mercredi 29 septembre 2010

Iraqi Turkmen Front Communiqué

Written Statement from ITF

21st September 2010

Iraqi Turkmen Front reacted to the recent announcement made by President Celal Talabani about the presidency being negotiable while Kirkuk and article 140 were not. In the written statement prepared by Iraqi Turkmen Front Information Department, it was stated that no position should be monopolized by any particular party and that article 140 had run its legal course and that they opposed its implementation.

In a speech made on a televised program, President Talabani had stated that they were open to negotiating the presidency and that although this position might not be granted to the Kurds, no concessions regarding Kirkuk and the application of article 140 which is relevant to Kirkuk would be considered. The response from the Iraqi Turkmen Front following Talabani’s statement was soon to follow. In the statement published by Iraqi Turkmen Front the fact that article 140 was subject to article 142 regarding the change of the constitutional law and that the provisions of article 23 of Provincial Assembly elections should be applied to annul the changes in Kirkuk’s demographical structure was underlined.

In the statement made by Iraqi Turkmen Front Information Department, attention was called to the fact according to Law No.6 of Provincial Assembly Election Law, the registry of voters in Kirkuk for the years 2004-2009 needed to be reviewed. In its statement, Iraq Turkmen Front called all political parties in Iraq to rally for solidarity and the territorial integrity of Iraq and underlined that parties needed to act for the public good when forming coalitions for the process of establishing a government.

mardi 28 septembre 2010

Short Reflections on the Roots of Islamophobia and War on Terror

An Arab Woman Blues - Reflections in a sealed bottle...: Short Reflections on the Roots of Islamophobia and...: "In a general atmosphere of bans, cartoons and Holy book burnings, I find it necessary to revert in Time as History is almost always an hones..."

Layla Anwar writes:

In a general atmosphere of bans, cartoons and Holy book burnings, I find it necessary to revert in Time as History is almost always an honest Witness.

One needs not write long essays on this subject, at times (more often than not) a few lines are sufficient.

And these are the lines I shall present today. A quick trip back in Time.

In order to make the travelling more secure (you know, with all these terror threats everywhere), I will use a proven medium of transport - summarized extracts - with my emphasis in bold and in brackets - from a sound, balanced, reputable and brilliant contemporary scholar of Islam - Sayyed Hossein Nasr. With the hope that the "intelligent" reader will take time to ponder on the ongoing historical parallels...

" The study of Islam in the West began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Because this was a time in which Europe was thoroughly Christian, Islam was seen as a Christian heresy, and its founder as an apostate. Soon the imminent threat to Western Christendom from Islam, led many to call the Prophet of Islam the AntiChrist and the Quran itself was translated by order of Peter the Venerable in order to be refuted and rejected as sacred scripture.

The Middle Ages were marked by strong religious oppositions to Islam. Yet it was at this time that the West showed the greatest interest in Islamic thought, including philosophy, the sciences, arts and technology...

The Renaissance perpetuated religious opposition to Islam but also began to show disdain not only for Europe's own medieval past but also for Islamic learnings. Furthermore, the emphasis on Euro-centrism during the Renaissance and the rise of humanitarianism caused many European thinkers to consider people of other civilizations and ethnic groups including Muslims, inferior.

Although Islamic studies were still carried on...they were distorted by a sense of Western superiority and even hubris characteristics that were to continue into the modern period...

The Enlightenment turned against the theological assertions of Christianity and substituted rationalism (as a world view). Moreover, it further developed the idea that there was only one civilization, the Western one and that other civilizations were significant only to the extent of their contribution to Western civilization, which the French Encyclopedia referred to as "La Civilisation "... (par excellence)

During the 19th century, historicism in its absolute sense took the center of the philosophical stage with Hegel who considered all other civilizations stages in the march of the Geist in time leading to the final stage, which was supposedly realized in modern Western History...this was also the period when the exotic image of the Islamic East, with its mysterious casbahs and harems full of nude females (to be replaced by Abu Ghraib pornography) as reflected in 19th century European art (took place)...and this was also the period when the Romantic movement began, when many minds, tired of the rationalism of the Enlightenment, turned anew to the Middle Ages as well as to seeking meaning beyond the borders of the West...(yet) the manner of studying Islam remained heavily biased, not only as a result of the interests of those powers it was serving, but also through the absolutization of current Western concepts and methodologies, that were applied to Islam with a sense of superiority and hubris going back to the Renaissance definition of the "European man"...(and woman).

Source : Islam - Religion, History and Civilization. Seyyed Hossein Nasr 2002. p.xii-xv.

lundi 27 septembre 2010

Le Président Kadhafi contre la tenue d'un sommet arabe à Bagdad

France-Irak-Actualité, le blog de Gilles Munier

Le régime de Bagdad ne décolère pas contre le Président Mouammar Kadhafi qui a demandé en juillet, au secrétaire général de l’ONU, l’ouverture d’une enquête sur l’invasion américaine de l’Irak et qui entend porter cette question à l’ordre du jour du prochain sommet arabe prévu en mars 2011, à Bagdad. Pour le Kurde Hoshyar Zebari, ministre irakien des Affaires étrangères, la demande libyenne menace la sécurité en Irak, encourage les ingérences extérieures, entrave les efforts de réconciliation nationale… Des propos en langue de bois qui ne convainquent personne, l’Irak étant devenu la « mère de toutes les ingérence extérieures », et les « efforts de réconciliation » rien d’autre que de la poudre aux yeux ou un piège pour assassiner les résistants.

La position libyenne n’est pas nouvelle. En octobre 2002, le Président Kadhafi avait pris ses distances avec la Ligue arabe qu’il accusait de connivence avec les Etats-Unis contre l’Irak. Il avait ensuite condamné l’agression et l’occupation du pays. Après l’exécution du Président irakien, Mouammar Kadhafi a été le seul chef d’Etat arabe à décréter un deuil national et, plus tard, à recevoir officiellement une délégation de la résistance irakienne. Aïcha Kadhafi, sa fille, avocate, a milité très activement pour la levée de l’embargo, participé au collectif d’avocats défendant Saddam Hussein. Secrétaire général de l’association caritative Waatassimou, elle a attribué l’«ordre du courage» à Mountazer al-Zaïdi, le journaliste irakien qui a lancé, en décembre 2008, ses chaussures sur George Bush.

Dernièrement le Président Kadhafi a proposé que le prochain sommet arabe se tienne au Caire, aucun roi ou chef d’Etat arabe n’acceptant, selon lui, d’aller en Irak en raison de la situation prévalant dans le pays. Harith al-Dhari, Président de l’Association des Oulémas Musulmans, un des principaux dirigeants de la résistance irakienne, est de cet avis. Dans le quotidien qatari Al-Watan, il a déclaré que se réunir dans un pays occupé serait contraire à la charte de la Ligue arabe, et il a appelé au boycott du sommet.

dimanche 26 septembre 2010

Fallujah, a Disgrace for the USA, an Eternal Curse on Humanity

Fallujah, a Disgrace for the USA, an Eternal Curse on Humanity

by Dirk Adriaensens

Global Research, September 21, 2010

“It is the people of Fallujah’s cherished right to hold to account the International Community that now has both the mandate and moral responsibility to initiate proceedings to prosecute and hold accountable all those perpetrators, and to seek full restitution and compensations commensurate with the endured suffering and pain throughout the occupation period, continuing till the present day.” (Dr. Muhamad Tareq Al-Darraji, President of Conservation Centre of Environment and Reserves in Fallujah – CCERF, Director of Monitoring net of human rights in Iraq – MHRI)
Despite the “end of combat operations”, American forces stepped in with ground troops and air support in three incidents in different parts of Iraq, when their Iraqi counterparts were so-called “threatened by suicide attackers or well-armed gunmen”, according to U.S. and Iraqi military accounts.[1]
One of those” incidents” occurred in Fallujah on Wednesday 15 September 2010 [following the official withrdrawal of US troops], where 7 civilians were killed and 4 injured. Their names will be added to the endless list of victims of the US aggression against this troubled city. May they never be forgotten.

Killed during the raid by US/Iraqi forces on 15 September 2010
Humadi Jassim Ahmed..........old man
Manzel Humadi Jassim Ahmed.........youngster
Sameer Humadi Jassim Ahmed........youngster
Sadiek Humadi Jassim Ahmed.........youngster
Abid Swissan Ahmed.........old man
Yassein Abid Swissan Ahmed.......youngster
Yassein Kassar Saad........Former Iraqi officer in Iraqi army

Injured civilians
Omar Humadi Jassim.......youngster
Ibrahim Abid Kassar.........youngster
Hathima Jassim (85 years old)
Ahmed Humadi Jassim ....youngster

The raid has raised tensions and angered the city’s inhabitants. On 16 September the city has declared a three-day long mourning. U.S. and Iraqi officials claim that the raid killed a former Iraqi officer linked to al-Qaeda group in the country. But the claim could not be substantiated and eyewitnesses and officials in the city said all the dead and injured were civilians. Schools, offices and shops were closed in Fallujah on Thursday in protest against the attack that was also strongly condemned by provincial officials of Anbar of which the city of Ramadi is the capital. The officials in Anbar have asked Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for an independent investigation of the raid, according to Mohammed Fathi, the governor’s advisor.[2]

In 2003, after the fall of the capital Baghdad following the US lead invasion, Fallujah[3] remained calm and, contrary to what happened elsewhere, there was no looting. But the policy pursued by the US – UK of indiscriminate killing of civilians and of collective punishment, generated resistance in the whole area. In order to eradicate the resistance in and around Fallujah, the invading forces attacked the city and the crimes committed in the course of these attacks are the subject of a new report of Monitoring Net For Human Rights in Iraq (MHRI) called Testimonies of Crimes Against Humanity in Fallujah, Towards a Fair International Criminal Trial [4], presented at the15th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council[5]. This report gives a grim view of a policy of collective punishment, war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed by the US forces between 2003 en 2010:

- The killing of peaceful demonstrators
- Provocation and killing of the protection and police forces of Fallujah
- Arbitrary arrests and torture
- The first assault on Fallujah (April, 2004)
- The peace talks that could have prevented the second battle of Fallujah but were undermined by the US
- The crimes of the US/UK troops in the course of the second assault on Fallujah (November, 2004)
- Environmental pollution, its effects on health and the threat to future generations
Moreover, the city was totally destroyed. Dr. Hafidh al-Dulaimi, the head of “the Commission for the Compensation of Fallujah citizens” reported the following destruction inflicted on Fallujah as a result of the American attack in November 2004:
- 7000 houses totally destroyed, or nearly totally destroyed, homes in all districts of Fallujah. - 8400 stores, workshops, clinics, warehouses, etc.. destroyed.
- 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries have been either totally demolished and leveled to the ground or whose minarets and inner halls have been demolished.
- 59 kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and technical colleges have been destroyed.
- 13 government buildings leveled to the ground.
- Destruction of the two electricity substations, the three water purification plants, the two railroad stations and heavy damages to the sewage and rain drainage subsystems throughout the city.
- The total destruction of a bridge to the West of the city.
- The death of 100,000 domestic and wild animals due to chemical and/or gaseous munitions.
- The burning and destruction of four libraries that housed hundreds perhaps thousands of ancient Islamic manuscripts and books.
- The targeted destruction (which appears to be intentional) of the historical nearby site at Saqlawia and the castle of Abu al-Abbas al-Safah.[6]

A partial list of people assassinated during the first assault on Fallujah in April 2004 contains 749 names, 580 of which are males and 169 are females.[7] (Iraq Bodycount lists 26 casualties of this onslaught in its database, many of them different persons!). The number of civilians assassinated by the US during the 2nd assault on Fallujah in November 2004 is a multitude of the 749 April murders.

As a cynical token of “good will”, the US helped reconstruct the Fallujah hospital, in which many women now give birth to deformed babies, deformities caused by illegal weaponry used by the occupation forces during the assaults: white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and other chemical and uranium weapons. With a half-life of 4.5 billion years, DU and NDU amount to a permanently available contaminant randomly distributed into the environment. An eternal curse on humanity, inflicted by the “Champions of the Free World”.

The mainstream media has extensively reported how a British woman, Mary Bale, had been filmed dropping a cat into a wheelie bin. The cat was later released unharmed. “Whereas the story of the maltreated cat received heavy coverage for almost one week across the UK media, we (and activist friends in the United States) can find exactly one mention of the Fallujah cancer and infant mortality study in the entire UK and US national press - Patrick Cockburn’s article in the Independent.

The story has simply been ignored by every other US-UK national newspaper”, write the editors of Medialens.[8]

The article by Patrick Cockburn[9] was indeed a rare exception to the mainstream media near-blackout of news about this new scientific study, showing soaring rates of cancer and other indicators of mutagenic disorders in Fallujah[10], the city the U.S. obliterated in 2004.
Results of a population-based epidemiological study organized by Malak Hamdan and Chris Busby, published on 03 July 2010 in the International Journal of Environmental Studies and Public Health (IJERPH) based in Basle, Switzerland, show increases in cancer, leukemia and infant mortality and perturbations of the normal human population birth sex ratio significantly greater than those reported for the survivors of the A-Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.[11]

As Noam Chomsky has commented, the study’s findings are “vastly more significant” than the Wikileaks Afghan ‘War Diary’ leaks[12]

The refusal of the mainstream media to write about this report is another proof of cynical negligence.

On top of that the city of Fallujah still has no functioning sewage system: Waste pours onto the streets and seeps into drinking water supplies.[13]

And Fallujah is still under siege. Nahoko Takato, activist and aid worker of the NGO NCCI testifies:

“When I visited Falluja in 2009, it was very difficult to get permission to enter. It’s surrounded by checkpoints… Basically, only those who have IDs that are provided by the American army can enter. And only cars that get a number from the American army are allowed to enter. The Ramadi citizen can enter Falluja by foot, but he cannot enter Falluja in his own car because he needs special registration that is very difficult to get…Maybe the American army is afraid that an international will collect evidence of the pollution, uranium traces, and so on.”[14]

The demands of the people of Fallujah, formulated in the Testimonies of Crimes Against Humanity in Fallujah, Towards a Fair International Criminal Trial report, are highly justified and should be obligatory advocated and put high on the agenda of all Human Rights Organisations and peace movements worldwide.

1. The inability of the Iraqi judiciary to undertake any proceedings leading to eventual trials and accountability for the crimes and violations by the U.S.-British soldiers, is clear evidence of the complicity and to the continuation of absolute occupation, thereafter the situation was ratified thereafter with the drafting of the security agreement between U.S. government and the Iraqi government confirming and regularizing this deficiency.
It is our cherished right to hold to account the International Community who now has both the mandate, and moral responsibility to initiate proceedings to prosecute and hold accountable all those perpetrators and seek full restitution and compensations in appropriate portion and scale, commensurate with the endured suffering and pain throughout the endured periods and continuing till the present day.

2. We appeal to the international community, to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable, and obtain compensation for the victims, including for the suffering and all pain endured.

3. The establishment of an international criminal court, or at least an independent fact-finding mission to look at all violations happened in Iraq by the United States since 1991.

4. The reinstitution of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iraq is one of the first steps that the international community can take in order to get at the truth regarding the human rights situation in Iraq.

5. We call on all visual media and audio, which have documented the crimes of Fallujah, to send a copy to the office of the special procedures in the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, to assist victims of Fallujah and help stop these crimes.[15]

As a final observation I’d like to stress that the people of Fallujah have all the right, according to International law, to defend themselves against the illegal invasion and occupation of their city, their country. Their right to resist should be defended by all.

Dirk Adriaensens is a Member of the BRussells Tribunal executive committee


[3] - Fallujah is a city rooted in history, located some 45 km to the west of the capital Baghdad. It has a population of more than 350.000 inhabitants and is at the crossroad of three rural areas that total 300.000 inhabitants, which brings the overall population of the area of Fallujah to 650000 people. The population of Fallujah is conservative as regards social, religious, traditional and tribal issues

Dirk Adriaensens is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Dirk Adriaensens

samedi 25 septembre 2010








NEW ORDER, SAME ABUSES, Amnesty International


NEW ORDER, SAME ABUSES, Amnesty International


Publié sur le blog de Gilles Munier – France - Irak – Actualité – le 24 septembre 2010

Depuis les élections législatives du 7 mars 2010, les 325 députés du Parlement irakien ne se sont réunis qu’une vingtaine de minutes. Malgré les voitures blindées et les gardes du corps mis à leur disposition, certains vivent à l’étranger, estimant que leur sécurité n’est pas suffisamment assurée en Irak. Mais, en fin de mois, ils n’oublient pas de vérifier si leur salaire mirifique a bien été versé ! Dans un pays où le salaire moyen est officiellement d’environ 320 euros, chaque parlementaire aura touché, au 31 octobre 2010, plus de 167 000 euros, sans compter les primes.
En coulisse, les négociations se poursuivent pour désigner le futur Premier ministre. Ces dernières semaines, un accord tacite américano-iranien militait pour la reconduction de Nouri al-Maliki. Mais, Moqtada al-Sadr, grand manœuvrier, l’a fait capoter. Du moins, provisoirement.

Alliance contre-nature
En juillet dernier, après s’être entretenu avec Moqtada à Damas, le pro-américain Iyad Allaoui a profité du mois de ramadan pour se rapprocher une nouvelle fois du Conseil suprême islamique d'Irak d’Ammar al-Hakim, organisation chiite liée quasi structurellement à l'Iran. Au Parlement, l'Alliance Nationale Irakienne (INA), composée des partisans d'Al-Hakim et du courant sadriste, compte 70 députés. En les additionnant aux 91 du bloc Iraqiya et aux élus kurdes - s'il s'entend avec Barzani et Talabani - Allaoui espère rebombir. Depuis la désignation de Adel Abdel-Mahdi al- Muntafiki candidat de l’INA au poste de Premier ministre, Iyad Allaoui se verrait bien Président de la République, un Kurde présidant le Parlement.
Cette alliance contre-nature qui, faute de mieux, satisferait Washington, ne convient pas obligatoirement au régime de Téhéran qui a toujours plusieurs fers au feu. Mais, en France, elle fait rêver la « sarkozie », car si Allaoui n’est pas tout à fait en odeur de sainteté à Paris, Abdel-Mahdi y fait figure de pro-français.

Notre homme à Bagdad !
Ancien élève du collège des jésuites à Bagdad, Adel Abdel-Mahdi est passé en vingt ans du baasisme au maoïsme, puis au chiisme safawide militant.
Emprisonné en Irak pour ses idées nationalistes arabes, juste avant le renversement du Président Kassem, il fut libéré par la Révolution baasiste de février 1963 et élu vice-Président de l’Union nationale des étudiants irakiens. Aujourd’hui, Abdel-Mahdi affirme qu’il percevait déjà Saddam Hussein comme un ennemi, et avoue que n’ayant pas l’étoffe d’un héros, en 1969, pistonné par un parent, il s’arrangea pour être envoyé en France poursuivre ses études, et y rester.

L’arrivée de l’ayatollah Khomeiny à Neauphle-le-château, le renversement du Chah, puis l’instauration d’un régime théocratique de type safawide en Iran, lui ouvrirent de nouveaux horizons. Devenu en France communiste, tendance Mao, mais déçu, dit-on, par le PC irakien qui s’était allié au Baas pour gouverner le pays, Abdel-Mahdi adhéra, en 1982, en pleine guerre Iran-Irak, au Conseil suprême de la révolution islamique en Irak (CSRII). Cette organisation fantoche, fondée par Khomeiny pour supplanter le parti islamique Al-Dawa, pas suffisamment malléable au goût de l’ayatollah, manquait cruellement de membres d’origine irakienne pour constituer sa structure et développer son bras armé, la Brigade Badr.

En France, où il revenait régulièrement, ses activités pro-iraniennes ne lui ont jamais posé de problèmes. Bien au contraire, car il aurait servi d’intermédiaire dans les négociations du contentieux Eurodif portant sur la non-livraison à l’Iran de 10% de l’uranium enrichi produit par l’usine d’enrichissement de Pierrelatte. Le régime des mollahs y avait contractuellement droit, grâce au milliard de dollars investi en 1974, par le Chah, dans l’opération.
A Téhéran, Abdel-Mahdi monta rapidement en grade. Il se retrouva bientôt, de 1992 à 1996, à la direction de la représentation du CSRII à Téhéran. Cette position fit de lui un des opposants au Président Saddam Hussein les plus proches des Pasdaran, les Gardiens de la révolution et explique son élection à la vice-présidence chiite de l’Irak en 2005. Bien qu’à cette occasion Jacques Chirac lui ait adressé une lettre de félicitations particulièrement chaleureuses, ce n’est qu’après l’entretien fort peu diplomatique accordé par Bernard Kouchner, en août 2007, au magazine américain Newsweek qu’il est devenu « l’homme de la France en Irak ». Le ministre y déclarait : « de tous les gens disponibles, il (Abdel-Mahdi) est celui qui devrait être désigné comme premier ministre ». Nouri al-Maliki n’a toujours pas digéré l’affront, malgré les excuses exigées, et obtenues de la part de Kouchner.

Le casse de la banque Al-Rafidain
En Irak, des accusations de gangstérisme poursuivent Abdel-Mahdi depuis le casse de la succursale de la banque Al-Rafidain, dans le quartier de Karrada à Bagdad, le 28 juillet 2009. Ce jour-là, la paie mensuelle des fonctionnaires des forces de sécurité - six millions de dollars - a été dérobée par des hommes armés, commandés par des membres de sa garde personnelle. Bilan : six policiers protégeant les lieux, tués. Abdel-Mahdi a beau clamer son innocence, rien n’y fait. Les soupçons demeurent d’autant plus que l’argent a été retrouvé au siège de son journal : Al-Adala (La Justice, en arabe !). Depuis, l’affaire a été étouffée et un des chefs du commando s’est réfugié en Iran.

Nicolas Sarkozy et « son » ambassadeur à Bagdad n’ont pas de raison de pavoiser. Si le vice-Président irakien est élu Premier ministre – ce qui est loin d’être certain - les contrats ne tomberont pas en pluie dans l’escarcelle du patronat français. En avril 2009, à Paris, Adel Abdel-Mahdi avait assuré que la compagnie pétrolière Total avait « une très bonne chance d’obtenir un bon contrat en Irak ». On connaît la suite : nada ! Cela donne une idée de sa marge de manoeuvre entre les mains du grand marionnettiste iranien : quasiment nulle.


Deformed baby with two heads


New World Order Statistic

In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital, Iraq, had 170 new born babies, 24% of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75% of the dead babies were classified as deformed.

This can be compared with data from the month of August in 2002 where there were 530 new born babies of whom six were dead within the first seven days and only one birth defect was reported.

Doctors in Fallujah have specifically pointed out that not only are they witnessing unprecedented numbers of birth defects but what is more alarming is: "a significant number of babies that do survive begin to develop severe disabilities at a later stage."

Please click on the link below

mardi 21 septembre 2010

İnaç’s newest film a literal 'Step into the darkness'

Director Atıl İnaç’s international award-winning “Büyük Oyun” (A Step into the Darkness) is literally a step into the darkness of the Middle East’s reality.
Do not expect any false hopes or any sugar-coated attempts of showing the vast blue skies as an indication of freedom. Only harsh landscapes, the burning sun or the chilling cold is illustrated in this bleak tale of one young woman, later joined by another, doing the only thing she knows how to do -- survive.

That’s it: survival, accompanied by the kindness and cruelty of strangers. For it is a gamble in this landscape, holding the hand of a stranger.

Cennet (Suzan Genç) is a young woman of Turkmen origin living in a village in Iraq. Conditions are dismal, but at least she has her loving family. Of course -- as movies remind us incessantly -- her life too will change within the flash of a second when American soldiers raid her village and end up killing off her entire family. The only person that Cennet can go to now is her older brother in Kirkuk. Thus begins her long journey.

She gets on the back of a truck with a handful of strangers and heads off to Kirkuk. For now, she is lucky; her companions are amicable. She arrives in the city only to find out that her brother has been wounded in a bomb blast and taken to İstanbul for treatment.

All alone, with her big eyes constantly full of tears, Cennet has no choice but to travel to Turkey without a passport, illegally.

She finds a group of men taking the route through the titanic mountains along the border. They are fierce men and protective of her initially. One of them tells her: “It is not the night you should be afraid of, but the day, for we can be shot at anytime by rebels or soldiers.” Right he is, because the light cannot give comfort to anyone who is an easy target. They cross the border. It all seems fine until Cennet is raped by the very same man who took her under his wing. The others turn a blind eye. She cannot handle it and attempts suicide. And who can blame her? She is all alone in the middle of nowhere, not even knowing if her brother is dead or alive.

She is later discovered by a group of Islamists, two men and two women, also taking the same route to İstanbul. They save her and also take her under their wing, especially Amira (Selen Uçer), the youngest in the group. They talk about life and death; Cennet asks her if in times of desolation dying is the right option.

Amira, who has also lost her entire family, replies solemnly that it can be. This becomes a friendship based on shared sorrow, one of the deepest connections that two people can have. Thus, from this point on, we will be even more traumatized by the events that will ensue because Cennet and Amira together transform into one of the most genuine female duos in film.

The group finally arrives in İstanbul, and maybe this will be Cennet’s chance to find her brother. If only it were that easy. She and Amira are designated as the Islamist group’s suicide bombers; the women will have to comply. The group knows it, the women know it. What do they have to lose? With one of the most gritting finales, we are shown the difference between holding on to life and not, and of course how the most “human” of human beings are taken advantage of through their loss by the two-headed snake called terror.

İnaç creates a powerful film, co-written by journalist Avni Özgürel. Running for just about 120 minutes, “A Step into the Darkness” is a tad long, yet it achieves its quest of exploring how some individuals, no matter the horrific events that find them, insist on standing firm. This is not a story of bright tomorrows, but of the most basic right of a human being -- that of existing.

Newcomer Suzan Genç should be commended for her performance, together with Selen Uçer, who is claiming her rightful significance in Turkish cinema. These two women carry the entire film on their shoulders. You will never forget their faces after this film, for their characters represent the reality of our times.



samedi 18 septembre 2010

The U.S. has contaminated Iraq with Depleted Uranium : A crime against Humanity (links)

Below are links to some reports and articles:-

Crimes of the century Occupation and contaminating Iraq with Depleted Uranium

Evidence that Depleted Uranium is intended as a weapon of genocide

The responsibility of the US in contaminating Iraq with Depleted Uranium c

Iraq forever polluted by depleted uranium

Beyond Hiroshima Fallujah’s cancer catastrophe

Fallujah – Anatomy of an atrocity

The crime of using Depleted Uranium against Iraq and Humanity

Iraq Paying the Price

The Final Solution

Did the US drop tactical nuclear weapons on Iraq /Afghanistan, You bet !

Report: Fourfold increase in Uranium levels in atmosphere after shock and awe bombing against Iraq

Tony Blair stands accused

Depleted Uranium destroying life

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki there was Fallujah - and Talafar!

New Study from Dr. Souad Al-Azzawi

The Illegal War and Occupation of Iraq

The war of Uranium the ignored war

Legal case filed for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq

Depleted Uranium a war crime within a war crime

Violations of Iraqi children’s rights

Iraq - The Seriously Time-Consuming Scenario

Posted by Reidar Visser on Friday, 17 September 2010 17:59

Multiple news reports out of Iraq suggest some forces in Iraqiyya are aiming for a deal that could either prolong the government-formation process quite considerably, or end up with the disintegration of Iraqiyya itself.

In the outlined deal, Adel Abd al-Mahdi of ISCI would become prime minister, a Kurd would get the powerful speakership of parliament, and Ayad Allawi would be president – a position that currently has no privileges after the termination of the transitional tripartite presidency that was in force from 2005 to 2010 – that is, except fast cars and a nice office.

Of course, any such deal would still take some time to complete, since Adel Abd al-Mahdi would have to be the candidate of the biggest bloc in parliament and Iraqiyya and INA would have to formally merge for it to work (INA would first have to secede from what is currently called the National Alliance of itself and State of Law, and it should be noted that so far only Iraqiyya politicians are talking publicly about the deal). And apparently, some in Iraqiyya are hoping that the presidency will be strengthened, through constitutional revision prior to the seating of the government!

Do these leaders – and America – realise what kind of can of worms will open if constitutional revision is attempted prior to or simultaneously with the government-formation process? But then again, it seems some Iraqiyya leaders are prepared to go to any length in order to avoid sharing power with Nuri al-Maliki.

vendredi 17 septembre 2010

The Iraqi Bektashis at the Haci Bektaş-i Veli Celebrations

The Iraqi Bektashis at the Haci Bektaş-i Veli Celebrations

Hasan Kanbolat, Director of ORSAM ,

The annual Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli remembrance ceremonies and the corresponding arts and culture activities have been cheerfully celebrated in the town of Hacıbektaş since the 1960. The celebrations, which gained a brand new meaning following the political interventions of the 1980s, are co-organized by the Hacıbektaş municipality and Alevi nongovernmental organizations. Hundreds of thousands of Alevis share messages of unity and brotherhood at this event. However, since the victory of independent candidate retired Gen. Ali Rıza Salmanpakoğlu as the mayor of Hacıbektaş the annual celebrations have turned into a crisis.

This year, two separate celebrations organized by the NGOs and the municipality are taking place, from Aug. 14-15 and Aug. 15-18, respectively. I don’t wish to engage in a debate over who is right or wrong, but it’s a fact that there has been a “celebratory crisis” for years. And this crisis cannot be overcome.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, Turkey’s interest in the 2000s in its relatives from former Ottoman soil, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq all worked to unveil the new dynamic developing around Turkey. In the Balkans, Cyprus and the Middle East, the Alevi-Bektashi tradition began to revive. In these areas, and particularly Iraq, the Bektashi-Alevis began to organize, re-opening their dervish lodges, taking part in the annual celebrations and meeting the Alevi-Bektashi organizations in Turkey. This new dynamic caught the Alevi-Bektashi organizations in Turkey off guard. Turkey’s organizations don’t have external affairs departments. However, they were warm in welcoming the Alevis who had come to meet with them and they helped them as much as they could.

While two people from Tal Afar, Iraq participated in last year’s Hacı Bektaş celebrations, this year 20 will be attending. Their names are: Abbas Muhsin Ali (Tal Afar), İbrahim Süleyman Yusuf (Tal Afar), Muhammed Salih Naki (Tal Afar), Vaad Hüseyin (Tal Afar), Muhammed Tahir (Tal Afar), Zeynel Hüseyin Ali (Tal Afar), İhsan Ali (Mosul), Hüseyin Hassan (Mosul), İbrahim Shahod (Mosul), Akeel Ghab (Mosul), Abdul Amer Abbas (Mosul), Enver Abdukrezzak (Mosul), Ali Ekber Kanber (Mosul), Ali Yusuf Ali (Arbil), Esam Rahim Karem (Arbil), Hazım Sleyman Ali (Kirkuk), Abdullah Ahmed (Kirkuk), Hammed Ashor (Kirkuk), Abbas Fadel Abbas (Kirkuk) and Arsan Mardan (Kirkuk).

In Iraq, the Alevi-Bektashi tradition can be found among the Turkmen, Chaldean and Shabak peoples. The Shabak people have an autochthonous population of 400,000 and live in 70 villages tied to the province of Mosul. They have a language and culture that is peculiar to them. The Kakais, similar to the Shabaks, are a small population that lives in Mosul and some northern provinces of Iraq.

Almost all of the Turkmens in Iraq who have a Shiite identity, and almost all of the Chaldeans and Shabaks, were in fact Alevi-Bektashi during the era of the Ottoman state. Following World War I and in the 1940s, through the efforts of Iran, the Iraqi Alevi-Bektashis began to identify with Shiite beliefs.

This transformation quickened in the 1970s and 1980s. Shiite mosques were constructed and solidarity among Shiites increased. The basic texts of Shiite beliefs were translated from Arabic and distributed. Thus, the Alevi-Bektashi belief was blunted. The democratic initiative in Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein and the decrease in the influence of Iran resulted in a revival of the Alevi-Bektashi identity.

Today, the Alevi-Bektashi organizations that have formed in Iraq’s main cities have finished all of the preparatory work. They are waiting on the Baghdad government and formal acknowledgment.There is a new dynamic forming in Iraq, which is stuck between Shiite and Sunni beliefs. The Alevi-Bektashi belief sides with the unity of Iraq. It is also for dialogue and understanding with other schools of religious thought and other religions. Thus, the Alevi-Bektashi belief will continue to work toward decreasing the polarization of Iraq.

* This article was published by Today's Zaman on 17.09.2010.

September 16 2010





To read the article please click on the link below

An international symposium titled “Turkey – Iraq Relations:
History and Openings towards the Future”, which was collaboratively
organized by ORSAM, Atatürk Research Center and Iraq Embassy
Cultural Attache’s Office, was held in Ankara between
9th and 10th June 2010.
Many academics, experts, researchers and strategists gave
presentations during the symposium.

Minister Mehmet Aydın: “Let’s rewrite the history of the Middle East together.”


The opening remarks of the symposium was given by the Minister of the State Prof. Dr. Mehmet Aydın. Mr. Aydın touched upon the importance of the process in which states and societies get to know each other, and added that this process is a continuous action which renews itself. He said that history can never be consumed and therefore the history of the region has to be rewritten in consistence with the aforementioned process. Aydın added that: “the history of this region is not written by the minds of this region. This history was written by the third parties. First of all, sound knowledge must be produced. No matter how much knowledge you may know, there is always more to learn. We should seek each other’s counsel, correct the wrongs in a chivalrous way, and include them in the books once again. We shall read about what you have written on Turkey-Iraq relations and you shall read ours as well. Together we shall correct the wrong pieces of information. We shall transfer this knowledge to our children and that knowledge shall contribute to the culture. The history courses that my generation has taken should be reviewed in a substantial way. It is a fact that each nation-state established the structure of the system on differences rather than commonalities, in order to emphasize the difference between one another. We built our former relations on differences. However, we shall build on commonalities now.

Aydın said that “the destiny of the Middle East is not in its hands” and added that “External intervention and meddling create much trouble. However, we, ourselves are guilty. Unless we can build our knowledge of the past on solid grounds, unless we plan our future depending on the knowledge we attain, and unless we can apply those plans, someone comes and gets everything torn apart in a small touch. We are excluded from a number of issues ranging from the drawing of our borders to our cultural life. Those who have history like we do, well not reach salvation unless they face their history and learn from it. “ Aydın touched upon the issue of axis shift and said those: “this region is at a crossroads. We are aware of this. Therefore, we shall reflect upon our relations and produce our own knowledge. Those who cannot understand this judge us with aiming to resurrect the Ottoman Empire, which has been extinct. However, our good relations in our neighborhood are a boon for the West and European security as well. There is no reason to get disturbed. Turkey-Syria relations and Turkey-Iraq relations will further develop. Such development is to the advantage of third parties as well. It is in the interest of Israel that the relations within the region get better. Future and well-being of Israel depends on the stability of all the states in the region. It is not possible for a state to be safe, secure and in peace, who is on hostile terms with its neighbors. Aydın hoped that the following meetings will prove to be successful as well.

Prof. Dr. Eraslan: “Time has confirmed that Ataturk was right.”

The Director of the Atatürk Research Center Prof. Dr. Cezmi Eraslan said that peoples of Turkey and Iraq have centuries old common values and there is a fraternity between them. Eraslan touched upon the issue of the attitudes of the founders of Turkey towards the Arabs and remarked that “In the Misakı Milli document, which is the first basic text of Turkey, the right of self determination our Arab brothers in the places that they form the majority is recognized”. Eraslan told that Mustafa Kemal Pasha defended the idea of gaining independence first, then going into a cooperation in several instances that a union with the Arabs was suggested, and he put that Turkey sought for peace in its region after it was founded, consistent with the application of the “Peace at Home, Peace in the World” principle. Eraslan reminded the words of Atatürk during the Saudi King Faisal’s visit on 7 July 1931: “Apart from the effect of the geographic and economic factors that affect the developing relations among nations, common interests and policies towards peace and stability cause Turkey and Iraq to get closer to each other”. Eraslan said that the time has confirmed Atatürk’s words. Eraslan told that this symposium contributed to the efforts by both two nations aimed at learning their own history through original sources, and he remarked that they are ready for further joint efforts.

Kanbolat: “Future has not been written yet. It is us intellectuals’ responsibility to write it”

The Director of ORSAM, Hasan Kanbolat emphasized in his speech at the beginning of the symposium that the intellectual dialogue is needed alongside with dialogue in political sphere, in order to understand the transformations in Iraq’s and Turkey’s recent history and make the mutual perceptions healthier. Kanbolat said that: “Men of letters, historians, sociologists, political scientists and International Relations experts from both countries must spend a great deal of effort. We consider this meeting as a part of an effort that is aimed at mutual understanding. We believe that the symposium will create the means for intellectuals from both countries to get to know each other. Cooperation among the intellectuals will bridge the gap between peoples of the two countries. Examining the historical dimension of the relations between the two countries will shed a light on the history and provide us with a better understanding of the future probabilities. Increasing cooperation between Turkish and Iraqi academics will reinforce the bridges between the peoples. The future has not been written yet. It is us intellectuals’ responsibility to write, organize and establish it. We need to change the course of the developments if we don’t want to face the worsening of the relations. We need to research on the ways to make our peoples live in better conditions. We need to get rid of our biases. Civilization requires consensus, trying to understand and accepting the differences. We need civilization more than anything.”

Iraq Cultural Advisor Prof. Dr. Muhammed El Hamdani gave a speech in the beginning of the symposium and said that Turkey-Iraq relations go deep in history the borders that were drawn afterwards could not hamper the fraternity, and that there is a commonality built on 1200 years together. Hamdani told that: “We lived shoulder to shoulder in the past. Great powers separated us. Then what must we do for the future? We need to get rid of misunderstandings. We must build a future in which we can live together”.

In the afternoon session of the first day, Turkish-Iraqi relations during the Seljuk-Ottoman eras were approached. Zemnun Yunus El Taii, Director of Musul Research Center, made a presentation about the administrative, financial and security regulations in Mosul during the Tanzimat Period. Taii told that the Ottoman presence left its marks in all Iraqi cities, which had effects that are still felt, and that the practices of the Tanzimat Period had positive outcomes.

Prof. Dr. Gülay Öğün Bezer told in her presentation about the Turkish-Iraqi relations in the Seljuk Era that the Turkish presence in Iraq started in the Abbasid Era, when Turkish soldiers were recruited; the Turkish presence gained political and military importance in the middle of the 11st century during the migration of the Oguz people; and after the Battle of Dandanakan in 1040, Tugrul Beg focused on the region. Bezer remarked that Tugrul Beg had an attentive relationship with the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad and he made sure that the Caliph would not interfere in his sovereign area and gain political power. Bezer claimed that the Seljuks and their followers made good use of migrating Turks and told about the settling and construction practices, which, according to Bezer, constitutes one of the main sources of Iraq’s cultural and historical richness.

Osman Said, director of Science and Culture Forum in Fallujah, remarked that Baghdad and Istanbul are twins in science and Baghdad experienced a high level of development since the Ottomans conquered it. Said told that many madrasas and mausoleums were built and repaired in Baghdad in the Ottoman era, which eased the difficulties of the Ottomans’ decline, thanks to the high number of theologians and scientists in Baghdad. Said emphasized that scientist from the late era of the Ottomans helped build the state structure of Iraq.

Dr. Hut: “The Ottoman Empire struggled against Iran, not against the Shiites”

Assoc. Prof. Davut Hut from the Marmara University told in his presentation about Iraq in Abdulhamit II era that Iraq constitute a buffer zone between the Ottoman State and Iran and therefore the pressures by Iran had been influential in Ottoman’s administrative approach towards Iraq. Hut expressed that it would be wrong to state sectarian principles as the reason of the Ottomans’ approach towards the Iraqi Shiites and the prime reason is Iran’s political initiatives on the Shiite society. Dr. Hut reiterated that the policies of Mithat Pasha and Abdulhamit II had widespread influence on Iraq despite some side effects, and those policies reinforced the Ottoman control of the region, which has started to wane.

Prof. Nuri: “Arab Nationalism is an Abused Concept”
Turkey-Iraq Relations in the 20th century was the subject of the second session. Prof. Dr. Dureyd Abdulkadir Nuri, Deputy Iraq Culture Attache, said: “Turks lived alongside the Arabs when they arrived at Iraq... Turks are modest as a gift of creation. The word, “Servant” etched to the insignia of the Ottoman sultans. Turks never used force in an unjust way. They did not pursue material gain. They resisted the pressures of Zionism”. Nuri said that he is against the term of Arab Nationalism and told that “It is few in number that adapts this ideology. This is a concept, which was always abused from behind the curtain”.

Prof. Dr. Kursun: “Turkey and Iraq Do Not Know Each Other”

Prof. Dr. Zekeria Kursun from Marmara University, emphasized that Turkish and Iraqi societies do not know each other, which constitutes a serious problem. Kursun said: “Modern Turkish society does not know the Iraqi society. Intellectuals and authors do not know. During the nation-building and self-determination both sides forgot about the other. However, until the 1950s, statesmen from both countries talked in Turkish”. Kursun cited that “A supreme commission consisting of Turkish and Iraqi social scientists must be formed. We shall determine the main priorities in many fields, from history to society. What matters most is the mutual translation of the scientific books. We need to make Arabic, Turkish and Persian the languages of the intellectuals. We need to agree on the concepts to be used. We need to learn about each other from ourselves, not from third parties.”

Prof. Dr. Allaf: “We Need to Create a Generation Nourished on Facts”

Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Halil Al Allaf, director of Center for Regional Studies in Iraq, claimed that perceptions of the Arab world towards Turkey have changed after the March 1st Decree, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey has taken a historical decision, a great majority of Turkish people is against the invasion of Iraq, and Turkey has spent efforts for the independence and stability of Iraq since the beginning. Allaf said that “Turkey is an element of stability in the region. We have our best neighborly relations with Turkey. Our historians need to get together and work on common terms and concepts. We need to create a new generation nourished on facts and common culture.

Retired Ambassador Bilal Şimşir shared his assessments on the principles and practices of the treaty between Turkey and Iraq, which demarcated the border in 1926. Şimşir said that the relations, which were initially problematic, normalized in a short time. He also remarked that some border security issues still prevails as they did in the past.

Dr. Saad Abdulaziz Muslit from Mosul University said that an infusive cooperation rather than a discriminative one is needed and he cited “We should develop political consultation, and cooperation in economy especially in industry.”

“Attention to the Water Problem”

On the second day of the symposium, the future of Turkey-Iraq relations was handled. Prof. Dr. Osman Horata, the chair of the session, stressed that common energy projects, common cultural heritage, common foreign policy decisions and the water issue will go to the forefront in the future of the relations and said “The most important problem that can trouble the two countries might be the waters of Euphrates. If brave decisions are taken and implemented with a good will, this problem can disappear”.

Assist. Prof. Serhat Erkmen, ORSAM Middle East Advisor and Head of the Department of International Relations in Ahi Evran University reminded that Turkey was the only country that had the most obvious stance towards the invasion of Iraq and Turkey spent a great deal of effort for reconciliation efforts that included all groups after the invasion. Erkmen claimed that regional dynamics such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, the lack of solution in Palestine and Lebanon and Iran-USA tensions might influence Turkey-Iraq relations besides the dynamics of bilateral relations, and he predicted that the common strategic mentality between Ankara and Baghdad will continue. Erkmen claimed that, besides all these, common stance in fight against terrorism and water problems might continue to trouble the relations.

Dr. Basil Al-Gurayri from Iraq Center for Strategic Studies, remarked that Turkey, thanks to its latest regional initiatives, has become a central power, which pursues policies that solve problems rather than creating them. He also claimed that the great powers sought to punish Turkey for its policies in 2003; however time has confirmed that Turkey was right. Gurayri argued that Turkey was determined not to watch passively. Gurayri claimed that the water issue is not only and economic issue for Iraq, the water is the lifeblood of Iraq, therefore both countries must agree on it as fast as they can.

Asst. Prof. Veysel Ayhan, ORSAM Middle East Advisor from Abant Izzet Baysal University, Department of International Relations claimed that Turkey did not want a structure in Iraq, in which a group oppresses the others, rather Turkey hoped for a solution in Iraq, in which different groups can live together. Ayhan said that “What makes Turkey different from other countries in relations with Iraq is that Turkey does not exclude other groups while keeping relations with one of them. For Turkey, the stability in Iraq requires a structure to be built, in which participation by all groups to the political system is possible”. Ayhan remarked that from the First World War to 2005, the agenda of the region has been determined by external powers, and he claimed that “The problems were sought to be solved in Western capitals, and this brought more problems. We need to solve our problems ourselves”.
Dr. Cumeyli: ‘Let’s Arrange the Instruction Books Reciprocally’

Dr. Adnan Cumeyli talked at the last session, general evaluation, and declared that there is a need for a joint work to arrange the instruction books in both countries and said that the need Turkey’s archive because Iraq’s were looted at the invasion.

Prof. Dr. Gökhan Çetinsaya said that the necessary works should have been done about the 400 year old Ottoman heritage and the universities both in Iraq and Turkey are insufficient about this work. Çetinsaya explained that, like building a modern Turkey after Tanzimat Period, there have been some period like that in Iraq too and said that people born in 1880’s and grew up in Ottoman system built the modern Iraq. He added that the strategic benefits of Turkey and Iraq lead them to help each other, and Turkey has the understanding of ‘safety for everyone’. Çetinsaya emphasized that both Turkey and Iraq needs a political background to make the pluralism and different groups live together.

Prof. Dr. Bayat: “The English were afraid of a Turkish-Arab Alliance’

At the general evaluation session, the researcher in the Organization of the Islamic Conference-IRSICA, Prof. Fazıl Bayat, said that it was intentionally alleged by the English that the hostility between Arabs and Turkish, but they tried so hard to make this accepted by public polls and was actually successful. Bayat said these: ‘I’ve attended conferences at different Arab countries. Some of the terms they use drove me crazy. They say especially ‘Ottoman invasion’ and ‘Ottoman colonialism’. There was a congress that I’ve attended too in Damascus. All of the professors said that ‘Ottoman had frozen us for 400 years’. I’ve asked them this question: ‘What is frozen is either eaten or chucked out. Have they eaten you or chucked you out?’ I couldn’t get any answers. Those people have hostility in them. Is there have been really something to make it that way? I will give two examples. The Ottoman Empire spread over Arabic countries in 1516 and it continued for years. But we cannot put a clear date about when they leaved. Ottoman leaved Algeria in 1835 and this follows other countries too. Baghdad belonged to Ottoman until 1917. Ottoman flags were waved. Ottoman troops were withdrawn and occupation forces seized the city. A big meeting was held at the Ottoman barrack. They invited the people: ’Ottoman flag will be down and English flag will be up there. Come and watch the ceremony’. People ran through there but they all watch the ceremony crying. It is a person from Baghdad who records this historical anecdotal. Think about it, should Arabs have a hostility to Turkish, would those people had cried? This is the first example. The other one is this: When Ottoman withdrew in 1918; they brought the son of Şerif İhsan Pasha, who was educated up by Ottoman, as a king. First they made him chief executive and then king. The Arab nationalists there said ‘What have we done’. But it’s no use crying over a past mistake. They had agreed with English, they had been a part of their game, and there had nothing left. At that time the War of Independence in Anatolia was going on by Atatürk. They sent a delegate to Atatürk by there. They said ‘Let’s make a new Arab-Turkish country.’ This takes place even in English resources. I ask you, if there had been hostility would they want this? Churchill, the Minister of Defense at that time, hears this and delivers a speech. He says that for years their policy was to create hostility between Arabs and Turkish and after this time they will never accept that Turkish and Arab come together and make an alliance. Besides, after this English and French shared the region. They have found writers for rent to spread the so-called hostility between Arab and Turkish. They made writers to write thousands of books and articles. Now, what are in the Arab libraries are those writings. Arab historians show their opinions by those books. They show those books as resources at first hand. Are they right? No, they are wrong. I’m an Iraqi and I’m asking you Turkish: We are always blaming Arabs, and they are always referring to English sources. What are we doing as Turkish? Turkish Historical Society published some books in English, French, and Russian, but what about Arabic? You write them, show them the truth. They want the truth. It is our mission to show them the right way. Yesterday Mr. Basil said that we should institutionalize our relations and added that our governments can do this. This may be true for Turkey. If Turkey had taken a decision, it will continue for years. But it is not true for Iraq. I’ve worked in Representation Ministry at Saddam period. A sentence is still in my mind: ‘We change the constitution with a decision. Can’t we change a decision that you have said?’ I mean there may be institutes or there may be not, we should address to people. We should change the mistakes in their minds.’’

Assoc. Prof. Özlem Tür, ORSAM Middle East Advisor from METU, reminded the slogan of Foreign Minister Davutoğlu, “common destiny, common history, common future”, and said that many efforts focused on whether the interior dynamics of the region can bring about a new period, independent from the outside intervention. Tür claimed that in Turkey-Syria relations, the water issue has degraded into a technical issue when the political and economic relations developed. She argued that a similar situation is possible in Turkey-Iraq relations as well.


The joint organizers of the international symposium titled “Turkey-Iraq Relations:
History and Openings towards the Future” has decided on the following points.

1. Continuing bilateral scientific contacts between universities and research centers in regular intervals,

2. Reviewing the phrases in school textbooks and studying together in order
to correct mistaken phrases, and establishing a joint commission for the task,

3. Publishing the symposium papers in Turkish, Arabic and English, and distributing them to the universities and research centers in the two countries,

4. Holding the following Turkey-Iraq relations symposiums in Baghdad and
Mosul by expanding the subject and participation, under the Iraq Ministry of
Higher Education hosting,

5. Promoting the widespread teaching and learning of Turkish and Arabic in our countries,

6. Spending efforts to make possible the mutually sharing of historical
resources and archival materials by attaching the necessary importance to
our common historical legacy,

7. Establishing contacts with the relevant authorities in order to start
scientist exchange programs.

Prof. Dr. Cezmi ERASLAN
Director of Atatürk Research Center

Prof. Dr. Muhammed El-HAMDANİ
Iraq Cultural Attache in Ankara

Director of Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies

jeudi 16 septembre 2010


Press Release

Public Meeting organised by Women Solidarity for an Independent and Unified Iraq

IRAQ: Trauma, 'an indelible mark' on the lives of women and children

How to assist survivors of the brutal war and their Families

Since 2003, Iraqi women and children have increasingly been caught in military operations, bombings, arbitrary arrests, and displacement from their homes. They are raped, kidnapped or assassinated and are especially vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.

Such traumatic events often result in serious stress and posttraumatic psychological consequences for survivors and their families and they are in urgent need of help to cope with daily threats and prolonged traumas and above all to keep their dignity.

"Currently, the Iraqi population presents a broad-based youthful age composition –with 43% under the age of 15. But this youth/adolescent bulge can become a concern in the context of a fragile state, few economic opportunities and poor service delivery. Severe schooling disruptions, poor quality education, violence, war and displacement have certainly had a very strong impact on children’s well-being, mental health and development. Other external factors like malnutrition, child labour and early marriage also inhibit child and youth education and development. Therefore, the new generation is not well equipped to enter adult life."(*)

Public seminar with two short films and discussion following a talk by Dr. Omar Ahmed, a Consultant Psychiatrist. Dr Ahmed was born in Haifa in old Palestine, grew up in Iraq, working in the UK since 1980.

Date: Tues 26 Oct 2010
Time : 18:30 - 21:30
Venue: Pirate Castel, Oval Road, London

Closest underground station is Camden Town (Northern Line) see map here
Refreshments will be served. All Welcome

Tel 07989861380

lundi 13 septembre 2010

Abdülvahit Ahmet Küzecioğlu and Naim Basri on BBC Turkish service in 1952

Iraklı bir Türk olan Abdülvahit Ahmet, BBC Türkçe servisinin bir yayınında türkü söylüyor. Ona udu ile eşlik eden ise Naim Basri.


THIS REPORT BY AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL IS NOW ONLY AVAILABLE AS CACHED COPY - Reason: someone has reported it as "abusive"!!! Guess who wants to censor this report.

13 September 2010

Stop unlawful detentions in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

"I haven't seen my children for 10 years; I did not want them to see me in this terrible predicament," Walid Yunis Ahmad told an Amnesty International delegation that visited him in prison in June 2010.

Walid Yunis Ahmad has been detained without charge or trial since his arrest in Erbil, the capital city of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI), on 6 February 2000.

He was arrested by the Kurdish security police (Asayish) after he was given a lift in a car that allegedly contained explosives. The driver, who was also arrested, was released three months later.

For the next three years after his arrest, Walid’s family did not know where he was or whether he was dead or alive. He was tortured and kept in solitary confinement during his enforced disappearance. He has been moved from one prison to another without explanation and is currently held at the Asayish headquarters in Erbil.

A high number of people are detained without charge or trial in the KRI on suspicion of belonging or sympathising with Islamist groups, especially Ansar al Islam. Most have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated; others are victims of enforced disappearances.

Many of these detainees are from Mosul, which is in an area outside the three Kurdish provinces administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) but which is disputed by the KRG and the Federal government of Iraq in Baghdad, and to a great extent under the day to day influence or control of KRG security forces.

Some of the detainees were arrested by KRG security forces; others by US forces who handed them over to the KRG. Many have been detained since before 2006 when the KRG introduced an anti-terrorism law.

The Kurdish authorities say that they cannot prosecute Walid Yunis Ahmad as the anti-terrorism law was introduced six years after his detention and the Iraqi Penal Code does not cover terrorism offences. However, the Penal Code does proscribe acts that undermine internal or external state security.

Walid Yunis Ahmad is therefore being held indefinitely without any prospect of being charged or tried, in clear violation of international law.

Image: Walid Yunis Ahmad, detained without charge or trial since 2000.
© Amnesty International

Abdul Wahad Ahmed, Iraqi Turkmen singer - Qoyrat Beshiri

Photo from: Türkü Sitesi

The artist, Abdul-Wahad Ahmad, is known as “Abdülvahit Küzecioğlu” in Turkey. Born in 1924, Kerkuk. He went to London for education and made records for BBC Turkish. Then in 1956, he went to İstanbul and made records for the Radio of Istanbul (later TRT). He died in 2007. (

Many thanks to Jonathan Ward and his musicologist friend for this beautiful example of Iraqi Turkmen music.

May 9, 2010
created by Jonathan Ward

Every once in a while, I like to post a true scarcity – a record which not only has considerable cultural import, but which is also nearly impossible to locate. I feel I can mention my personal feelings at the start, and in this direct manner, as an outsider: today’s post is not my own record. It is a generous loan from a friend and musicologist, which I transferred and repaired. The original – possibly the only known copy – is considerably damaged, but with a new transfer we were able to make it shine once again.

Early recordings of the stunning classical Arabic and traditional music from Iraq are quite difficult to find. What’s more, the few early recordings of ethnic minority music from Iraq on any of the large, European labels, have nearly vanished a without a trace. Further, the infinitesimal amount of early recordings of ethnic minority music from Iraq on local, independently-pressed labels, are truly gifts to behold. This record falls into that last category. It is one of the few, extant examples on 78rpm of the traditional music of Iraqi Turkmen.

At least a half-million Turkmen live in Iraq and they are the third largest ethnic community in that country (behind Arabs and Kurds), representing 5% of the population (printed statistics state the half-million figure, although various Turkmen groups in Iraq claim a population of anywhere between 1-5 million, thus increasing their percentage of the general populus).

Iraqi Turkmen primarily live in a central stretch of land from the Turkish and Syrian borders in the north of the country, to the Iranian border in the center of the country. This region is known colloquially as Türkmeneli. Descendents of Muslim Oghuz Turks, Turkmen first entered Iraq from Central Asia. Though there seems to be disagreement as to when Turkmen settlements in Iraq began appearing, one date that is mentioned is 650 CE.

There is very little scholarly information in English on the traditional music of Iraqi Turkmen, as it is different from Turkmen music of other regions.
This is hardly surprising, when a multi-volume book such as the Encyclopedia of World Cultures (1991-1996) does not even list Turkmen as a being a cultural population in the country of Iraq. Major texts ignore Iraqi Turkmen music, such as Grove or the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, or the Rough Guide (scoff if you must, but the Rough Guide to World Music provides at least a passing mention of some extremely obscure traditional musical styles). Kurdish music, equally as beautiful and also ridiculously rare on 78rpm, has, by comparison, been generously studied.

This piece is an example of a particular type of long-form song of Iraqi Turkmen, called qoyrat (also commonly spelled hoyrat, but pronounced khoyrat). The qoyrats are formed around a 4-line quatrain and defined by their style. This one is in the beshiri (beşiri) style. Qoyrats are also sung by Turkmen in Southern and Southeastern Anatolia – it’s a style similar to the bozlak, another epic folk song type from the region. In Turkish musical parlance qoyrat could be described as uzun hava – a free-rhythm song that could also be a lament, a poem, a play on words, or a wail. The term qoyrat in Turkish actually means “vulgar” or “boorish” – though this piece is anything but. Beginning with the strains of a typical sounding Middle Eastern ensemble, with qanun, violin, flute, and percussion, the vocals soon take over. It is a powerful love song and lament – sung in Turkish, albeit in a Turkish that might sound strange, or indecipherable, to a Turkish-speaking teenager of today. There are universally recognizable moments, however – for instance, when the singer, Ahmad, exclaims “aman aman” mid-way through the song…”aman” being understood from the Balkans to the Indian Ocean as an exclamation of grief and suffering. Abdul-Wahad Ahmad was known as “Abdülvahit Küzecioğlu” in Turkey. Born in 1924 in Kirkuk, Ahmad had a lengthy recording career, even recording for the BBC. He died in 2007.

The Chakmakchi Company had offices and a showroom on the prestigious and bustling Rashid Street in Baghdad, along with a satellite office in Mosul. If we are to take the name literally, “chakmakchi” in standard Turkish means “maker of lighters” or “flint stone maker.” However, this is simply the surname of the proprietors, one of whom we know was named Arif Chakmakchi. At any rate, this small company got into the 78rpm business in the early 50s and only released at most about 200-300 recordings on their Chakmakchi Phon label. What distinguished them was that they catered to the local – local artists sold in local stores. What further distinguished them was their repertoire – not only did they record Iraqi classical maqam (by artists such as Nazim El-Ghazali and Mohammed El-Qabbandji), but they recorded music of the minorities. Chakmakchi Phon recorded some of the finest Kurdish singers in all their rawness – from the well-known, such as Mohammed Arif Jezrawi and his son Hassan Jezrawi, to the lesser-known, such as Mahmud Kourouri, Khalil Aqrawi or Rasul Gardi. These records would, in some instances, due to the political situation, have to be smuggled in order to be sold in some regions. Since the Persian Gulf region did not have a 78rpm pressing plant at the time, Chakmakchi outsourced their early pressings to Sweden of all places (see the label photo), and their later pressings to Greece. It is strange that neither India nor Pakistan were considered, as both had thriving pressing plants – although both were run by the Gramophone Company, based in the UK. No matter what the case, Chakmakchi Phon did not last long in the 78rpm record business. They soon ceased producing 78s and moved into pressing 45 and 33rpm records. Their musical legacy is only just beginning to come to light.

Technical Notes
Label: Chakmakchi Phon
Issue Number: CHAC 127
Matrix Number: SAMI 53

“Üstüvane Çakmakçı, Abdülvahit Ahmet
Baba bugün, Oyan yeri
Seherden oyan yeri, dönüm dirive(?) dönüm, bes men men özüm(?)
Ey ey ey ey ölem aman, Yüz yıl sel gelse oymaz
Bir gün gam oyan yeri
Dede gene, Yüz yıl sel gelse oymaz
Valla, Bir gün gam oyan yeri
E yar e yar e yar eluvden
Aman aman aman eluvden
Hiç bilmem hara gedim
Baba bugün, Seherde sada gelir
Zulmü çok dada gelir, dönüm diluve(?) dönüm, e bes men ölüm
Ey ey ey ey ölem aman, Bir ölüm bir ayrılmak
İkisi yada gelir
Dede gene, Bir ölüm bir ayrılmak
İkisi yada gelir
E yar e yar e yar, eluvden
Aman aman aman, eluvden
Hiç bilmem hara gedim”

Please click on the link below to listen to Abdul Wahad Ahmed - Qoyrat Beshiri:

Abdülvahit Küzecioğlu, 1340 (M. 1924) yılında Kerkük’te doğdu. Küçük yaşlarda babasından ve çevresinin çok değerli usta sanatçılarından pek çok hoyrat ve türkü öğrendi. Makam ve hoyrat okuma usullerini belledi.

Henüz 20’li yaşlarda, Irak Petrol Şirketi tarafından bir mesleki eğitim kursuna katılmak üzere İngiltere’ye gönderilen Küzecioğlu, Londra’da BBC’nin Türkçe servisi için okuduğu hoyrat ve türkülerle Ortadoğu, Kafkas çevresi başta olmak üzere, özellikle Türkiye, Azerbaycan, Irak ve İran civarında büyük şöhret kazandı. Üstad Cemil Beşir’in kemanı eşliğinde doldurduğu plaklarla geniş halk kitlelerine ulaştı.

1956 yılında Türkiye’ye yaptığı bir gezi sırasında, İstanbul Radyosu’nda Kerkük hoyrat ve türkülerinden oluşan bantlar doldurdu. Üstad Nida Tüfekçi, kendisinden en çok eser derleyen kişi oldu.

Ülkemizde, hoyrat geleneğinin tanınmasında, geniş kitlelere ulaşmasında ve yeni nesillerce bilinmesinde Abdülvahit Küzecioğlu’nun büyük emekleri var: Beşiri, Muçula, Muhalif, Yolcu, Ömergele, Nobatçı, Matarı, İskenderi, Delli Heseni ve Mazan Hoyratlarını yorumlayışı benzersizdi. Kerkük Divanı, Gazeller ve hemen herkesin belleğine kazınan pek çok türkü onun sesinden ilk kez yayıldı.

A. Küzecioğlu, hoyratların ve Kerkük türkülerinin önemli bir kaynağı ve yorumcu; Türkmen sanatına gönül veren dinleyicilerin ve sanatçıların yetişmesini sağlayan bir yol gösterici idi. Abdurrahman Kızılay da onun yetiştirdiği çıraklardan biri idi.

A. Küzecioğlu, Sesi, yorumu ve yetiştiği coğrafyanın kültürüne dayanan müzik birikimiyle, hafızalardaki yerini uzun yıllar koruyacak bir müzik elçisidir.

Kerkük ve çevresi Türkmen Müzik geleneğinin -özellikle de hoyrat, divan, gazel, tenzile ve türkülerin- önemli yorumcusu ve kaynak kişisi Abdülvahit Küzecioğlu, 29 Haziran 2007’de, saat 22.30 civarında Kerkük’te öldü. 30 Haziran’da Kerkük’te toprağa verildi.

Türkiye’ye 1950’li yıllarda gelerek, çok sayıda Kerkük türküsünü TRT repertuarına kazandıran, plaklar dolduran ve toplum belleğine taşıyan Abdülvahit Küzecioğlu, 83 yaşındaydı.

Süleyman Şenel

dimanche 12 septembre 2010

Iraqis will no longer tolerate a de facto monopoly government

11 September 2010, Saturday.

Iraq Vice President Tarik El Haşimi said that the people of Iraq would not tolerate a de facto monopoly government any more.

Recaps from the Iraqi Agenda

• Iraq Vice President Tarik El Haşimi said that the people of Iraq would not tolerate a de facto monopoly government any more.

• Iraq National List Prime ministerial candidate Adil Abdulmehdi said that if his candidacy caused the political process to go into further deadlock and chaos, he was willing to forgo his prime ministerial candidacy.

• Iraq National List Member Hadi El Amiri informed that if the National Coalition was once again unsuccessful in determining a prime ministerial candidate, the legal rights of the El Iraqi List constituency would have to be acknowledged.

• El Iraqi List constituency member Cemal Batih informed that they were against any action and cooperation with Nuri El Maliki.

• Iraq Civil Aviation General Director Adnan Bleybil resigned from his position.

samedi 11 septembre 2010

The Risks Pertaining to U.S. Withdrawal From Iraq

By Dr. Hicran Kazancı

The majority of the combat troops of the USA have began to withdraw from Iraq. According to the agreement made between USA-IRAQ, the withdrawal shall be completed until the middle of 2011. However, approximately 50 thousand US non-combatant personnel shall remain in Iraq for purposes such as the training of Iraqi military and security forces.

According to the Rand Corporation Research Center, the incidents and risks pertaining to US troops withdrawing from Iraq consist of the following:

1-During the seven years that the US presence was in Iraq, various groups in Iraq feel that the Iraqi Kurds have received much more than their fair share and these groups feel an antipathy towards the Kurds. During the US withdrawal from Iraq, it is probable that these groups will turn this occasion into an opportunity to retaliate. Such a development may lead into a civil war.
2-The Iraqi Kurds may start a movement for independence.
3-The Iraqi Kurds may take action in order to enlarge their autonomous geographical area.
4-The Iraqi Kurds may endeavor to occupy controversial areas.

In case any of the above mentioned risks is realized, the country will be dragged into civil strife and conflict. For this reason, if the USA does not want to see this happen after its withdrawal from Iraq, it must take preventive action regarding the Iraqi Kurds now. Both the neighboring countries of Iraq as well as the citizens remaining in Iraq are definitely against any movement on the part of the Kurds toward an independent structure. For this reason, such an inception by the Kurds will lead to serious strife within the country as well as threaten regional stability. In this sense, we are faced with the reality that an independent structure in northern Iraq in the short and medium term is unfeasible. If the Kurds go for independent statehood, it is without doubt that this state will not go beyond being an empty frame. In addition, the USA shall endeavor to work on a formula which would ensure a compromise and be acceptable to the Iraqi groups and resolve the attempts at establishing sovereignty over conflict areas and the efforts of the Iraqi Kurds to expand the autonomous regions. The USA intends to ensure that the system it has established in Iraq is not compromised and continues to function. In other words, any attempts at disruption will be prevented.

If Turkey is to have positive relations with both Iraq and Northern Iraq, it is vital that the PKK terror organization is eliminated. Particularly, the elimination of the PKK terror organization will also eliminate Turkey’s justification for intervention in Northern Iraq. In conclusion, it is crucial that the intelligence cooperation process regarding the PKK terror organization carried out by the USA-Turkey transforms into a PKK terror organization elimination process.
Before its intervention in Iraq, the USA endeavored to gain the support of Turkey. For this purpose, high level US delegations visited Turkey. The visiting US delegations were told by Turkish officials that such a military enterprise would amount to “opening Pandora’s box and the gates of hell”. Turkish officials even endeavored to discourage the US government from such an enterprise. There are approximately 2.700 different clans and 16 various sects with mutual ties living in a geographical area spreading from Africa to the Middle East and on to Central Asia. Interfering with any part of this structure will result in disrupting the established system on this large geographical area and it will be impossible to prevent the ensuing chaos. However, the Bush administration did not take the Turkish discourse seriously. At that time, the USA was determined to redraw the maps of the Middle Eastern countries within the scope of the Great Middle East Project and had selected Iraq as its starting point. The intervention on Iraq opened Pandora’s box. As a result, Iraq was almost divided into three parts during 2005 and 2006. However, the US which wanted to divide Iraq was politically shattered. The division of Iraq was prevented by neighboring countries which did not sanction the division. Now that the US is withdrawing from Iraq, in order to protect its interests, it wants to have stable Iraq with good relations with its neighboring countries. In addition, the US wants all the countries in the region to develop friendly relations. The country to lead these efforts is Turkey. Because of its status, Turkey is in a position to design the region and the US prefers that the region is administered rather than lead by a country which is well familiar with the region. A short while after the Hariri assassination which took place on the 14th of February 2005 in Lebanon, Turkey prevented an intervention of the US on Syria which was about to take place. Since Turkey has always taken part to bring about peace and its status as a structural regional power, the US has put Turkey in the forefront as the leading force in the Middle East for the new era. Including its relations with the regional countries as well as the importance given to stability, peace and security, Turkey applies a zero problem policy with its neighbors. However, it is clear that the valid policy in the Middle East is power. If mutual goodwill is not the rule and power is inadequate, the zero problem policy will not be sufficient.

Dr. Hicran Kazancı
Iraqi Turkmen Front
Turkey Representative

August 2010