Ýsmail Demirdüzen, head of the Turkmen Union that is based in Turkey, called on the Turkish government to declare Turkey the guarantor of Iraqi Turkmens. "Turkey should consider any attack on Iraqi Turkmens as it is has been done against Turkish nation and warn all related parties that Turkey will retaliate in a violent manner"
He said in a likely Iraqi democracy, Turkmens should be regarded as one of the indispensable forces within the Iraqi boundaries, and they should be represented as a respectable and influential force in the administration, not in a symbolic form. He asked Turkey to ensure conditions for such a formation.
The predominantly Muslim Turkmen are an ethnic group with close cultural and linguistic ties to Anatolia in Turkey. There have been clashes between Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen, in which people have been killed, in and around the city of Kirkuk. Experts believe that the city's population is roughly one third Kurdish, one third Arab and one third Turkmen, although no reliable population figures exist.
Demirdüzen noted that triggered by uncertainty and chaos sweeping Iraq, all ethnic groups had taken up arms except Turkmens, which leaves them vulnerable to all forms of assault and exploitation. He, therefore, called on Turkmens to take up arms and form their own paramilitary forces.
Saying that a 'National Turkmen Geography' should be declared, he said Turkmens' problems should be resolved within the region they live in and their existence should occupy a central place.
Demirdüzen said achievement and protection of Turkmens' rights should be part of Turkey's regional policy, adding, "In this regard, it will harm prestige and deterrent force of Turkey as an equipoise and leading force in the region if it turns a deaf ear to Turkmens living beyond Turkish borders"
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
Ýstanbul Today's Zaman