On 19th January 2014, Turkmens from the Netherlands and Belgium gathered in Amsterdam to commemorate their Martyrs of 16th January 1980.
The meeting started with a speech by Eşref Kerkülü, TÖGB - Hol. Türkmeneli Birliği, it was followed by the singing of the Iraqi Turkmen National Anthem.
After 2 minutes of silence to commemorate the Martyrs, verses of the Holy Koran were recited by Uyghur Imam Husetin Tacalli.
The meeting continued with speeches by ITF EU representative Dr Hassan Aydinli, TÖGB - Hol. Türkmeneli Birliği Eşref Kerkülü, and Eğitimci Öğretmen Dr. Halil Otrakci.
The commemoration was also attended by Turkish and Azerbaijani journalists and friends.
* Turkmen Martyrs of 16th January 1980
"On March 25th, 1979, a group of Turkmen leaders was arrested. Among them were Dr Necdet Nuraddin Kocak and (retired) Brigadier Abdullah Abdulrahman. This was just a few days after the arrests of Dr Redha Demirci and a businessman, Adel Sharif. For nine months, right up to the day before their execution, their exact location and legal charges against them were unknown. Their families were notified they had been granted permission to visit them for a farewell meeting only on the eve on their execution. They had been sentenced to death on January 16, 1980, by the notorious Revolutionary Court that had denied them a fair trial or professional, legal defence. Hence the Baath government, for the first time, demonstrated their willingness to carry out the execution and assassination of Turkmen activities. This was the demise of Dr Demirci who was believed to succumb to horrible punishment in the prison. Obviously, to obtain confessions, the bodies of the other revealed horrifying marks as a result of punishments during interrogation."
Excerpt from Erşat HÜRMÜZLÜ's book: 'THE TURKMEN REALITY IN IRAQ'
"On 16th January 1980, dozens of Turkmen intellectuals and leaders were sentenced to death after mock and censored trials. Most prominent among them were retired Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman, Associate Professor Dr. Necdet Kocak, Agricultural Engineer Dr. Riza Demirci, and businessman Adil Sherif, Lieutenant Colonel Halit Akkoyunlu, educator Mehmet Korkmaz. Later, hundreds of Turkmen intellectuals were similarly tried and hanged. Many others died in prisons from torture. Trials were behind closed doors and defendants did not have the right to hire lawyers"
Excerpt from Mofak Salman Kerkuklu's book: 'Turkmen of Iraq'.