​Iraqi Turkmen may declare autonomy


Turkmen MPs protested against the fact that the newly-formed government of Mustafa Kazemi did not include Turkmen minister.

Report informs, citing Yenizcag newspaper, that the Turkmen MPs held a press conference.

“Those intending to divide us failed again. This nation will never collapse whether there is Turkman minister or not. We had agreed with Kazemi to have a ministry. However, the political group, with which we fought ISIL, refused to give a ministry to us. Nobody can interfere in our domestic affairs in Turkmen province anymore. There is a right to form autonomy in the constitution. We can declare autonomy in our province. Ten thousands of Turkmen nation were martyred. All Turkmen MPs strictly resisted. Our struggle continues,” the joint statement said.

The Iraqi Turkmen are Iraqis of Turkic origin who mostly adhere to a Turkish heritage and identity. Most Iraqi Turkmen are the descendants of the Ottoman soldiers, traders and civil servants who were brought into Iraq from Anatolia during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Despite the popular reference to the Turks of Iraq as “Turkmen”, they are not directly related to the Turkmen people of Turkmenistan and do not identify as such. Today, the Iraqi Turkmen form the third largest ethnic group in Iraq, after the Arabs and Kurds. According to the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, in 2013, the Iraqi Turkmen population numbered 3 million out of Iraq’s 34.7 million inhabitants. The minority mainly reside in northern and central Iraq and share close cultural and linguistic ties with Turkey, particularly the Anatolian region.


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