Chris­tians and Turkomen sup­port ref­er­en­dum in Kirkuk

Mi­nori­ties in Kirkuk are de­mand­ing to have Kirkuk re­joined the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion aim­ing to live peace­fully and safely with Kurds

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Af­ter Pres­i­dent of Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Mas­soud Barzani, an­nounced that Kirkuk and the other dis­puted ar­eas in north­ern Iraq will carry out a ref­er­en­dum to gain join Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, the Kur­dish people from these ter­ri­to­ries try to has­ten the process to set­tle the is­sue as soon as pos­si­ble.

Af­ter Pres­i­dent of Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Mas­soud Barzani, an­nounced that Kirkuk and the other dis­puted ar­eas in north­ern Iraq will carry out a ref­er­en­dum to gain join Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, the Kur­dish people from these ter­ri­to­ries try to has­ten the process to set­tle the is­sue as soon as pos­si­ble.

It is not only the Kur­dish people who like their city of Kirkuk to be run by Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, but Chris­tians and Turkomen too think it is in the in­ter­est of the Kirkukis all in­clud­ing all the na­tions and eth­nic groups to an­nex the prov­ince back to Kur­dis­tan so that they can re­solve their is­sues and pre­vent the vi­o­lence to en­gulf in­no­cent people and en­gen­der in­sta­bil­ity.

“We are de­mand­ing to have our city joined to Kur­dis­tan Re­gion as people in the city have suf­fered a lot un­der the author­ity of the Iraqi regime. We want to live peace­fully far from in­se­cu­rity,” said Aydin Mo­hammed, a Turkomen cit­i­zen.

Ed­uard Luis, a Chris­tian govern­ment em­ployee in Kirkuk, said: “Chris­tians have never caused prob­lems for the govern­ment and other people at all but what we see is that Kur­dis­tan is a lot dif­fer­ent from the rest of Iraq. Now people in Kirkuk with most of its na­tions, eth­nics and re- li­gious sects want ref­er­en­dum to solve the is­sues."

The fu­ture of Kirkuk and other parts of north­ern Iraq known as dis­puted re­gions have been a cause of ten­sion be­tween the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and the Iraqi govern­ment. The ar­ti­cle 140 of the Iraqi Con­sti­tu­tion calls for a ref­er­en­dum for people of Kirkuk to de­cide whether their city be­comes a part of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion or stays un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the Iraqi Federal Govern­ment.

The ar­ti­cle also calls for con­duct­ing a cen­sus to be fol­lowed by a ref­er­en­dum to let the in­hab­i­tants de­cide whether they would like Kirkuk to be an­nexed to the au­ton­o­mous Iraqi Kur­dis­tan re­gion or hav­ing it as an in­de­pen­dent prov­ince.

The for­mer regime of Iraqi Pres­i­dent Sad­dam Hus­sein had forced over 250,000 Kur­dish res­i­dents to give up their homes for the Arabs in the 1970s to "Ara­bize" the city and con­trol the re­gion's oil in­dus­try.

The last cen­sus was con­ducted in Iraq in 1957, well be­fore Sad­dam be­gan his pro­gram to eth­ni­cally cleanse Kirkuk. The break­down of the fig­ures showed that there were 178,000 eth­nic Kurds, 48,000 Turkomen, 43,000 Arabs and 10,000 Assyr­ian-Chaldean Chris­tians liv­ing in the city.

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