Tur­key supports for­ma­tion of an of­fi­cial Turk­men mil­i­tary unit in Iraq

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Fol­low­ing a string of vi­o­lence against Turk­men, the Turk­men com­mu­nity is call­ing, with Turk­ish sup­port, for the for­ma­tion of a mil­i­tary unit to pro­tect them­selves.

The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment re­cently re­vealed that the Turk­men of Iraq have asked Tur­key to sup­port them in form­ing a mil­i­tary unit. Tur­key re­sponded to the re­quest pos­i­tively and said it will do what­ever is within its power to legally es­tab­lish the unit.

A Turk­ish of­fi­cial told the Hur­riyet, a Turk­ish daily, that since the Iraqi cen­tral gov­ern­ment could not pro­tect Turk­men’s life, the com­mu­nity has the right to pro­tect them­selves. “What is hap­pen­ing in the Turk­men ar­eas is an at­tempt at eth­nic cleansing aimed at the Turk­men iden­tity,” the Turk­ish of­fi­cial said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Turk­ish Ad­vi­sor for Mid­dle East Af­fairs, Tur­key is deeply con­cerned about vi­o­lence di­rected at the Turk­men mi­nor­ity in Iraq and is mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion very care­fully. He added that Bagh­dad is cur­rently lit­tle in­ter­ested in pro­tect­ing the Turk­men, and that there is a plot afoot to force the Turk­men to leave their an­ces­tral home­land.

He stated that if the po­lice and Iraqi troops can­not pro­tect Turk­men, then it is their right to take steps to pro­tect them­selves. He con­firmed that the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment had urged them to pur­sue their case by le­gal means, but ac­knowl­edges that the sit­u­a­tion is com­pli­cated and there is no guar­an­tee of se­cu­rity in Turk­men neigh­bor­hoods.

Fol­low­ing the re­cent vi­o­lence tar­get­ing the Turk­men com­mu­nity in the dis­trict of Touz Khor­matu, the Iraqi gov­ern­ment is try­ing to calm the sit­u­a­tion down. The lat­est vi­o­lence in Khor­matu left many peo­ple killed, in­clud­ing the deputy head of the Turk­men Front, and dozens in­jured when sui­cide bombers blew them­selves up among pro­tes­tors stag­ing a rally seek­ing im­proved se­cu­rity.

Touz Khor­matu lies within a tract of ter­ri­tory which the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG) wants to in­cor­po­rate into its three-prov­ince re­gion, de­spite Bagh­dad’s ob­jec­tions.

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