Cablegate: Iraqi Turkmen Cultural and Solidarity Assoc.

Published: Thu 18 Mar 2004 03:24 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
1. (SBU) On March 17, two representatives of the Iraqi
Turkmen Cultural and Solidarity Association, Abbas Turkmen
and Tahsin Saaci, called on PolMilOff to deliver a letter to
President Bush (text at para 3) complaining about Iraq's
Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), and said their main
concern was that the Iraqi Kurds would use the TAL to create
a "fait accompli" in the Kurds' favor that discriminated
against the Iraqi Turkmen. They claimed there were between
3.5 and 4 million Turkmen in Iraq (the highest figure we have
ever heard), mostly in Kirkuk, and that over the past year
Iraqi Turkmen always assisted and supported coalition forces.
They said they expected equality and democracy but neither
civilian nor military administrators were responding
positively to their expectations. They said the Kirkuk City
Council was disproportionately Kurdish with Turkmen
underrepresented. They urged that a thorough census be
conducted, but cautioned that the Iraqi Governing Council
would not be capable of conducting such a census impartially.
PolMilOff went through the TAL with them, explaining that
the document represented a compromise in which everyone got
something they wanted but no one got all they wanted. The
Turkmen reps were pleased with the discussion and the chance
to express their concerns. They left saying they would focus
on the future and work to engage Iraqi Turkmen in the
upcoming elections and constitutional process.
2. (U) The same letter was publicly presented by multiple
reps of the same organization to the Consulate General in
Istanbul on March 17. The Iraqi Turkmen there were
accompanied by a large local media presence.
3. (U) Begin text of letter:
His Excellency, President George Bush
President of the United States of America.
Your Excellency:
The transitional constitution of Iraq is a promising event
for a civilized move to a democratic government for
Iraq. We appreciate the efforts of the Coalition Forces in
the establishment of the pillars of a democratic and
civilized government in our country. However the law contains
many contradictions, the first contradiction in our opinion
is the consideration of both Arabic and Kurdish as the two
official languages of the country. The Turcoman citizens, the
third ethnic group after the Arabs and Kurds, feel that
Article 12 of the law that recognizes the equality of the
Iraqi citizens regardless of their gender, opinion, creed,
ethnicity, religion, sector or national origin in the eyes of
the law and prohibits discrimination against Iraqi citizens
in accordance to the International Proclamation of Human
Rights contradicts and rejects this acceptance.
The second contradiction is that the law is recognizing the
legitimacy of the region of Kurdistan as having a national
assembly, a council of ministers and judicial regional
authority for the Kurds, where as it prohibits granting the
same rights to other Iraqi citizens. In spite of the fact
that the law has granted the administrative, cultural and
political rights of the Turcoman and Chaldo-assyrians, the
sovereignty principle has been granted only to the Arabs and
Kurds, as stated in Article 9 of the law thus prohibiting
other Iraqi citizens from enjoying the same rights.
The Turcoman citizens of Iraq like to voice their concern on
continuation of the policies of oppression and hegemony
dictated by some of the articles of the law and constitution.
Article 27 for example states that the formation of armed
forces or militias not under the direct control of the
leadership of the Iraqi government is prohibited. However,
Article 54 permits the government of the region of Kurdistan
to control Police, and internal security forces.
The Turcoman citizens also fear the imposed migration of
large numbers of Kurdish militia (peshmerge) to the areas
where Turcoman live such as Kirkuk, Alton Kopru, Tuz and
districts surrounding these areas. The Kurdish militia
intends to create a new demographical pattern that favors
their own ulterior motives, particularly concerning Article
58, which delineates the final status of the city of Kirkuk.
Further, the current law has ignored the Iraqi government's
commitment of 1932, which was a precondition for acceptance
of Iraq into the international community and League of
Nations. The commitment admitted that the Turcoman
constituted the majority of the inhabitants of Kirkuk and
Kifri and accepted the adoption of the Turcoman language in
litigation. Furthermore, the obligation stated in Article 30
which granted a fair representation for the Turcoman in the
Iraqi General Assembly, is incredible, and the methodology of
this practice has not been incorporated into the current law.
The Turcoman citizens fear that issue of legitimizing of the
Turcoman marginal representation in the government's
administration as has actually happened in the current
governance council shall be the practice of the future
The Turcoman citizens hereby appeal to the government of the
United States and your Excellency to help in solving these
problems and granting a fair representation equal to other
basic ethnic groups in the Republic of Iraq.
Abbas Turkmen
End text of letter.
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