jeudi 31 octobre 2013

Controversial new law proposes one court for shia, another for sunni

controversial new law proposes one court for shia, another for sunni

Last week Iraq’s Minister of Justice announced two new, potential laws that will impact on how ordinary Iraqis divorce, marry and inherit. Supporters of the laws say they should be free to choose whether they want to be judged in a religious court. But opponents of the laws say that by splitting the country in half in legal terms, already heated sectarian tensions will only be inflamed further. 

In the middle of last week Iraq's Minister of Justice, Hassan al-Shammari, announced that two controversial laws – one on personal status and another on judiciary proceedings – had been drafted and that they were being sent to the State Shura Council for review. The Shura Council is responsible for reviewing all draft legislation to ensure conformity with Iraqi law and the Iraqi Constitution.   

The two laws would work together to regulate matters pertaining to marriage, divorce, inheritance and the custody of minors. The first was about personal status  that is, whether one is single, divorced and so forth – and the second would deal with which court made those decisions and arbitrated on those kinds of statuses.

This is all despite the fact that Iraq already has a personal status law, formulated in 1959 and widely considered to be one of the most liberal of its kind in the Middle East.

It’s for this reason that the potential introduction of the two new pieces of legislation is controversial. And it’s even more controversial because, while the old law was seen as being more universal, and not discriminating between Iraq’s different sects and ethnicities, the new laws may well escalate sectarian tensions.

Iraq and Turkey turn the page

29-10-2013 06:11PM ET
Iraq and Turkey have decided to open a new chapter in their bilateral relations, writesNermeen Al-Mufti in Baghdad

Iraq and Turkey decided to improve relations between the two countries after a meeting between their foreign ministers in the Turkish capital Ankara last Friday, these relations having gone through a series of disputes in recent years.
The relations between the two countries have been described as historically based and founded on bilateral interests by high-ranking officials from both countries. However, they have worsened as a result of the crisis in Syria and the two countries’ contrasting ways of reacting to it.
Turkey has supported the armed opposition that is bent on toppling the regime led by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, while Iraq has been insisting on the need to find a political solution.
However, despite these differences the two countries have been trying to protect their borders and themselves from any spill-over from the conflict in Syria.
The contrasting relationship with Syria has also not been the only cause of disputes between the two countries, since there has also been the issue of cooperation on oil between Turkey and the Kurdish region in northern Iraq.
The two countries have exchanged accusations of each intervening in the internal policies of the other, yet trade relations between them have not been affected by the disputes, and Turkey has remained an important economic partner of Iraq.
In a press conference during his visit to Ankara, the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that “we agreed to take new steps in order to improve bilateral relations and to open new horizons,” adding that “a new page has begun, opening on new relations.”
A press release issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry described Zebari’s visit as momentous, saying that “we consider the Iraqi foreign minister’s visit to Turkey to be a contribution to adding momentum to the relations between Turkey and Iraq and further strengthening the cooperation between the two countries.”
Yet, high-ranking officials in both countries were cautious about referring to Zebari’s visit to Ankara, which followed the visit of Volkan Bozkir, the head of the foreign relations committee in the Turkish parliament, to Baghdad and the expected visit of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Baghdad.
“Both sides agreed to restore normal relations, but to leave the details to the joint committees that are to meet soon,” Ersat Hurmuzlu, an adviser to the Turkish president, told Al-Ahram Weekly.
While the two countries are trying to build good will, some political analysts have been sceptical. The Turkish daily Aydinlik commented in its coverage that “Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki has forced [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan to take a step back,” adding that “the Iraqi central government has requested a guarantee of non-interference as a condition of better relations between the two countries, a request that the Turkish side has accepted.”
Abdel-Amir Al-Majar, an Iraqi political analyst, said that “Iraq and Turkey need each other, and there is no way before both states but to cooperate. Turkey is Iraq’s gateway towards Europe, while Iraq is Turkey’s gateway towards the Gulf States. This was and still is the basis of the relations between them.”
“The Syrian crisis has had an impact on the relations between Iraq and Turkey, and there has recently been an international consensus on the need to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, as Iraq has long insisted. As a result, it is necessary to restore good relations between the two countries in order that they can discuss a Syrian solution. Though neither country has the ability to solve the crisis, there are many important issues that need to be discussed.”
Good relations between Iraq and Turkey will affect the region as a whole, and after meeting with the Iraqi delegation Turkish President Abdallah Gul expressed his satisfaction with the increasing level of cooperation between the two countries.
He was quoted as saying that “not only will our two countries benefit from strong cooperation between Turkey and Iraq, but so will the region as a whole.”
Gul described the recent upsurge in terrorist activities across Iraq as a “source of distress not just for Iraqis but for all Turkish people as well”. He added that Ankara would continue to support “the efforts of Iraqi politicians to bring stability to the country”.
A statement issued by the Iraqi prime minister’s office after the meeting said Al-Maliki had accepted an invitation from his Turkish counterpart to visit Ankara in the near future, adding that “Al-Maliki stressed that Iraq was keen to develop bilateral relations.”
Al-Maliki has also formally invited Erdogan to visit Iraq.
While Iraq and Turkey have decided to open a new page in relations between the two countries, the joint committees tasked with sorting out the details still have much work to do in making this into reality.

mardi 29 octobre 2013


Turkmen demand 8% of new Iraq Parliament

Turkmen demand 8% of new Iraq Parliament 

KIRKUK/ Aswat al-Iraq: The Turkmen in Iraq called to have 8% of the seats of the new Iraqi parliament; otherwise they will boycott the elections in Kirkuk elections.

Secretary of Turkmen Eli Party Sari Kahya, in a press statement, said today that this percentage is the "just" representation of the Turkmen in the coming parliaments, according to 1957 and 1977 census.

He added that 1957 census pointed out that the Turkmen were 10% of the Iraqi population, but decreased to 6% in 1977 census, "thus the 8% is a fair percentage".

lundi 28 octobre 2013

Irak’ta Türkmenlerin Statü Arayışı: Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası

Irak’ta Türkmenlerin Statü Arayışı: Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası *
Bilgay Duman, ORSAM Ortadoğu Uzmanı

Irak’ta şiddet ve siyasi tartışmalar sürerken, Türkmenler siyasi ve hukuki haklar elde etmek ve bu hakları garanti altına almak amacıyla şimdilik taslak halinde olan bir yasayı gündem haline getirmiştir. 18 maddeden oluşan bu taslak yasa Türkmenler arasında çeşitli platformlarda gittikçe tartışılmaya başlanan bir konu olmuştur. “Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası” olarak adlandırılan bu taslak yasa, Türkmenlere siyasi, idari, kültürel ve eğitim alanlarında avantajlar sağlamaya yönelik olarak düşünülmektedir. Öte yandan yasanın Türkmenlere fayda sağlayıp sağlamayacağı değerlendirmeleri bir tarafta tutulursa, Türkmenler adına çıkarılacak olan bu yasa Irak tarihinde bir ilk olması itibariyle önemlidir. Bu noktada yasa taslağının içeriğine geçmeden yasanın hazırlanma sürecine değinmek yerinde olacaktır. “Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası” olarak adlandırılan bu yasanın temel dayanağı, 26 Temmuz 2012 tarihinde Irak Parlamentosu’nda Türkmenler ilişkin olarak kanun hükmünde sayılan rapor olmuştur. Rapordan önce de Irak Türkmen Cephesi’nin öncülüğünde yapılan çalışmalar sonucu 21 Nisan 2012’de Irak Parlamentosu’nda Irak tarihi boyunca ilk kez Türkmenlere özel bir oturum düzenlenmiş ve Türkmenlerin sorunları, sıkıntıları ve talepleri dile getirilmiştir. Irak Parlamentosu’nun Türkmen özel oturumunda ele alınan konular ve öneriler raporlaştırılmıştır.(1) Bu raporun Irak Parlamentosu’nda kabul edilmesinin ardından Türkmen haklarının yasa çalışmaları başlamıştır. Irak Türkmen Cephesi Diyala Milletvekili Hasan Özmen’in koordine ettiği 18 maddelik yasa taslağı, yaklaşık bir yıl süren çalışmalar sonunda hazırlanmıştır.

Bu yasayla düzenlenen konular ve maddelerin içeriğine bakıldığında Türkmenler hukuki olarak kalıcı bir statü arayışında olduğunu da göstermektedir. Ancak Türkmenler adına böyle bir yasanın çıkacak olması bile Türkmenleri Irak içerisinde özel bir konuma oturtacaktır. Bu anlamıyla Irak’ta kurucu unsur olan Türkmenler, özel statülü bir toplum haline gelecektir. Bu tarz bir yasanın Yezidi, Şebek, Keldaniler gibi azınlık toplumları tarafından da talep edilmesi ve mecliste çıkarılması durumunda Türkmenler de genel çerçeve içerisinde değerlendirilerek azınlık konumuna sürüklenebilecektir. Türkmenlerin azınlık statüsü içerisinde yer alıp almamasının getireceği avantaj ve dezavantajlar başka bir yazının konusu olmakla birlikte bu yazıda yasanın içeriği değerlendirilecektir.

Yazının ekinde yer alan yasa taslağının içeriğine bakıldığında 26 Temmuz 2012’de Irak Parlamentosu’nda kabul edilen “Türkmen Hakları Raporu” ile benzerlikleri olduğunu söylemek mümkün olmakla birlikte, temel bir tartışmayı da gündeme getirebilecek niteliktedir. Özellikle Türkmen Hakları Raporu içerisinde yer alan “Irak Parlamentosu, Türkmenlerin üçüncü ana unsur olduğunu kabul eder” İfadesine karşıt olarak yasa tasarısında pozitif ayrımcılık içeren ifadelerin yer alması Türkmenlerin azınlık statüsüne sokabilecek nitelikte olacaktır. Zira “Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası” taslağının 3. maddesinde Türkmen İşleri Yüksek Konseyi adı altında tüzel kişiliğe sahip olacak ve Bakanlar Kurulu’na bağlı olacak kurumun başkanının bakan düzeyinde temsil yetkisine sahip olacağı söylenmektedir. Bu durum uygulamada Türkmen İşleri Yüksek Konseyi Başkanı’nın, “Türkmen Bakanı” olmasına yol açabileceği gibi Türkmenlere verilmiş bir kota olarak da algılanabilecektir. Ancak mevcut durum itibariyle Türkmenler Irak’ta biri vekaleten olmak üzere 3 bakanlığa sahiptir. Bir “Türkmen Bakanı” olması durumunda Irak genelinde siyaset yaparak bu konumları elde etmiş Türkmenlere itiraz edilebilir. Ayrıca Türkmen İşleri Yüksek Konseyi Başkanı’nın hükümet tarafından atanacak olması da bu konseyi hükümete bağlı kılabilecek bir pozisyon oluşturmasına sebep olabilecektir. Böylece konseyin bağımsız çalışmalar yapabilmesi de zorlaşacaktır.

“Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası” taslağının birinci maddesinde bu yasanın amacının Türkmenlerin Irak toplumu içerisinde siyasi, idari, kültürel ve eğitim haklarının korunması olduğu dile getirilmektedir. Irak Anayasası’nda özellikle siyasi, kültürel ve eğitim konularına ilişkin açık ifadeler bulunmaktadır. Örneğin Irak Anayasası’nın 39. Maddesiyle Irak vatandaşlarının dernek ve siyasi parti kurma ve bunlara üye olma özgürlüğü güvence altına alınmıştır. Nitekim Irak’ta başta Irak Türkmen Cephesi olmak üzere faaliyet gösteren 20’ye yakın Türkmen partisi bulunmaktadır. Böylece Türkmenlere Türkmen adıyla siyaset yapma hakkı tanınmıştır. “Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası” taslağının ikinci maddesi de Türkmenlerin adil temsiliyeti üzerine kurulmuştur. Burada adil temsiliyetten kavramının Türkmenlerin nüfus oranına vurgu yaptığı düşünülmektedir. Ancak Irak’ta halen 1977’den sonra bir nüfus sayımı yapılabilmiş değildir. Etnik nüfusa göre yapılan son sayım da 1957 senesine dayanmaktadır. Bu nedenle Türkmenlerin nüfus oranını tam olarak bilmek mümkün değildir. Buradan hareketle adil temsiliyet açısından bir oranlama yapmak da mümkün olmayacaktır.

Türkmenlerin yüksek siyasi kararların alınmasına iştirak etmesi de bir koşul olarak dile getirilmektedir. Irak Parlamentosu’nda mevcut durum itibariyle 10 Türkmen milletvekili bulunmaktadır. Türkmenler Irak Parlamentosu’nda alınan kararlara bu anlamda katkı sunabilmektedir. Burada yapılması gereken şeyin Türkmen halkını siyasi sürece angaje edip, Türkmenlerin siyasete katılımının arttırılması olduğu düşünülmektedir. Yani daha açık bir ifade ile varolan Türkmen siyasi partilerin Türkmen halkını seçimlere katılmaları için ikna etme ve Türkmen partilerine oy verme çabalarını arttırması, Türkmenlerin Irak’taki siyasi ağırlıklarını da arttıracaktır.

Diğer taraftan “Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası” taslağının 2. Maddesinin 12. Fıkrasında Türkmenlerin eğitimin tüm aşamalarında, anadilin ve özel olarak kullanılan alfabenin geçerliği olacağı ve Türkmenlerin yoğunluk teşkil ettiği okulların Türkmen eğitiminin kapsamında olması öngörülmüştür. Ancak zaten Türkmen eğitimi 2003 sonrasında Türkmenlerin yoğun olduğu başta Kerkük olmak üzere Musul, Telafer, Tuzhurmatu, Kifri ve Erbil’de Türkmence eğitim veren okullarda yapılmaktadır. Irak Anayasası’nın 4. maddesi de bunu güvence altına almıştır. Ayrıca 2012 yılında Irak Eğitim Bakanlığı’na bağlı olarak kurulan Türkmen Eğitim Genel Müdürlüğü de Türkmen okullarıyla ilgilenmektedir. Bununla birlikte Irak merkezi hükümeti ve Bölgesel Kürt Yönetimi’nin Türkmen okullarına yeteri kadar kaynak sağladığını da söylemek zordur. Bu anlamıyla burada üzerinde durulması gereken ana meselenin Türkmen eğitimine kaynak aktarımının çoğaltılmasına çalışılması olduğu düşünülmektedir.

“Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası” taslağının 9. Maddesi ise 3. Maddede kurulması öngörülen Türkmen İşleri Yüksek Konseyi Başkanı’na Irak hükümetinin, Türkmen örgüt ve kurumlarının yurt dışında, kendileri ile aynı etnik özellikleri, dil ve kültürü paylaşanlarla iletişim ve temas kurabilmesi amacıyla hükümetler, yönetimler veya yerel hükümetlerle anlaşma veya protokoller yapma yetkisini verebileceğini dile getirmektedir. Bu maddeyle Türkmen İşleri Yüksek Konseyi, Irak hükümetine bağlı federal bir yönetim haline getirilmektedir. Nitekim taslağın 13. Maddesi de Konsey’in merkez ve şubelerini korumak üzere federal polise bağlı bir alayın oluşturulmasını talep etmektedir. Bu alayın Konsey’in koruma gücü olarak algılanacağını söylemek yanlış olmayacaktır. 10. Maddede ise Konsey’in hükümet dışı örgütlerle işbirliği yapabileceği söylenmekle birlikte Türkmenleri ilgilendiren konularda Irak devletinin kurum ve kuruluşlar ile muhatap olma yetkisine sahip olduğu belirtilmektedir. Böylece Türkmen İşleri Yüksek Konseyi, Türkmenler adına bir koordinasyon merkezine de dönüşmektedir. Taslağın 11. Maddesi de Konsey’e bir sivil toplum örgütü niteliği kazandıracak içeriğe sahiptir. 11. Maddede, Konsey’in gelirinin devlet bütçesi ve Konsey’in etkinliklerinden elde edeceği gelirin yanı sıra yurtdışından yapılacak bağış ve yardımlara dayanacağı ifade edilmektedir. Bununla birlikte yurt dışından alınan bağış ve yardımlar Konsey’i siyasi olarak zor duruma düşürebilir. Bu yasanın kabul edilmesi ve Konsey’in kurulması durumunda yurt dışından alınacak yardım ve bağışların bu Konsey’e karşı olan/olabilecek tarafların konseyi “diğer ülkeleri taşeronu” olarak suçlamasına neden olabilecektir.

Sonuç olarak “Türkmen Haklarını Düzenleme Yasası” taslağını bu haliyle hem haklar ve özgürlükler hem de kurumların yapısal niteliği açısından bir statü arayışı olarak algılamak mümkündür. Bu yasa Türkmenler adına bazı kazanımlar sağlayacak olsa da yasanın varlığı bile Türkmenleri bağlayıcı nitelikte durumlar ortaya çıkarabilir. Yasa tasarısının belki de ana taşıyıcı sütünü olan Türkmen İşleri Yüksek Konseyi Başkanı’nın Bakanlar Kurulu tarafından atanması Türkmenleri tamamen hükümete bağlı kılabilecek pozisyona getirebilir. Mevcut yasalar ve anayasal hükümler doğrultusunda bile hükümetin Türkmenlere yönelik aldığı tedbirlerin yeterli olmadığı ve özellikle Türkmen bölgelerine yönelik güvenlik zafiyetinin aşikar olduğu dikkate alınacak olursa, Konsey’in ne derecede işlevsellik kazanacağı da şüphelidir. İşlerlik kazanmayan böyle bir kurumun Türkmenler arasında da tepkiye yol açması muhtemeldir. Bu nedenle Türkmenlerin gerçek nüfus potansiyelinin ortaya çıkarılmasını ve Türkmen halkının siyasete katılımını sağlayacak bütünleştirici çalışmalara ağırlık verilmesinin yerinde olacağı düşünülmektedir.
* Yasanın tam metni ektedir.

(1) Rapor için bkz.
Erişim: 21 Ekim 2013.

Metnin Tamamı

28 Ekim 2013 - ORSAM Günlük Ortadoğu Haber Bülteni

. -

ORSAM Günlük Ortadoğu Bülteni ile bölgeyle ilgili bütün 
güncel gelişmeleri takip edebilirsiniz.

Türkiye-Ortadoğu İlişkileri, toplumsal hareketler, siyasi 
dinamikler, uluslararası sistemle etkileşim ve daha fazlası 
bu bültende yer almaktadır. İnternet sitemizin sağ 
sütununda bulunan Bülten linkinden arşivimize de 

ORSAM Günlük Ortadoğu Haber Bülteni'ne ulaşmak 

How the US Government Betrayed the Constitution and invented an Imaginary Fascist One

How the US Government Betrayed the Constitution and invented an Imaginary Fascist One

Posted on 10/24/2013 by Juan Cole
The idea of having a strong Federal government was controversial in the early United States, and one of the ways Federalists reassured Americans that it wouldn’t become tyrannical was to append a Bill of Rights to the Constitution.
That attempt to prevent despotism has failed, because the Federal government and its various agencies have set aside the Bill of Rights as a dead letter, substituted for them a bizarre set of interpretations of law, and either avoid having the courts adjudicate their fascist fantasies or managed to have appointed to the bench unethical or authoritarian judges that will uphold virtually anything they do.
‘in Weems v. United States it was concluded that the framers had not merely intended to bar the reinstitution of procedures and techniques condemned in 1789, but had intended to prevent the authorization of “a coercive cruelty being exercised through other forms of punishment.” The Amendment therefore was of an “expansive and vital character”41 and, in the words of a later Court, “must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” ‘
If a sheriff in a small town arrested a shoplifter and waterboarded him 54 times, the sheriff would go to jail. Federal officials? Not so much.
Let us just underline the Supreme Court’s diction here in Weems. The Framers had sought, they said, to forestall “a coercive cruelty being exercised through other forms of punishment.”
Coercive cruelty. Coercive cruelty was the hallmark of treatment of Federal detainees in the Bush era. That was what Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Guantanamo were about. Some prisoners were likely victims of manslaughter by coercive cruelty (it is hard to know when to stop).
Waterboarding is illegal (not to mention setting German shepherds on people to viciously bite them). Professor of Law Wilson R. Huhn writes:

Controversial Sunni Politician Says he is Rallying Kirkuk Arabs for Parliamentary Polls

Controversial Sunni Politician Says he is Rallying Kirkuk Arabs for Parliamentary Polls

Mishan al-Juburi speaking about Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on one of his new TV channels, Al-Shaab.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Controversial Iraqi Sunni politician Mishan al-Juburi, who has accused the Kurds of trying to take over Kirkuk, declared he will be running in next year’s parliamentary elections and is organizing Arabs in the disputed province to rally behind him.

“I am working on organizing the Arabs of Kirkuk in a major bloc to run for the parliamentary elections," Juburi told Rudaw.

Juburi, who spends most of his time in Syria, said that Iraq's political and election system have been commercialized, therefore "I am not going to represent any group or bloc in the elections."

Juburi, who had led the Reconciliation and Liberation Bloc in the Iraqi parliament, fell out with Iraq’s Shiite leaders and left for Syria where he set up several satellite TV stations that broadcast anti-American programs blasting the US presence in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

Juburi said he would not ally with any Sunni groups, especially that of parliamentary speaker Osama Nujeifi. “I will not become an ally of Nujeifi's bloc because he is a partner of the Kurdish bloc and therefore has lost our trust," he said.

Following his return to Iraq, in TV appearances Juburi accused leaders of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of trying to take over resource-rich and multi-ethnic Kirkuk. Large parts of the province lay in swaths of “disputed territories” that are claimed both by Iraq’s Kurds and the Shiite central government in Baghdad.

Iraqi law says that parliamentary elections must be held by April 30, 2014, but the flawed election law itself is still stuck in parliament without a consensus for changes to it.

dimanche 27 octobre 2013

IILHR Report: Iraq’s Minorities and Other Vulnerable Groups: Legal Framework, Documentation and Human Rights

Institute for International Law & Human Rights (IILHR) Report


The Institute for International Law and Human Rights has developed a comprehensive report examining the de jure and de facto situation of Iraq’s minority components and other vulnerable populations to support the assessment of asylum claims within countries to which Iraqi refugees apply for protection, and to complement other resources on Iraq’s vulnerable populations.

Iraq’s Minorities and Other Vulnerable Groups: Legal Framework, Documentation, and Human Rights provides an overview of key human rights, documentation, and legal challenges common to many minority components in today’s Iraq, including minority women, and suggests targeted recommendations to the central government, the Kurdish Regional Government, and the international community. It then provides information on how Iraqi identity documents are processed and the requirements for issuance of documents including birth certificates, passports, and national identity cards, drawing from the Iraqi Foreign Ministry’s Consular Handbook and other sources. The book then offers an analysis of Iraq’s legal framework as it relates to citizenship, personal status, criminalized behavior, voluntary return to Iraq, and issues specific to particular components.
Finally, the report provides detailed information on the situation of 16 Iraqi components and vulnerable groups, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex persons. Details on ethno-religious minorities and other populations include historical background, approximate demographics, security situation, human rights challenges, humanitarian situation, diaspora and returnees, and the situation of women and children.

Click below for the English and Arabic versions of the full report.

See page 141 to 146 for TURKMEN 

Note: On page 146 under DIASPORA AND RETURNEES, Europe Turkmen Friendships is cited among the Turkmen Diaspora organizations who assist to monitor the human rights and security situation of Turkmen within Iraq and the plight of Turkmen refugees around the world.


ITF EU representative Dr Hassan Aydinli attended the Book Launch hosted by Mrs. Ana Gomes, MEP at the EU PARLIAMENT

Iraq’s Minorities and Other Vulnerable Groups: Legal Framework, Documentation and Human Rights

Tuesday, October 1st 2013


MEP Ana Gomes, former Iraq rapporteur, welcomed the participants 

The event was attended by:
Mr. William Spencer, Institute for International Law and Human Rights (IILHR)
Mr. Marino Busdachin, UNPO
Mr. Nicolo Figa Salamanca, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ)
Mr. Nicola Giovanni, Brussels Office Director IILHR
Dr. Hassan Aydinli, ITF EU representative
Representatives from the Iraqi Embassy in Brussels
Representatives from the KRG in Brussels
Representatives of  Iraq Minorities Groups 
UNPO staff
Representatives of HR Groups

Mr. William Spencer said that this report is the result of a research and documentation effort that seeks to capture and describe the current situation and ongoing challenges Iraqi minorities and other vulnerable populations face. The report provides an overview of the current conditions facing minority communities and vulnerable populations within Iraq, as well as useful information on Iraq’s legal and regulatory framework as it relates to citizenship, nationality, and identity documentation.

Israeli dairy farm planned in northern Iraq

Israeli dairy farm planned in northern Iraq 

Kurdish government officials visit Kibbutz Afikim to tap into Israeli expertise in production of dairy products. Israeli delegation to travel to Iraqi Kurdistan in bid to implement plan
Ofer Petersburg 

It sounds like an imaginary story, but the plan is already in action:
 Kibbutz Afikim in the Jordan Valley is planning to set up an Israeli dairy farm in northern Iraq's Kurdistan region, with the hopes that Baghdad's residents will get to enjoy its products in the future.

The project is currently taking place under a veil of secrecy. Yedioth Ahronoth has learned that a delegation led by Kurdistan's agriculture minister and vice president visited the offices of AfiMilkin the kibbutz recently.

The two officials expressed their interest in purchasing an advanced milking facility and receiving professional support in a bid to build a dairy farm in northern Iraq according to the successful Israeli model.

The AfiMilk company has a global reputation in this field and has so far built dairy farms in more than 50 countries. Three of them – in Texas, Beijing and Vietnam – are among the biggest in the world. The company has also established a modern dairy farm in Mongolia and a camel milking facility in Dubai.

The Afikim dairy farm is not the biggest in Israel, but is the most technologically advanced and has a very high milk production.

The Israeli dairy farm in Kurdistan is expected to be the biggest and most advanced in Iraq, and the plan is that the residents of Iraq will enjoy its products as well. An Israeli delegation of dairy farmers and engineers is planning a visit to northern Iraq to begin implementing the plan.

Kurdistan officials hope the dairy farm will contribute to the region's economy, as the area has been suffering from financial difficulties since the Saddam Hussein era, as well as tense relations with Turkey.

Members of the Kurdish delegation appeared enthusiastic over the Israeli dairy farm, expressing a special interest in the AfiFarm herd management software.

samedi 26 octobre 2013

Constantinople, not İstanbul - İstanbul'un ilk fotoğrafları. Yıl 1843

İstanbul'un ilk fotoğrafları. Yıl 1843

Constantinople, not İstanbul

Posted on October 23, 2013 by The Old Wolf

Photography in Istanbul became popular in 1850. However, in 1843 the French photographerJoseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey was the first person to photograph the city. Remarkably, his photographs were only discovered in the 1920s in a storeroom of his estate and then only became known eighty years later. Some of his work is seen below.
A panoramic view of Constantinople. One of the first pictures ever captured of the city. 1844.
Istanbul Overview 1944
A larger section of the above photo.
Beyazıt Camii (Beyazid II Mosque)
Sarıyer'de dalyanlar
Sariyer Fisheries
Alay Köşkü (Procession Kiosk)
Various untitled photos
Beyazıt Camii
İstanbul is one of the most captivating cities in the world. I’ve spent many hours wandering its streets and bazaars and mosques and monuments; I’d love to be able to go back and spend a lot more time exploring it. Oh, the food, and the spices, and the lokum and the sahlep and the ayran and the…
The Old Wolf has spoken.

vendredi 25 octobre 2013

The Lisbon Statement – October 2013: ACCOUNTABILITY & JUSTICE FOR IRAQ

The Lisbon Statement – October 2013: ACCOUNTABILITY & JUSTICE FOR IRAQ
by International Anti-Occupation Network on 24-10-2013
Members of the International Anti-Occupation Network (I.A.O.N.) coming from Portugal, Algeria, Belgium, France, Iraq, Jordan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK, representing many international NGOs, met in Lisbon from October 11-13 to discuss developments in Iraq and its future.

The Lisbon Statement – October 2013


Even after the US was forced by the resistance of the people of Iraq to withdraw its combat troops, tens of thousands of advisors, contract employees and security personnel remain throughout the country to ensure the goals of the occupation. Foreign and regional powers continue to vie for influence and domination over Iraq, even to the extent of intervening with militias and committing crimes against the Iraqi people. Outside forces have not given up their attempt to control the economic resources of the country and to deny basic services to the population. The root cause of the increased terrorist violence is the sectarian Bremer constitution imposed on the Iraqi people during the first years of the occupation. This has been recognized by growing numbers of demonstrators in the popular uprising against the al Maliki regime that have spread throughout Iraq since December 2012. THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ ARE CLEARLY DETERMINED TO REMOVE ALL REMNANTS OF THE OCCUPATION.
The political process and the regime imposed upon Iraq are an integral part and continuation of the US strategy to divide and conquer its resistance to imperialism and neo-liberalism. The policy of the current regime is dependent on revenge and sectarian division and encourages acts of terror against the civilian population to prevent Iraq from regaining its sovereignty after decades of sanctions, war and occupation. The I.A.O.N. re-iterates its position from the Le Feyt Declaration of 2008“Iraq cannot recover lasting stability, unity and territorial integrity until its sovereignty is guaranteed…All of Iraq´s neighbors should recognize that stability in Iraq serves their own interests and commit to not interfering in its internal affairs.” THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ REJECT SECTARIANISM AND DIVISION.
We continue to support and call for solidarity with the efforts and struggle of the Iraqi people to regain full independence. The truth about the war must be told and the consequences of the occupation recognized. The US and its allies who are responsible for the destruction and crimes committed against Iraq must be held accountable. The world has a legal and moral responsibility to help the Iraqi people to regain their legitimate rights after all the suffering they have been subjected to. But the destiny of Iraq lies in the hands of its people. We are confident that the people of Iraq are capable of rebuilding their nation and deciding the course of their future. THE IAON CALLS ON ALL SOLIDARITY, ANTI-WAR AND ANTI-IMPERIALIST MOVEMENTS AND ALL PEACE LOVING PEOPLE TO STAND WITH THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ IN THIS STAGE OF RESISTANCE.
Our main goals in the coming period are:
  • to mobilize international awareness about and support for abolishing the political remnants of the occupation
  • to intensify international demands for Accountability and Justice for Iraq
  • to increase cooperation between solidarity forces and the Iraqi people to alleviate the suffering of the victims of war and occupation
Among the efforts the I.A.O.N. supports and will concentrate on in the coming period are:
  1. the continued spreading and exchange of information about the popular resistance to sectarianism and continued violations of human rights in Iraq.
  1. the coordination of efforts to lobby national and EU parliaments to encourage governments and UN bodies to forcibly oppose the continued systematic and widespread violations of human rights by the Iraqi authorities, especially the use of the death penalty, and to support the important recommendations in the report issued by the UN Human Rights Council*, including the re-instatement of a special UN rapporteur for Iraq to closely monitor respect for human rights
  1. the work to map out a legal strategy to hold those legally responsible for their crimes in Iraq and to demand compensation for their victims
  1. the work to bring about independent international investigations about the use of different kinds of weapons in Iraq and the increasing number of congenital birth defects in Fallujah, Basra and other places and about the use of Iraq territory as a dumping ground for dangerous chemical and radioactive substances
  1. projects of cooperation between different national groups and Iraqi organizations to aid those worst affected by the conflict.
The IAON strongly encourages all peace forces to join us in these efforts.
Lisbon October 13, 2013

*You can read more in the UN document “Truth, justice and reparations for Iraq”

dimanche 20 octobre 2013

Preparing for the 2014 Elections: Iraqi Parliament to Resume Debate on Changes to the Electoral Law, by Reidar Visser

Preparing for the 2014 Elections: Iraqi Parliament to Resume Debate on Changes to the Electoral Law

Posted by Reidar Visser on Saturday, 19 October 
It’s almost four years since Iraq’s general elections of 2010 and new elections are scheduled for early 2014. Iraq wouldn’t be Iraq if there wasn’t some kind of problem on the political horizon, and this time it consists of changes to the electoral law that need to be done in time in order that the electoral commission (IHEC) can starts its technical preparations for the ballot. The Iraqi parliament has given itself until 30 October to adopt the changes, and the debate is scheduled to start this coming week of 21 October.
The immediate reason there has to be changes to the election law is simple. A federal supreme court ruling from June 2010 decided that the current system of seat distribution using the largest remainder principle in a proportional system of 18 multi-member constituencies was “unconstitutional” and that a more proportional system would need to be adopted. In line with this, the Iraqi parliament made changes to the local elections law before the provincial elections earlier this year, by introducing the Sainte Lague method for distributing seats.

samedi 19 octobre 2013

Iraq Eid Attacks: 76 Killed, 229 Wounded

by , October 17, 2013
Although the Eid al-Adha holiday began rather quietly, militants unleashed a torrent of violence today that left 76 people dead and 229 more wounded. The capital suffered several bombings, but so did towns in the ethnically diverse north. Also, fugitive vice president Tareq al-Hashemi offered to return to Iraq if the European Union will help guarantee him a fair trail. Hashemi fled after, what many claim, was a politically motivated campaign to take power away from Sunni politicians.
In the Baghdad region, the terror began at sunset. A bomb killed 11 people and wounded 22 more in the northern suburb of HusseiniyaEight people were killed and 15 more were wounded in a blast in the mixed Christian neighborhood of Garage al-Amana. A car bomb exploded next to a Gareat restaurant, killing seven and wounding 14 more. A second bomb was reported. Four people were killed and 12 more were wounded in a blast in New Baghdad. A suicide bomber attacked a Doura checkpoint, where he killed five people and wounded nine more. A bombing in Shurta left three dead and 12 wounded.
In Allawi, a bomb killed two people and wounded 13 moreOne civilian was killed and seven more were wounded in a bombing in Bayaa. A blast in Maamil wounded 13 peopleFive people were killed and 16 were wounded in Sadr City where a car bomb was detonated next to a playground.
At least 15 people were killed and 60 more were wounded near Mosul in the Shabakvillage of Moufaqiya, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed car at 6:00 a.m.
In Mosul itself, a bomb targeting a home belonging to a Shabak family left one child dead and three other people wounded. Gunmen killed a policeman and wounded another in separate attacks.
suicide bomber set off his vest inside a cafe in the predominantly Turkmen city ofTuz Khormato where at least four people were killed and 27 more were wounded.
In Wadi Hajar, gunmen blew up four homes belonging to policemen. The attacks left four people dead and two children wounded.
policeman was gunned down in a Ramadi drive-by shooting.
A bomb at the home of the head councilman of Karbala province managed to onlywound one policeman.
In Kirkuk, a policeman was wounded during a shooting at the home of an officer.

jeudi 17 octobre 2013

At least 15 people killed in bomb attack in Shabak village in northern Iraq

Suicide bomb targets Shia in northern Iraq

At least 15 people have been killed in a suicide bomb in northern Iraq, in the latest attack on the Shia community.

The incident happened in the village of Mwafaqiya, where members of Iraq's Shabak minority live.

Qusay Abbas, a former Shabak representative in the Mosul provincial council, said the attack happened early in the morning.

"A suicide truck bomber detonated himself amidst the houses of my village," he said.

"There are still some people under the debris of their houses."

It is not clear who carried out the attack, but the Shabak - who largely follow a faith considered an offshoot of Shia Islam - are frequently targeted by Sunni militants.

Last month, a suicide bomb attack on a Shabak funeral in Nineveh killed more than 20 people.

The monitoring group Iraq Body Count says more than 6,000 people have been killed in violence across the country this year.

Sectarian violence has surged across Iraq in recent months, reaching its highest level since 2008.