World Bulletin / News Desk
The issue of rights for the Turkmen minority in Iraq, who have been mistreated for years, will be addressed, said Iraqi minister of communications and provinces Dr Torhan al-Mufti.
The Turkmen’s status increased after 2003 when a new constitution was drafted, said the minister. They have been gaining more rights and are now guaranteed an education in their mother language, also the land taken away from them was given back.
Al-Mufti told Anadolu Agency correspondent that aside from having no rights before 2003, the Turkmen had witnessed extreme violence.
“The Iraqi Turkmen have been victims of great massacres, which no one speaks about,” said al-Mufti, “Before the year 2003 Turkmen had no rights - they were not considered in the Iraqi constitution, Turkish and Turkmen names were banned and the government took their land.”
“Turkmen are, like me, taking high positions and are important for Iraq," he said. “Turkmen have been present in Iraq for decades, but their mistreatment has been ignored for years.”
Iraqi Turkmens are the third largest ethnic group living mainly in northern Iraq. They have been victims of several massacres, such as the Kirkuk [north Iraqi province] Massacre of 1959, when up to 79 Turkmen were killed and another 130 were injured.
Thousands of Turkmen were relocated from their homes and replaced by Arabs in 1980, when former Iraqi President Saddam Hussien adopted a policy on assimilation of minorities.
Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns attacks on Turkmen
Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned recent attacks on Turkmen in Iraq in a written statement on Friday.
According to the ministry’s statement, Turkmen living in Iraqi provinces of Mosul, Saladin and Kirkuk have been victims of terrorism, which has intensified in recent days.
“At least five Turkmen farmers were killed by unidentified people yesterday in Iraq’s [northwestern] Mosul province,” said the statement.
Another four Turkmen were killed and six were injured on May 28 in Iraq’s north province of Saladin after the Turkmen’s houses were targeted with numerous bombs attacks, according to the ministry.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns all forms of terrorism, no matter who is the target and of what origin.Last Mod: 30 Mayıs 2014, 12:52