that killed at least nine. The New York Times reported that a truck bomb killed 68 in northern Iraq on June 20, the single worst attack in Iraq this year, and a car bomb killed 24 in Kirkuk on June 30.

The attacks have centered on "an oil-rich region that lies on the tense ethnic fault line between Iraq's Arabs and Kurds," the Times reported. "The area is populated largely by the Turkmen, the third largest ethnic group in Iraq after Arabs and Kurds, who have their own territorial claims in the region."

Talafar lies west of Iraqi Kurdistan (click here to see a map of the region from NPR), and less than 60 miles east of Iraq's borders with Syria and Turkey. (Click here for a detailed map from GlobalSecurity.org.)

Competing historical claims to the region by Turkmen and Kurds has fueled tensions, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).

In a 2006 report called "Iraq and the Kurds: The Brewing Battle Over Kirkuk" the ICG quoted Muzaffer Arslan, adviser on Turkmen affairs to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, as saying: "the Kurds claim Tel Afar for the same reason they claim Kirkuk, Mosul and Tuz Khurmatu. They want to take as large an area as possible to add to their Dreamland [a stock Turkoman reference to the Kurdish region]."

The ICG has warned that the region has been neglected amid broader efforts to stabilize Iraq.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0709/p99s01-duts.html

jeudi 9 juillet 2009

UIGHUR EXILES IN MUNICH

SPIEGEL ONLINE


07/09/2009 03:27 PM
UIGHUR EXILES IN MUNICH
'The Reality is Far Worse than Television Pictures Suggest'
By Sebastian Fischer in Munich

Corpses litter the streets and hunger and chaos prevail in China's Xinjiang province, claim members of Munich's Uighur community, the largest such group in Europe. In constant touch with Uighurs back home, they allege the death toll is much higher than the official figures.

The headquarters of the World Uighur Congress (WUC) amounts to a couple of rooms, tucked in the attic of a 1960s-era block near Munich's central train station. More than 500 Uighurs live in the capital of the German state of Bavaria, making it the biggest such community in Europe.

Asgar Can, the organization's vice president, sits between a German flag and a Uighur one, which resembles the Turkish banner, except it is blue instead of red.

"We assume that the situation in the Xinjiang province is far worse than television pictures suggest," he says. The World Uighur Congress maintains contact with Uighurs in their homeland, "our fellow countrymen who phone us with information are risking their lives," he says.

Dolkun Isa, WUC's general secretary, walks into the room, clutching a piece of paper. It contains the latest reports of the unrest in the giant province in Western China. The group now estimates that up to 800 Uighurs have died, Isa says, adding that he is unable to give a more precise number. Official Chinese figures claim that 150 people have been killed in the clashes between the Chinese and Muslim Uighurs.

Isa claims one attack took place on a medical school in Urumqi, the regional capital. He alleges that four Uighur students were stabbed and beheaded by Han Chinese, "their bodies were hung in the faculty entrance," Isa says, citing eyewitness reports. According to a separate report, 150 Uighurs died during an attack on workers in a tractor factory in the northwestern city.

WUC Vice President Can says Uighurs are too afraid to leave their homes -- they fear they might get killed outside on the streets. In the meantime, they are starving. In Urumqi, "corpses litter the street like bits of furniture," he says. Demonstrations are allegedly continuing in the cities of Kashgar, Aksu, Hotan and Karamay, and curfews have been imposed on the local populations. In many cities, water and electricity supplies have been cut, he says.

Chinese leaders are blaming the World Uighur Congress for the latest escalation. In particular the WUC's Washington-based president Rebiya Kadeer has become a scapegoat for the unrest.

"Our initial findings indicate that the separatist World Uighur Congress under the leadership of Rebiya Kadeer has fuelled the violence," the Chinese state news agency Xinhua claims, citing information from the regional government. Can angrily rejects such claims. He is in close contact with Kadeer and spoke to her a night earlier. "She is stunned that she is being held responsible," he says.

Tension Flares

Kadeer, in a recent guest editorial published in the Wall Street Journal, blamed the Chinese for the escalating violence. She also condemned violence by Uighurs and said Han Chinese and Uighurs need to "achieve a dialogue based on trust, mutual respect and equality." She urged the US to take on a key role, saying Washington should condemn the violence in the Chinese province and open up a consulate in Urumqi. That step, she argues, could calm tensions in the area.

For its part, China is taking a tough line on the conflict. The head of the Communist Party in the Xinjiang province, Li Zhi, has threatened that the government will execute those responsible for the latest violence, according to the Associated Press. The wire service reports that many people, mostly students, have already been arrested on suspicion of murder. Early Wednesday morning, the authorities imposed a curfew in Urumqi after thousands of Han Chinese took to the streets a day earlier, armed with sticks, knives and metal poles.

Authorities dropped thousands of flyers from helicopters above Urumqi and called for calm among the 2.3 million residents. Some citizens erected barricades to avert further street fights. "We just want to protect our homes, we don't want to attack anyone," says a spokesman for the Uighurs.

Chinese police swarmed Urumqi on Wednesday in a bid to contain the protests, which have endured for days. The arrests of a number of alleged Han Chinese leaders from among a 1,000-strong group of demonstrators sparked scenes of aggression. "Let them free, let them free," called the demonstrators. The presence of large numbers of security forces restored calm in the city center. Armored military personnel carriers patrolled the streets.

Along with Tibet, the Xinjiang province is one of the most politically volatile regions of China. Bordering on Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, it is strategically important -- with ample oil reserves and China's biggest supply of natural gas. It is so important that Chinese President Hu Jintao cancelled his plans to attend the G-8 summit in Italy due to the violence. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had reportedly wanted to speak to him about the regional unrest.

The World Uighur Congress says the province should be given the right of self-determination. "The people should decide," says Asgar Can. At the moment the conditions are not in place for that to happen. If his people do call for independence one day, he says, then they would establish a democratic system.

Can says it could be modelled after the East Turkistan Republic that existed in the region between 1944 and 1949, when it became part of the People's Republic of China. He adds: "We have never had the intention of founding an Islamic country."

Can says he is also appealing to the German government to accept the remaining 13 Uighurs still being held in the US Guantanamo detention center.

URL:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,635249,00.html
RELATED SPIEGEL ONLINE LINKS:
From the Archive (08/22/2008)http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,573843,00.html
Uighur Unrest: 140 Killed in Ethnic Riots in China (07/06/2009)http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,634505,00.html
Photo Gallery: Deadly Ethnic Violence in Xinjianghttp://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-44072.html
The World from Berlin: 'China Is Acting on an Old Reflex in Urumqi' (07/07/2009)http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,634791,00.html
RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
Wall Street Journal: The Real Story of the Uighur Riotshttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB124701252209109027.htmlSPIEGEL ONLINE is not liable for the content of external Web pages.
© SPIEGEL ONLINE

European Parliament: The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead 6-12 July 2009
03-07-2009

Political groups week – Brussels

Swedish Presidency/Conference of Presidents. The outgoing President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, will be joined by leaders of the political groups in Stockholm for a meeting with the Swedish government as Sweden takes on the presidency of the Council (Monday).

Preparing for the plenary.

The political groups will finalise their preparations for the 14-16 July inaugural plenary session of the 7th directly elected European Parliament. On Thursday, the Conference of Presidents will set the plenary agenda, notably deciding whether there should be a vote on the Commission presidency at this stage. The session will begin with the election of Parliament’s new President and the Vice-Presidents and is likely also to include debates with the outgoing Czech presidency and the incoming Swedish presidency of the Council.

Cinquante députés irakiens fustigent la Constitution kurde

Cinquante députés irakiens fustigent la Constitution kurde
Lundi 29 juin 2009

AFP — Cinquante députés irakiens ont dénoncé lundi dans une pétition la Constitution adoptée la semaine dernière par le Parlement autonome kurde et qui doit être ratifiée lors d'un référendum fin juillet.

"Elle est non seulement incompatible avec la Constitution fédérale mais la viole et donne plus de pouvoir à la région qu'à Bagdad", a affirmé lors d'une conférence de presse au Parlement Oussama al-Noujaifi de la Liste nationale irakienne (laïc, 20 sièges).

"Cette constitution attise la haine entres les composantes du peuple irakien (...) et constitue une provocation envers les voisins de l'Irak en tentant de construire le Grand Kurdistan", a-t-il ajouté.

La future Constitution de cette région annexe au Kurdistan la province pétrolière de Kirkouk et des localités situées dans les gouvernorats de Ninive et de Diyala.

Outre M. Noujaifi, cette pétition est signée par Omar al-Joubouri du Front de la Concorde irakienne (sunnite 39 sièges) et Hanine al-Qaddu, représentant de la secte des Chabak au sein de l'Alliance Unifiée irakienne (chiite, 85 sièges).

Pour Fawzi Akram (Turkmène) du groupe sadriste (30 députés), "cette Constitution dessert le processus politique et mènera à une crise dans les relations entre les différentes composantes du pays".

Le député kurde Mahmoud Othman a demandé "aux hommes politiques de Bagdad et du Kurdistan d'ouvrir un dialogue sérieux et serein" et a critiqué l'empressement avec lequel a été décidé le référendum. "Ce n'était pas la bonne manière", a-t-il dit à l'AFP.

Controversy over Kurdish constitution

Controversy over kurdish constitution

niqash Ardalan Aziz mon 06 jul 09

The Kurdistan Constitution, passed by the Regional Parliament on June 24 and set to be put before Kurdish voters for approval in a July 25 referendum, has sparked controversy from both across the country and within Kurdish circles. Critics say the Constitution, which was overwhelming passed by a parliament dominated by the region’s two major parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), is unconstitutional.

Most controversially, the document unilaterally asserts Kurdish sovereignty over disputed territories including oil-rich Kirkuk province and areas of Nineveh and Diyala provinces, which have long been a source of tension between central and Kurdish authorities.

Additionally, the Constitution requires that the Central Government obtain the prior consent of the Regional Government before concluding any international treaties that will also apply to the region. These articles have immediately provoked a strong backlash from Iraqi politicians who say that the document usurps the powers of the Central Government.

Fifty Arab members of the Iraqi Parliament have signed a statement strongly rejecting the Constitution and calling on the Central Government to intervene. "Not only is it not compatible with the federal Constitution but it violates it and gives the [Kurdish] Region more power than Baghdad," said Ossama al-Nujaifi of the Iraqi National List.

According to the document’s critics the Constitution plainly contains secessionist tendencies that are unjustifiable and will provoke new conflict between the Kurdish Region and the Central Government.

Meanwhile, the Constitution has also provoked internal Kurdish criticism with opponents saying the document was illegally passed by Parliament without public oversight and that it grants the Regional President too much power.

The Change List, which will compete in the July 25 parliamentary elections on a platform of reform and which is led by a PUK dissident, said that Parliament unconstitutionally passed the document in order to ensure the continuing domination of the two ruling parties, the PUK and KDP. “The current Parliament does not have the legitimacy to approve the Constitution because its term ended June 4.

It cannot pass an important document such as the Constitution, the source of all laws,” said Kwestan Muhammad, a leading member of the Change List and former head of the PUK parliamentary bloc. Parliament extended its own term pending the election of a new Parliament, citing exceptional circumstances, but critics say this does not give it the power to pass fundamental decrees such as a Constitution governing Kurdish political life.

Asos Hardi, a local journalist, described the way the Constitution was adopted as a "disgrace" to Parliament. He criticized the extension of parliamentary powers and said that while the step was justifiable in periods of instability or civil war, there was no reason for the step in the current stability. Additionally, Hardi criticized the fact that the public was not able to debate or even read the Constitution before it was passed by Parliament.

While the first draft Constitution, which was presented to Parliament three years ago, was open to public debate, this version was completed behind closed doors. Opponents of the new Constitution say that one of the reasons the document was passed so quickly was that it grants sweeping powers to the Regional President, a move which is intended to ensure the continuing domination of incumbent powers in the face of new parliamentary challenges.

The new Constitution allows the President to dissolve Parliament; it grants the President supreme executive power and command over Peshmerga armed forces; it gives him the power to ratify and strike down parliamentary decisions; it also gives him the right to remove ministers and issue decrees that carry the force of law.

While the KDP and PUK currently hold two thirds of parliamentary seats, they are expected to lose ground in the face of challenges from new parties including the Change List. However, with the election of the Regional President also happening on July 25 and with KDP head Massoud Barzani expected to win a new term in office, power will thereby be maintained in his hands.

According to Adnan Othman, editor of the Roznama newspaper owned by Nawshirwan Mustafa, head of the Change List, the Constitution "is not consistent with the parliamentary system of government because it establishes a presidential system of government.” Observers also say that the new Constitution is an election ploy by the two main parties.

By approving the Constitution so close to parliamentary elections they hope to gain popular and electoral support on the back of the document’s national rhetoric and claim over disputed territories. Additionally, by timing the publication of the document to coincide with the withdrawal of U.S troops from Iraqi cities on June 30, some observers believe that the Kurdish Regional government is hoping to draw concessions out of the Central Government at a time of vulnerability.

While the Constitution’s articles might have normally roused the hostility of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, especially in light of his new ‘national’ rhetoric, the need to avoid confrontation with the Kurds as U.S troops pull-back may have softened the Central Government’s reaction.

http://www.niqash.org/content.php?contentTypeID=227&id=2479&lang=0

Photojournal: Arrival in Cairo – Viva Palestina!


mercredi 8 juillet 2009

Ban Ki-moon chooses Dutch politician Ad Melkert to head UNAMI

New head of United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI)

Ban Ki-moon has chosen the Dutch politician Ad Melkert to be his top envoy in Iraq, ... Melkert will head the UN mission in Iraq, known as UNAMI.

Ankara deflects criticism from Iraq over water usage

07 July 2009, Tuesday.

Against the backdrop of increasingly vocal complaints by Iraq against Turkey regarding the flow of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Turkish officials have said they are doing the best they can for their neighbor but that Iraq has to use water efficiently, adding that the same goes for Syria as well.

Turkish experts also claim that due to upcoming elections, Iraqi officials are trying to use the country's water shortage as a political tool.

Iraq's parliament voted in this May to compel the government to demand a greater share of water resources from neighbors upstream of its vital rivers, such as Turkey, Iran and Syria, in any bilateral deals with them. Iraq, whose agricultural harvest this year is under threat due to a chronic shortage of water for irrigation, last week appealed to the German, Swiss and Austrian backers of Turkey's Ilısu Hydroelectric Dam project on the Tigris River to withdraw their support for the project.

Turkey announced last week that it would resume work on the 1.2 billion euro dam even if the European underwriters withdraw their support for the project, which is currently suspended since it fails to meet the environmental, cultural and social criteria set by the backers.
"I want to underline that we are not insensitive toward the concerns of our neighbors. We are doing the best we can," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Burak Özügergin told to Today's Zaman.

Turkey increases water flow

Erşad Hürmüzlü, President Abdullah Gül's adviser on Middle Eastern issues, said both the president and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had ordered Turkish officials to try to respond to the water needs of Iraq and Syria despite the fact that Turkey is not a water rich country either, adding, on the other hand, that Iraq is not able to use its water efficiently.
"Recently, Turkey increased the water flow to Iraq, and this move pleased Iraq," he said.
Ankara had already increased water flow to Iraq from 360 cubic meters per second to 515 cubic meters per second and will ramp that figure up to 715 during July, August and September in response to the request of Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi. Hürmüzlü underlined that the Tigris River, flowing directly to Iraq from Turkey, is actually fed by rivers from Iran that are dry this year, too. "Turkey does not have any major dam on the Tigris, plus its pollution is not because of Turkey," he said.

The problem is not only shortage of water
An official in Ankara who spoke on condition of anonymity said water shortage is also a problem for Turkey, but its neighbors are not able to use water efficiently. "The infrastructure of Iraq was devastated. They are not using modern agricultural methods. The problem is more than allocating the water; it's the efficient usage of it. After the situation in Iraq improves, we have to talk about all these problems," he said.
The same source added that in order to refrain from the giving the impression that Turkey is dragging its feet over the water dispute, Ankara did not bring up the technical shortcomings of Iraq and decided to answer its needs. "Such complaints are not fair. They know very well that even at the most tense times, Turkey did not use the water issue as political leverage," said the same source while recalling the situation in the 1990s.

When Turkey started to its Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, Syria and Iraq claimed that the project was a vital threat to their interests. In those years, Turkey accused Syria and Iraq of harboring outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists. The three countries discussed water and security problems many times in those years but were not able to reach an agreement.

Temel İskit, a retired ambassador who was active in those years, recalled that Turkey thought the demands of Syria and Iraq were too much and they refrained from discussing Turkey's three-stage plan for the efficient allocation of water, which envisaged a comprehensive technical study about the needs of the three countries and efficient usage of water.

"But for the time being, it seems that Turkey feels more comfortable on the grounds that there is a warm atmosphere between Ankara and Damascus. Also Iraq has to deal with many problems, so those countries will not bring the water issue on the agenda as they used to," İskit said. İskit added that Turkey was reluctant to participate in international platforms if trans-boundary waters were involved.

Turkey refused to sign international agreements such as the 1997 UN Convention on the Law on Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses.

The same anonymous source recalled that many other countries did not ratify the convention either. "It means that those kinds of issues cannot be solved by forcing it. The efficient usage of water and fair allocation of it stands there as a concept that has to be discussed," the source said.
But İskit warned that despite the impression that Turkey is planning to postpone finding a permanent solution to the water problem and will simply manage it for the time being, international law regarding the subject is improving in favor of lower basin countries. "The pressure on Turkey can be increased. It is possible that Turkey might find itself in the position of being unfair since the claims against it can be based on international law even if the motive of these pressures is political. So it will be better for Turkey to finish its projects on the Tigris and Euphrates as soon possible, but meanwhile, it should benefit from its good relations with Syria and Iraq to sign an agreement with them," İskit suggested.