February 4, 2013
UNPO Urges Action To Protect Iraqi Turkmen
UNPO General Secretary Calls for Urgent Action
Regarding the Iraqi Turkmen
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European Parliament Must Urge Iraqi Government
To Provide Safe Haven For Iraqi Turkmen
Brussels, 4 February 2013 - The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) are calling for the European Parliament to exercise pressure on the government of Iraq, to put security measures into place to protect the Turkmen minority as a matter of urgency. This appeal follows a series of attacks against ethnic Turkmen in Iraq, including an attack on 23 January 2013 in Tuz Khurmato at the funeral of a civil servant, in which at least 42 people were killed and a further 117 wounded.
Unfortunately, this is far from a unique occurrence. Attacks on the Turkmen have been increasing at an alarming rate in recent months – including the burning alive of two teachers – as tensions between the Arab and Kurdish populations in the disputed territories rise. All too often, the Turkmen community has been caught up in the collateral damage of this conflict and many Turkmen feel both marginalised and victimised by their fellow Iraqis.
The UNPO welcomes the statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton in which she condemned the funeral attack in Tuz Khurmato. However, more needs to be done to specifically protect the Turkmen community, which has suffered disproportionately from violence in Iraq in recent times.
The Iraqi government has repeatedly pledged greater protection for the Turkmen community, but any action on the issue has not been forthcoming. The UNPO and the ITF therefore urge the European Parliament, moreover in light of the visit of members of the EU Delegation for Relations with Iraq, to put pressure on the Iraqi government to fulfill its obligations to the Turkmen community, guaranteeing them a safe and secure environment in which to live.
UNPO Secretary General
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