On the 54th Anniversary of the Kirkuk Massacre, UNPO extends support to Iraqi Turkmens who continue to face human rights violations in Iraq.
Today, 14 July 2013, marks the 54th anniversary of the Kirkuk massacre of the Iraqi Turkmens. On this day in 1959 animosity towards the Iraqi Turkmens came to a head in Kirkuk, and erupted in a spectacle of violence, leaving approximately 20 Turkmens dead. On that day in Kirkuk, a parade was taking place, celebrating the first anniversary of the new Republic of Iraq. As the parade was meandering through the streets of Kirkuk, it was set upon by assailants with automatic weapons. In the ensuing chaos there were reports of prolific incidences of torture and barbarism, including automotive keelhauling.
Following the massacre, supporters of the old regime within the Iraqi Army began mortaring Turkmen homes, razing over 120 dwellings. The total death toll of Turkmens ranged from 40 to 80, with an additional 130 becoming injured in the fray. These tallies do not consider the infrastructural damage, psychological effects, or looting which accompanied the mayhem. A military detachment was sent from Baghdad to restore a tenuous order.
Recently, the Turkmens have been subject to land grabbing, assimilation campaigns, and religiously- ethnically-motived violence. Furthermore, as Iraq has no minority rights or anti-discrimination laws, incidents of Turkmen mistreatment in prisons, unregulated enforcement of capital punishment, disappearances of Turkmen intellectuals, and economic neglect are all too common.
On the anniversary of the massacre UNPO would like to extend its support to the Iraqi Turkmens and their continued struggle against human rights violations in Iraq.