Salihi says the amendment is meaningful in a period of intense violence against Turkmens in Iraq.
World Bulletin / News Desk
A new law amendment in Iraq will allow Turkmen, Syriac and Asuri people to open schools in their localities for education in their mother tongue, Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) head Ershad Salihi said on Thursday.
The Iraqi National Assembly voted on Wednesday in favor of the amendment to add Turkmen, Syriac and Asuri languages to official languages of Iraq, bringing the number of official languages in the country to five after Arabic and Kurdish.
"Turkmen, Syriac and Asuri minorities in Iraq will be able to open courses and educational institutions at all levels that serve to enhance the human potential," said Salihi in a written statement.
The Turkmen language was used officially in Iraqi provinces such as Kirkuk and Irbil as far back as 80 years ago, he said, adding that the practice was later banned.
The Iraqi Turkmen leader said that he considers the ratification of the amendment meaningful especially in a period of violent incidents against Turkmens.
The new measures came out after an appeal by deputies representing the three minorities.
The new law also includes a clause on the use of Kurdish in all governmental procedures and official correspondence as well as scripts on money and passports.