(Discussion with Mr. Nazem Dabbagh, the Representative of Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, by International Peace Studies Center (IPSC

IPSC: Having close cultural and language relations with Turkey, Iraqi Turks or Turkish Iraqis have resided in north of the country. Turkmans are the third ethnics in Iraq after Arabs and Kurds. Land of Turkmans’ geography prolongs Hakari and Sirt borderlines. Tale’afer city is the northern land where Turkmans live. In Kurdistan Region, together with Kurds, live other minorities such as Ashuri, Kaldani and Armani (eds) and Turkmans that could achieve some part of minorities’ 11 seat in the Parliament at recent election. To review of role of Turkmans in Iraq we interviewed with Mr. Nazm Dabbagh, The representative of Iraqi Kurds in Iran.

  IPSC: there is an ambiguity about Iraqi Turkmans in declared statistics. It mans some times population of turkans are declared two or three percent of all population if Iraq and sometimes some times western information resources escalated them about 500000. Some people such as turkmans in Iraq counted them about 3 million people. What is the true number of Turkmans in Iraq and where accommodate?

Precedent of Turkmans in Iraq referred to the times when Ottoman Empire dominated the current northern Iraq region. Those period Turkman troops and members of staff and workers were settled on the region and dispatched on the basis of their responsibilities, So that most of them on Kirkuk province, some in Erbil and Mousel province, especially in Tale’afer city settled. On the basis of polls, True number of Turkmans is uncertain. But number of them in Kurdistan Region was a few and so in current parliament election, just as you know, Turkmans Parties achieved a few seats. Moreover, Kurdistan Regional Government and officials of Kurds, have always, especially respected to them and got more rights to Turkmans. So that have tried to achieved their Rights, Kurds have tried to fulfill other minorities in Northern Iraq.

IPSC: In internal draw, Iraqi Turkmans are Shia and Sunni. In the meantime, what changes have happen in Kurds’ relation with Turkmans? 

Like other nations and sects, Turkmans in Iraq were under predacious invasions of dictatorship and fascist regimes. Because of this, almost always some of them, along with Kurds, resisted via dictators. 

IPSC: From a political point of view, Turkmans in Iraq established parties such as “Iraqi Turkaman Front”, “Islamic Unity of Iraqi Turkmans”, “Turkman Population Party”, “Democratic Movement of Turkman”, “Brotherhood Party of Turkman” ets. How much does Turkman main parties of Iraq affect on federal government and Kurdistan region political structure?  

In fact in this place I don’t want to talk about number, abilities and proficiency of any group or movement. I just mentioned this fact that there are not many clashes between them in election rivalries and consequently they will achieve a few seat of parliament. This shows that their numbers and abilities are limited. 

 IPSC: the first media of Turkmans was inaugurated by Iraqi Turkaman Front at 2004 called Turkmanli TV Network. What is the current situation of Turkman media? 

Because of ongoing freedom in Kurdistan region all Turkman groups in Iraq have their newspaper, radio and local television, So that there are numerous social medias of political parties. 

 IPSC: what is the Turkman view to future of Kirkuk , especially unite to Kurdistan region? 

Discussion about unifying Kirkuk to Kurdistan region has not lead to united result as of a yet. Some causes of it are to fulfill the article 140 that refer it to free election in order to Kirkuk people determining it. I believe, however, if we refer back to the history, geography and documents Kirkuk is a part of Iraqi Kurdistan and so there is not to need hold election. But for maintaining democracy, rights and freedom, Kurds chose this way.

IPSC: A short time ago, Ahmad Dawood-Oghlu (minister of Foreign Affaires of Turkey) considered the protection of Iraqi Turkman as one of the ethical and political base of its country. During past years there have been relations between political structures of Iraqi Turkman with Pan-Turkists host in Turkey. At this time, which Turkman group or party has the most relations with Turkey?

 Turkmans’ attendance in Iraq and Kurdistan region is a historical truth. So, if they there is a Turkman in any place and Turkey want to meddle in those affaires, thus Arabs, Pars and Kurds should activate in the same way. Also, Kurds’ affaires separate from Turkmans’ Affaires. So that the land in which Kurds reside is their ancestors’ land, not emigrate or occupy were the pretext for their living on the region. Disrespect of this, documents and history indicate the relations of Turkmans political groups with Turkey. 

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