Kirkuk Turkmen demand government positions
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – Turkmens in Kirkuk Province accuse Kurds of breaking mutual power-sharing agreements by denying them positions in the governorate administration.
Kurds for their part say they are willing to offer official positions to the Turkmens if they reach agreement among themselves.
The leader of Turkmen Front in Kirkuk, Arshad Salihi, told a K24 reporter on Tuesday that after the war against IS, Kurds’ perspective towards Turkmen has changed and they “do not abide by the agreements on offering administrative positions in the governorate."
He added, “The agreement is in the hands of Kurds in Kirkuk Provincial Council. Everything that Turkmen and Kurds discussed is recorded in that document.” According to Salihi, who is also an Iraqi MP, “Kirkuk Provincial Council chairman is now a Kurd, but according to the agreement, that position should be filled by a Turkmen.”
Kurdish parties and Turkmen in Kirkuk originally decided that a Turkmen leader, Hassan Turan, should be the chairman of Kirkuk Provincial Council in 2011 but later resigned. Three Turkmens are now running for that position.
Rebwar Talabani, acting Chairman of Kirkuk Provincial Council, told K24 that “Kurds are ready to hand over Kirkuk Provincial Council Chairman to Turkmens, but they need to reach an agreement amongst themselves first and introduce their candidate for the position."
Previously, the leader of the Turkmen Development Party, Muhammed Elkhani, told K24 that Turkmens and other minorities from the disputed territories must have representatives in government offices. “The Kurdistan Region’s leadership must assure Turkmens in Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, and other areas that their rights will be granted," he added.
Reporting by Baxtiyar Goran
Editing by Ava Homa