The Real Face of the Turkoman Front and Turkey’s Policy ... Adil Al-Baghdadi

Wext: Monday, 13.September. @ 00:00:00 CEST



13. Sep. 2004
It has been an intrigue, to say the least, to know that the Turkomans have been persecuted, gassed, annihilated, driven out en mass, in a much larger scale than what had befallen the Kurds, or so they say.

One look at their internet sites makes one wonder how these atrocities have transpired without the world not knowing about them.

Anfal, a word borrowed from Koran and describes a religious edict which granted the Muslims during the Islamic conquest a divine right to annihilate the infidels, and true to its definition was applied to the Kurds during the late 1980s by the world’s most vicious regime, would look like a picnic compared to what the Turkomans write about their suffering and tragedies.

It is not right to compare the amount of suffering, which one ethnic people had gone through during the era of the deposed regime, with another less fortunate one even though they are less in number. However, putting things in historical perspectives is important in order to reach an objective view about tragic events.

Then again, any crime committed on political grounds, be it small or large, if it involves one person or a group of people, is an act against humanity and it is condemned by all human right principle and doctrines of every religion and creed. But to exaggerate the scale of tragic events, overstate figures of those abused, quadruple the numbers of those sadly killed by the regime and hijack the history of the oppression of the Kurds, and dismiss the Kurds’ most holiest icon of tragedy, as Halabjah is, not only is not acceptable but it is also sad. This is because it is more inhumane to see nations use their tragic events in the history of their struggle for political ends at the expense of other groups.

A good example of that is the tragedies of the Jews, who have survived most terrible systematic pogroms in the history of mankind during the 2nd World War, have been used by the Israeli Ashkenazi Jewry to persecute the Palestinians in manners reminiscent to their own terrible tragedies. Furthermore, they have used them to further their political gains and for their land-grab programmes and to convince the world that they are still the victims.

The Turkomans, on the other hand, are very small in number with no historical record of any major pogroms being committed against them only what they fondly proclaim as the tragedies of Kirkuk. Of course, one need not discard their suffering and terrible tragedies they suffered then and what they have gone through during Saddam’s era, such as deportations and summary executions of a number of Turkomans for alleged links with Turkey.

However, their tragedies have not been on a scale comparable to that of the Kurds, and again this not a table of comparison of who has got what and how much, but if there is a political subtext, which there strongly is, and objectives, which there definitely are, then one needs to ponder as to who is behind the exaggeration and exploitation of their tragedies. To this end, their news sites have been regurgitating the tragic killings of a number of Turkomans 45 years ago following the founding of the first republic in Iraq and unashamedly portraying it as an ongoing campaign by the Kurds to annihilate the Turkomans, in short their own Anfal.

Many questions come to mind when one sees another of the over-played, over stated and well orchestrated articles about the events of 1959 in Kirkuk and many other anti-Kurdish articles:

• Why now?
• Why drive a wedge between the Kurds and Turkomans?
• Why overstate the enormity of past events?
• Why make a tragic incident into political campaign against the Kurds?
• Why take things out of proportions?
• Why tell lies about Kurds?
• Why some Turkomans, and not all, want to see Kurds never repatriated to their original homes in Kirkuk?
. Why intimidating and inciting a campaign of violence against Kirkuk Kurds and not condemning the systematic covert campaign of assassinating Kurdish officials and ordinary citizens
• Why some Turkomans felt comfortable, and even happy with what happened to Kurds of Kirkuk throughout the modern history of Iraq?
• Why some Turkomans, but not all, embraced and applauded all Ba’thist methods of dealing with the Kurds in Kirkuk?
• Why was it easy for the Ba’thist regime to establish the most powerful and terrifying of all security apparatus in Kirkuk in which thousands of Kurds were summarily executed, banished or loaded en masse on trucks to an unknown fate?
• Why some Turkomans, but not all, were to eager and happy to be part of this Ba’thist killing institutions, the notorious Al-Amn Al-Am, Al-Amn Al-Khas and Mukhabarat?
• Why Turkoman pilots, like Yaldrim and others, were famous for their sorties over Kurdistan?
• Why deny the Kurdishness of Kirkuk?

Then one’s mind comes out of the emotional state to the rational to ask one only question:

• Who is behind this campaign?

Enter the so-called Turkoman Front, which boasts pumped up facts and figures about Turkoman tragedies, a well as much hyped up political standing, importance and support among the majority of decent Turkomans.

The Turkoman Front, TF, which should be more appropriately called the Turkish Front behind a Turkoman Faēade, has damaged the rightful, lawful and just demands of the Turkoman people.

Furthermore, the TF has been touting unrealistic and grandiose claims of Turkoman historical presence – such as one article posted in TF site in which it proclaimed that Sumerians were the first Turkoman settlers in Mesopotamia.

It has also over inflated the density of their population in Kurdistan region and cited exaggerated figures of the overall Turkoman population in Iraq, which according to TF stands at 3.5-4 million, and some of its zealot supporters go even further by suggesting that the overall number of their community is between 5-6 million.

A historical perspective is important here: The Turkomans are part of the great Turkic race, who are people with great history and culture and whose original areas straddles a vast plateau and mountainous terrain from eastern China to the east and northeast of Iran, which includes many of the now independent republics of the former Soviet Union, as well as Turkey and a small community in Cyprus before Turkish invasion in the seventies.

The Turkomans in Iraq however, who have many Turkified Kurds among them, are perhaps more akin to the Azerbaijani people rather than the Turks in Turkey, who are an amalgam of many races including Greeks, Kurds, Trans-Caucasian ethnic groups, Slavs, Armenians and others.

They are perhaps the remnants of Qajari Turkic Dynasty, which ruled the Persian Empire (which included parts of Iraq and Kurdistan at the time).

Since its inception, the TF has been has been unwavering in its crusade and direction of its energy, time and money, which is to drive a wedge between the Turkoman and the Kurdish people.

Its political objectives, periodicals, newspapers and internet sites have two main and well thought out aims, the first is to spread lies about the Kurds and the second is to provoke the Kurds into taking some sort of retaliatory action in order to get the big brother behind the scene into executing plan A, which is to send in Turkish troops.

Many analysts believe that the TF was conceived in the corridors of the Turkish Intelligence Service and behind the thick walls of the powerful Turkish military establishment and has been since then the Trojan Horse of much yearned Turkish influence in Kirkuk.

What is striking however, is that the TF’s Arabic internet news site has attracted a number of Arab and Turkoman writers who seem to share a passion, of complete dislike and disdain of anything Kurdish. In fact their usual anti-Kurdish diatribe and harangue, such as the Kurds are nothing but peasants, Kurdish language is only a mixture of languages, to cite but a few of the content of TF’s net news writers,

Is a true and accurate excerpt taken from pages of Turkish academia of humanities, which for years published thesis and awarded doctorates on topics such as the Turkish origin of Kurds and the non-existence of Kurds as a race and language. These can be easily constituted as racist materials which incite hate and violence, which anywhere else other than Turkey is punishable by the law.

In her desparate attempt to have a foot hold in Iraq, secure unintrupted supply of energy source and most importantly to weaken Kurds power base, Turkey has set in place a two fold plan, one is to use its local tool and agents, the TF, to carry out the following tasks within Iraq:

• To disseminate lies about the Kurds, such as the Kurds aim to forcibly alter the demographic map of Kirkuk
• To stir Arab passions in the Middle East by disseminating lies about alleged presence of Israeli agents and operatives in Kurdistan
• To discredit the history of Kurds especially as regards the historical areas of Kurdistan
• To exaggerate the role and influence of TF within Iraqi political circles and Arab media
• To constantly create an atmosphere of tension between the Kurds and Turkomans through media and political campaigns of hate, incitement to violence and provocation.
• To drive a wedge between the Kurds and Arabs, both from Shiite and Sunni faiths
• To thwart any move towards realizing a federal state in Iraq
• To obstruct the repatriation of Kirkuki Kurds to their places of origin and homes
• To create an environment of fear in the minds of the Turkomans to hinder the possible re-incorporation of Kirkuk into the federal region of Kurdistan
• Finally and most importantly, to set and prepare the grounds for an all out Turkish military intervention

The second part of Turkey’s plan, which also works in tandem with TF’s hidden and declared agenda, is to publicly threaten the Iraqi Kurds in every possible occasion.
For this end Turkey employs both its diplomatic and military branches of the government. Accordingly, Abdallah Gul, would be the first to be dispatched on the diplomatic scene.

Turkey’s foreign minister has a remarkable ability to talk about democracy when he addresses the West, while showing venomous hegemonic and jingoistic tendencies when he looks at Iraqi Kurdistan and when asked to comment about the Iraqi Kurds’ moves.

Although supposedly a diplomat, he was once quoted as saying when responding to Hoshyar Zebari’s statement that Turkish troops won’t be welcomed in Iraq: “He should think before he opens his mouth”, an amazing reply from a foreign minister of a neighbouring country which contends that it respects the will of the Iraqis and that it has no ambitions in Iraq.

The military statement on the other hand, is left to the deputy chief of the general staff of the Turkish forces, Gen Ilker Basbug, who customarily adorns on his face the usual obsessive Turkish hate towards Kurds, and who usually spews threats against Iraqi Kurds, as if the Kurds have just fired their first nuclear missile from their base in outer space.

After it employs its two pronged attacks, Turkey more often than not finds time between its busy schedule of democratization and reform, which it must do to join the EU, to embark on the now customary shuttle diplomacy to visit other Kurd-bashing despotic regimes, namely Iran and Syria.

This hereditary tradition of more than 40 odd years is always a chance to brainstorm new ideas on how to impose more control on Kurdish citizens in their countries and to forestall any possible gains and achievements by the Iraqi Kurds.

Turkey, one of the other countries in the Middle East named after its race, other categories including Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic and Egypt, has been founded on two main pillars, one is the supremacy of the Turkish race over others who have been living in the country for thousands of years before the great Turkic migration from the east, and the other is to annihilate the cultural heritage of all other non-Turkish nations, particularly the Kurds.

Statements such as the one by former President Suleiman Demiril, who was quoted as saying “The Kurds are also first class citizens but they should learn to speak a first class language” - one can infer what the first language Mr Demiril was refereeing to - is a clear example of how Turkey still wants to pursue the path of creating a pure single race and culture which Ataturk championed and founded Turkey upon.

Seeing that it longer can control the Kurds legitimate aspirations within its own borders and after losing a long-standing and staunch anti-Kurdish partner, in the person of Saddam and his regime and seeing Iraqi Kurdistan taking irreversible confident strides towards self-rule, democracy and stability, Turkey has resorted to champion and trumpet the cause of the Turkomans, whom it had ignored during three decades of Ba’thist tyrannical rule.

While trying to seem European in order to secure entry to the much-prized EU membership, Turkey continues to show its ugly third-world like condescending behaviour when it looks to the east and addresses the Kurds.

As each time the Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan move towards redressing the ills of the past three decades of Ba’thist rule and reverse its legacy, Turkey goes into high gear and activates a two-pronged attack plan and sets the TF into action.

The TF then instructs the few of disgruntled Arab writers it has recruited - who have lost their grips on reality since their favourite regime and benefactor was toppled and since the Kurds have enshrined their rights and bolstered the federalist region of Kurdistan - to go into a frenzy of writing any defamatory or politically twisted articles on Kurds and their leaders.

These writers, including Salim Matar, Harun Muhammad and the Egyptian writer Sabri Tarabiyah, along with others, seem to share a very unhealthy fanatical hate towards the Kurds.

The two Iraqi writers aside, the Egyptian one seem to have strong inexplicable anti-Kurdish sentiments, and more peculiarly, a stronger desire to stir up trouble in Kirkuk and open old wounds that have long been healed.

No writer would write continuously on one subject without either being psychologically fixated on one certain topic caused by deep anxiety or being told to do so as part of a job description and pay package. It seems that both are true in the case of Sabri Tarabiyah. No writer with social conscience would ignore the many problems of his native country, such as the plight of the Coptic Christian community, racism against Nubian people, the tens of thousands of homeless who sleep in cemeteries and take up the dubious cause of TF just like that.

This writer who is ignorant of anything about Iraq’s political, social and cultural history seems to be quite proficient and specialized in the question of Kirkuk to which he recently dedicated five series of articles in one of TF news sites.

The main gist of the articles of this TF zealot ranges from disproving the existence of Kurds as a separate ethnicity, language and culture to Turkomanizing historical Kurdish areas and tribes.

His other recent series of articles is six part distortion of historical facts about Kirkuk but this time it is more of a blatant campaign of slur and insult against symbols of Kurdish national struggle.

However, all seem to end with one recurring theme and that is: Kirkuk is a Turkoman city. Anyone, even those who are remotely aware of Turkish attitude towards Kurds, can not but sense that all these are part of a wider and deliberate campaign by Turkey and its surrogate lackey the TF, to broaden the anti-Kurdish camp among Arabs.

Turkey and its TF have been making a desparate effort to spread lies about an alleged Israeli presence in Kurdistan, to blur the just Kurdish cause in the minds of Arab readers and to cause more instability in Kirkuk by the way of acquiring the services of this rent-a-pen Egyptian writer and others.

With these unholy tactics, alliances and reliance on the services of the TF, Turkey seems to be resigned to the eventual return of the Kirkuki Kurds to their rightful place, who will then make up the majority of the population, and who will subsequently work with other ethnic groups on the basis of fraternal coexistence in order to re-incorporate Kirkuk into the federal region of Kurdistan.

No amount of discrediting campaigns, intimidation or threats will derail the course of justice, the only way forward is to work with the Kurds on basis of trust, friendship and mutual interest. After all, the Kurds are the only secularist and progressive force in the region alongside Turkey, and short term interests with expired regimes won’t solve Turkey’s problems, the only solution is to deal with it from within, that’s to say the Kurds are the solution to the problem.

Adil Al-Baghdadi
September 2004

Note: Reports are published based on respect for freedom of opinion's expression, they do not necessarily reflect views of Kurdistan Democratic Party.


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