4th May 2010
The Iraqi Turkmen Front celebrates its 15th year, by Hasan Kanbolat
The Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC) is celebrating its 15th year. The ITC, which heads the political struggle of Iraqi Turkmen, has succeeded in emerging and standing tall in the Turkmen community, which has a very recent history vis-a-vis a political struggle in Iraq.
It has also succeeded in steering clear of factional and ethnic conflict in Iraq. The ITC maintains its political existence through peaceful means in the Iraqi Parliament. For this reason, I would like to congratulate the chairman of the ITC, Sadettin Ergeç; Turkey representative Sadun Köprülü; UK representative Sundus Abbas; Germany representative Ganim Osman; Belgium representative Hasan Aydınlı; Syria representative Suphi Nazım Tevfik; and North America representative Asıf Serttürkmen, and everyone else involved in this project.
The ITC has succeeded in what many political organizations in Iraq have not been able to do and remained standing throughout all three elections. It participated in two elections that took place in 2005 and emerged from the Jan. 30, 2005 elections, which it entered as the Iraq Turkmen Front under the leadership of the ITC, with 93,408 votes, securing three seats.
During the Dec. 15, 2005 elections, the ITC, which entered the elections alone outside of Mosul, garnered 87,993 votes and one seat. And through the coalition it formed with the Iraqi Accord Front in Mosul, secured two deputies.
During the 2010 elections, the ITC’s coalition formed with the Al-Iraqiya List won it 127,989 votes and five seats. The ITC also cleared the way for female politicians in Iraq, which is a male-dominated society. To this end, female ITC candidates Jala Naftaji and Müdriki Ahmet won seats as deputies following the March 7, 2010 elections.
The ITC was established on April 24, 1995. The first headquarters was located in Arbil. The Arbil-centered ITC had 17 offices, one television and one radio station. In the Third Turkmen General Assembly, which took place in 2003, the ITC headquarters were moved from Arbil to Kirkuk. Then in 2005, all of the ITC’s offices in Arbil were seized.
The founding chairman of the ITC was Turhan Ketene. Sinan Çelebi (the current minister of industry and trade in the regional administration of northern Iraq) in 1996 and Vedat Arslan (the former minister of industry and trade in of the regional government in northern Iraq), then Sanan Ahmet Kasap, also known as Sanan Ahmet Ağa, in 2000 and Faruk Abdullah in 2003 followed suit as the ITC chairman. Since 2005, the role of the ITC chairman has been held by Ergeç.
The decisions made by the ITC are reached during conventions held every other year, which have more recently been held every third year. This is also where the ITC chairman is elected. It is during these conventions that the Turkmen National Parliament’s 71 members are elected. The ITC has six foreign offices located in Turkey, England, Germany, Belgium, Syria and North America. Furthermore, located in Iraq, it has over 100 communication offices in cities such as Baghdad, Mosul, Salahaddin, Diyala, Wasit, Arbil, Sulaymaniyah and Duhok.
The ITC organization is made up of the chairman, executive council, the Turkmen Parliament, regional directorates, administrative and finance chambers, public relations office, health chamber, education and culture chamber, non-governmental organization, information chamber, political chamber, security chamber, foreign relation chamber and elections chamber.
It can be said that the ITC, in terms of its organizational structure and purpose of establishment, functions as a supra-party structure, responding to all of the needs of the Turkmen through its services. In this context, the ITC provides educational, cultural, social and economic aid, health services and supports other Turkmen civil and political organizations.
The ITC is one of the pillars in the democratization of Iraq. The organization, which has been an exemplary formation for Turkmen of the Middle East, is necessary for Iraq and the Middle East at large.
04 May 2010, Tuesday