Ara­biza­tion of Khu­ramtu is on­go­ing, and Ma­liki wants to turn it into a prov­ince

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Gazi Has­san

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.

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