samedi 23 mars 2013

Corrections needed in article about Iraqi Turkmens published in Azzaman

Some corrections needed in the article published in Azzaman:

1) It is incorrect to say that Turkmens are a 'minority' in Iraq. On 28/07/2012 the Iraqi Parliamentarians unanimously recognized and voted that Turkmens are one of the three main ethnic components of Iraq, alongside the Arabs and the Kurds.

2) The following statement is incorrect: "Turkmen are part of large waves of emigration and settlement by Turks during the Ottoman Empire" because The Turkmen presence in Iraq pre-dates the Ottoman rule in Iraq.

The Turkmens came to Iraq from Turkestan (Central Asia) and particularly from today’s Turkmenistan, in successive waves.
The first recorded document of their existence as “Turks” in Iraq was in 632 AD in a peace treaty of “Banuqia”, between the Turkish prince Bozbörü Sülübay and Khalid Bin Walid, mentioned in the book of “Mu’jamul Buldan- Dictionary of the Countries” written by the Muslim historian Yaqut Al-Hamawi who mentioned about the existence of several Turkish principalities in Iraq and emphasized on two of them in central Euphrates called the Banuqlu and Batuqlu which were allied with the Sassanid Persian Empire.
Turks took high positions up to the level of prime ministry in the Sassanid Empire and portrayed the fiercest resistance against the Islamic Arab conquest of Iraq.

The high military capabilities of the Turkish soldiers attracted the attention of the muslim Arabs, so, the Umayyad Arab Empire recruited large numbers of Turkish military experts from Turkestan (Central Asia).
They became highly influential in the army and the administration of the Abbasid Empire which followed the Umayyads.

The Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad asked for the help of Tughrul Beg, the chief of the Seljuk Turks to remove the Persian Buwaihids who dominated Baghdad for a century. In 1055 the Caliph of Bagdad declared Tughrul Beg as a “Sultan” (the master of power) and from that day on, the Turkish era began and the Turks became the rulers of the Middle East.

The Turkish Era in Iraq
The word Turk and Turkmen became synonymous in the Middle East, one means the other.
The Turkmens established 6 states in Iraq:
1- The Seljuk Empire: 1055-1149                                    94 years
2- The Atabegs (of Musul, Erbil and Kerkuk): 1149-1258 109 years
3- The Ilkhans (Mongol and Turkish mix): 1258-1336       78 years
4- The Jalairids (Mongol and Turkish mix): 1336-1360     24 years
5- The Barans (Qara Qoyunlu) : 1360-1469                     109 years
6- The Bayindirs (Aq Qoyunlu): 1469-1508                       39 years

The Safawid Turks of Azerbaijan ruled Iraq:
1508-1534   26 years
1623- 1638  15 years 
Total :                                                                            41 years

Ottoman Turks ruled Iraq until the end of WW1: 
1534-1623      89 years
1638- 1918   280 years
Total:                                                                           369 years

Total Direct Turkish/Turkmen rule:                              863 years

3) It is not true that Turkmens are mostly Shiites. In reality approximately half of the Turkmen community is Shia while the other half is Sunna. It is quite common for Turkmen Shiites and Turkmen Sunna to intermarry.  

Article published in Azzaman: 

Iraqi minority asks for international protection

Azzaman, March 20, 2013

Iraqi Turkmen say they are not being treated properly and equally and have asked the United Nations and the European Union for protection.
In a statement, the head of a coalition grouping the various Iraqi Turkmen factions Arshad al-ٍSalehi said his people in the country were denied equal rights like other sections of the society.
He asked both the U.N. and the E.U. to exert pressure on the regional Kurdish government in the north and the central government in Baghdad to do more for granting equal rights to his minority.
Turkmen are members of a Turkish-speaking minority in Iraq and part of large waves of emigration and settlement by Turks during the Ottoman Empire which ruled the country for nearly 400 years.
Iraqi Turkmen mainly inhabit the oil-rich Province of Kirkuk but they also have large representation in the provinces of Mosul, Diyala and Salahudeen.
“The U.N. and the E.U. are required to pressure the central government (in Baghdad) and the (Kurdish) regional government to guarantee the protection of Turkmen,”said Salehi.
Most Turkmen in Iraq are Shiite-Muslims and their areas have been repeatedly targeted by deadly car bombings and violence by insurgents and members of al-Qaeda group in Iraq.
In Kirkuk, where most of them live, the Turkmen, like other minorities, complain of pressure and marginalization by Kurds who control most of the province through their militias and security forces.

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