Arabization of Khuramtu is ongoing, and Maliki wants to turn it into a province
Talking about a city and an area of Kurdistan, we may confront historical issue related to occupation and changing demography. This process has started long ago and the successive regimes till the era of Nori Maliki have continued this policy which is changing and distorting the demography of Kurdistan.
Khurmatu is one of areas and cities, which has been intended to be separated from Kurdistan and its geography. Before talking about the latest serious political developments and terrorist activities, we give a short summary of the history of this city.
Some researchers think the name is derived from (Khurma – tee) or ( Khurmatu), which consists of two words ( Khurma- a Kurdish word of ‘Date’, the fruit. And (Tu) also is a Kurdish word of a fruit means (Berry). Annexing both meanings indicates that both have same size ( Tu – Khurma). If you look at the city, you see there are large numbers of berry trees; also some of researchers say it’s derived from three meanings.
(Duz) which is Turkmeni word means (salt), and the two other aforementioned words of (Khurma-tu). The city has become famous of these three things. Some others say (Gooz – Duz) a Kurdish word means (castle), indicates that in every ancient country, they’re all well-known of having castles, that’s why if we look at Mount Hanjeera, we see some remains of the castle still exist, we should take this point as a fact. The third view says the name comes from an Assyrian word; it thinks the name has anciently been (Kher- Matee) then changed into (Khurmatu – Khurmate). The word (Gooz- Duz) has been added to the name after discovering salt in the city. As the general meaning, ( Khwe Kher Matee- Salt of Kher Matee) and (Qalay Kher Matee - Castle of Kher Matee) could be other names of the city.
Till 1946, Khurmatu was a small sub-district, joined to Kifri District, and in 1947 it was joined to Daquq District as a sub-district. And in 1976, as a part of Arabization process, it was joined to Salahadeen Province after splitting it up from Kirkuk Province.
In the city, there are tribes of Dawda, Zangana, Lak and Bayat. It also consists of Kurd, Arab and Turkmen. According to historical sources, population of Khuramtu at the era of Ottomans was 1749, and 756 houses with 3 Khans.
In 1970, the population of the city reached 86.742, including 25.081 inside the city and the sub-districts, and other 61.661 in the villages around. There isn’t any accurate census for the current population.
According to information political parties have published, during the past three years, over 1.500 Kurdish families have fled the area under the pressure of terror and terrorist activities. There are undoubtedly various factors behind this, some of which concerned with the current Bagdad authority who intend not to implement article 140 of Iraqi constitution. On the other hand, the Iraqi army is not capable of confronting terror and terrorists. Also Kurdistan Peshmarge and Asaysh forces aren’t allowed to officially play their roles with financial and military back in confrontation of terror and terrorist activities. The terrorist groups have particularly targeted Kurds and Turkmens then the Arabs of the area, and hundreds have consequently killed in the terrorist acts.
According to some information, in the few past years, 165 terrorist acts have been carries out in the city, 310 people have been killed, 125 of them are Kurds, 100 are Turkmen and 85 are Arabs. Over 2000 people have injured, in addition to the damage of 395 stores and houses as a result of car bombings and terrorist acts.
This is only some primary numbers of the bloody events and the long-term policy that’s been adopted against Kurds and people of the area. In this city, Kurds and Turkmen have been targeted in order to flee and evacuate the city; Arabization is still being adopted in this area. In addition to that, they want to put Turkmen under pressure and weaken them in the one hand, and use them in the other hand as a political card against Kurds and for satisfying Turkey by Bagdad, especially as now claims are made to turn the city into a province by Iraqi PM Nori Maliki. This has always been carried out in various eras, policies and manners by Bagdad’s governments, till the current government of Nori Maliki.
The policy of Arabization in Khurmatu is ongoing for changing the demography of the area, moreover, there are efforts being made to hinder Article 140 which has been specified for solving the Kurdistani areas outside the Region. In the past few years this article were obviously neglected. Nori Maliki has decided to turn the town into a province. The main question is that, why exactly at this moment he does want to make this decision, while Article 140 isn’t implemented? Whom Maliky does want to satisfy with this decision? Kurds, Turkmen or Arabs; Shiites and Sunnis? Is this only election campaign or a political project for exploding far worse problems in the area?
Anyway, Khurmatu is an undivided geographical area of Kurdistan according to historical sources. And it’s a part of Kirkuk Province. Khurmatu has been split up from the province to reduce number and position of Kurds in Kirkuk, and now the same thing is being carried out for reducing power and number of Kurds in Kirkuk. This could be for deepening disputes among components of the area too.
What’s practically being seem, is the extension of Arabization policy, and changing the demography of the city and area, the source of which is the chauvinist Arabic thought.