dimanche 25 octobre 2009

Disinformation About Kerkuk on BBC

Disinformation About Kerkuk
Orhan Ketene

To whom it may concern at BBC:

It is very disappointing to see the most prestigious news site in the world do such a mistake as in BBC correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse’s report about Kerkuk on Tuesday, 20 October 2009.

In his report he states :
“Kirkuk is divided between Arabs, Kurds and a small number of Turkmens. All three communities claim the city and its surrounding lands as their own.”
A small number of Turkmens? Where did he get this information?
If this statement came from correspondents of other countries, it would have been excused. But to come from a British correspondent? That is unacceptable.
Because Britain dominated Iraq for fourty years (1918-1958) and they knew exactly who is who and how many.It would have been very beneficial if he made a little research in the British archives or read Cecil J. Edmonds book “Kurds, Turks and Arabs” where he clearly stated in the twenties that the city of Kerkuk was a Turkmen city.
In another paragraph he states:“Inside the city itself, Arabs and Kurds and Turkmens have lived alongside one another for centuries.”

Another wrong information! There were no Arabs or Kurds in Kerkuk for centuries. I am wondering if Gabriel is misinformed or is he disinforming the public? Whichever is true it is unjustifiable.

Let me tell you and others, the simple facts of Kerkuk:

Kerkuk remained a Turkmen city up until 1958 when the Communist Iraqi government declared the Kurds as partners of the Arabs and neglected the Turkmens. They invited Mustafa Barzani the Kurdish rebel leader back from his exile in Russia. Whose first demand was to include Kerkuk in his proposed autonomous Kurdistan. From that date on, the Kurds poured into the city to change the demographics. This campaign intensified in 1970 when Saddam, without consulting the Iraqi people, gave autonomy to the Kurds and neglected the Turkmens again.
Upon Kurdish insistance on Kerkuk, Saddam filled the city with Arabs from the south.

Before the American invasion of Iraq, and despite all the Kurdification and Arabization efforts, Kerkuk was still a Turkmen majority city with Arabs as one third and the Kurds as one quarter.

It was the Americans who allowed the 600.000 Kurds to pour into the city because they were angry with the Turks decision not to allow passage to the American troops through Turkey to Iraq.

Turkmens paid the heaviest price for a quarrel between US and Turkey which they have no responsibility or control what so ever.

The only reason for Kurdish insistance on including Kerkuk in their federal Kurdistan is because they need Kerkuk’s oil for their future independent state.

Therefore, the information that the Turkmens are a little minority in Kerkuk is false. The Turkmens are the original and majority inhabitants of Kerkuk.The names of the districts of original Kerkuk (before the Kurdish and Arabic influx) are Turkmen names.
The names on the cemeteries are of the Turkmens.
Just as the large numbers of Indians in London does not make it an Indian city so does the large numbers of Kurds in Kerkuk does not make it a Kurdish city.
For more information Gabriel and other at BBC can contact the Iraqi Turkmen Front London representative Mrs. Sundus Abbas at itf_london@hotmail.com or many Turkmen websites which can supply enough information about the Turkmenity of Kerkuk (www.kerkukmedya.com, www.kerkuk.net, www.turkmen.nl)
Yours truly,
Orhan Ketene

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