AVRUPA TIMES/LOMDON-The interview that THA talks had on the radio with David Barry and Paul ope. The programme of speaking time to talk about the crisis of the middle east, the persecution of the turkmen. Sundus is a political advisor and activist for Turkmen in Iraq. The Iraqi Turkmen have been victims of decades of persecution and victimization as a distinct community in Iraq. Hopes that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein would improve their situation and offer redress for past injustices suffered have yet to be fulfilled as they continue to suffer from various forms of discrimination and assimilation and migration pressures. After ISIL’s attack, ISIL started to attack Turkmen town and villages driving more than 300 thousands Turkmens from their homelands, killing hundreds and kidnapping others including women and children. ISIL fighters are currently en route to Kirkuk, which is another city inhabited by Turkmens. Kirkuk has been exposed to a Kurdization process since the 2003 American invasion after the long years of Saddam’s suppressive Arabization policies.
The Iraqi Turkmen human rights research foundation, which is known as (SOITM), was instituted during a very difficult period of Turkmen and Iraqi history.1 Iraq was suffering under the oppression of a dictator and from the international community’s punishments and the Turkmen of Iraq became victims of actual ethnic cleansing processes. After having suffered from cruelties inflicted by the Baghdad authorities, the Kurdish parties however started governing their region. In fact, the Kurdish authorities replaced the dictatorial Ba’ath regime and oppressed the other non- Kurdish communities, particularly the Turkmen.2
SOITM, realizing the difficulties of its mission, started its activities in 2002, by monitoring and documentation of human rights violations and the subsequent preparation of reports and articles to enlighten the international community on the situation.
Due to the lack of resources on the Iraqi Turkmen in the western and international libraries, SOITM started to prepare articles on Turkmen history, its geography and population. SOITM also prepared reports on other Iraqi minorities. As SOITM addresses the international community and the Arabic world, it adopts English as its official language and uses it in its activities and in the preparation of reports and articles. SOITM additionally uses the Arabic language in its publications.
After several years of hard work in the international arena, SOITM realized that the major cause of the failure of the Turkmen policy is the disorganization and dispersion of the Turkmen political structure and the absence of an independent Turkmen political system. It can be easily concluded that this is the main cause of the disasters which the Iraqi Turkmen have had to confront. Hence, the Turkmen failed to retrieve their human rights which were usurped during the Ba’ath regime and at the same time were exposed to aggressive violations of their human rights.
A glance at the Turkmen political history and a simple search for the causes of their failure in building an independent Turkmen political system enlighten the major role of Turkey in this context. Turkey has dominated the Turkmen political system since 1990, before which the Turkmen of Iraq were completely ignored by Turkey.
After realizing this fact, SOITM approved the idea that “The Turkey should change its policy towards the Turkmen”. This was expressed by SOITM in every talk with Turkmen politicians and intellectuals. Additionally, SOITM adopted the mission to further research the Turkish unconstructive role and enlighten the Turkmen community about the factors which prevented the structuring of the Turkmen political system and hampered its development.
SOITM started writing a series of confidential articles under the general title “An evaluation of Turkey’s ‘Turkmen Policy’” in 2008. Until now four articles have been written and distributed to a very limited number of Turkmen politicians, writers and intellectuals and to the Turkish and other kin country’s authorities, such as Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. The first article was only published after a year of internal circulation. Two of these articles were translated to Arabic and Turkish and the other two will be translated in the future.
The Evaluation of Turkey’s ‘Turkmen Policy’ (part II) was sent to about seventy addresses including the highest Turkmen politicians, writers and opinion leaders which mostly confirmed the entire information presented in the article. This shows that despite the Turkmen realization of the harmful role of Turkey in the administration of the Turkmen political system, they are unable to intervene or do not dare to do so.
After five years work in this field, SOITM is convinced that Turkey is aware of the situation and determines its Turkmen polies purely in adherence with Turkish national interests and therefore has no desire to change its Turkmen policy.