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Al-Khoei Foundation Speaker: Zena Al-Esia

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1 Al-Khoei Foundation Speaker: Zena Al-Esia
In the Conflict Zone: the Situation of the Shia Kurds and Turkmen in Iraq Also known as the others - at the minority forum Iraqi origin- a subject close to my heart. Al-Khoei Foundation Speaker: Zena Al-Esia

2 IRAQ AND ‘THE OTHERS’ Mosaic of cultures: Cultural diversity is high.
Under attack: Minority groups have suffered systematic discrimination and persecution during Saddam’s regime and today by ISIS terrorism. The neglected: The Shia Kurd (Fayli’s) and Turkmen minorities of Iraq, are commonly overlooked. Human mosaic – a country which is split along ethinic and sectarian lines. Neglected‘- both inside iraq and outside in international reports and media coverage. Today Iraq is undergoing very serious circumstances at both political and security levels. A number of cities in several provinces had been taken by force by ISIS, and minority groups have been subject to violent persecution, massive displacement and enforced disappearance. has led to the decay of their civil society. Fear of the unknown- The above communities have suffered from killing via car bombs, suicide bombers, road side bomb explosions as well explosions of their houses by various means prior to the above events. Many loved ones have been killed, and hundreds disabled, leaving behind numerous widows, and orphans, let alone the daily mental anguish and fear of what will happen next.

3 SHIA KURD Shia Kurds: Also known as Fayli Kurds
Population: Difficult to accurately estimate (Due to deportation & ethnic cleansing), between 1 million to 2.5 million. Fayli culture: Ethnically related to the Kurds, but a different dialect. Stateless: 120,00o persons in Iraq are stateless (UNHCR report, 2012). -Feyli Kurds (also known as Shia kurds) are an ethnic group related to the Kurds- but have distinctive dialect. cutlrue of their own. and thus represent a significant proportion of the wider Kurdish community. 20th century- mnay in Baghdad- kurdish quarters,

North east- east side of iraq Location: Located mainly in the Diyala Governorate around Khanaqin, Mandali, Zarbatiyah and Al-Kut in Iraq. Also reside along the border area and mountainous regions between Iraq and Iran.

5 THE TURKMEN Ethnicity: Ethnically Turkic, first settling over 1,400 years ago. Culture: 3rd largest ethnic group in Iraq. speaking a language that derives from Turkish. Both Sunni and Shia. Population estimates: TURKIC COLLECTIVELY ^ NORTHEN EASTERN CENTRAL WESTERN ASIA ASLO AZERBAIJANI LANGUAGE Today 9% of total % of total % (UNPO)

6 TURKMEN Location: Mainly northwest of Iraq. Erbil, TEL AFAR Mosul, Kirkuk, Salahadin. KURDIIFCATION- DISPUTED LAND AND LAND GRABBING Source: UNPO

7 DOUBLE MINORITY Double minority: a distinctive feature of the Kurdi Fayli’s and the Turkmen. Both are and non-arab and both are Shia. Double target: Saddam’s regime targeted them on the basis of their ethnic identity, whilst ISIS targeted them on the their religious beliefs. Double minority a distinctive feature of the Kurdi Fayli’s and the Turkmen, being both Shia and non-arab, made them a prime target by Saddam’s regime On the basis of their ethnic identity, whilst ISIS targeted them on the their religious beliefs.

8 SADDAM’S PERSECUTION Arabisation: A targeted policy of nationalism forcing minorities to assimilate and identify as Arab. Key features: Forced relocation programs Displacement No recognition of minority status Cultural erosion- Renaming of schools, streets, market, villages to Arabic names. Mass deportation and Stripped of citizenship (Shia kurds) The Baath party ideology is rooted in Nazism Arab ultra-nationalism which is intolerant of minorities. Gassing of kurds- Anfal Turkomen- Kirkuk in 1980’s make way for arab migrants.- arab quarters built, demographics altered, 2- Fayli Kurds achieved prominence in in Baghdad, it aimed at destroying this dominance, by deporting hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens to the country- decree 666 originally persian.

9 ISIS PERSECUTION ISIS militants are carrying out "a wave of ethnic cleansing" against minorities in northern Iraq since (Amnesty International). Systematic targeting: Targeting of the Shia and other ethnic groups such as Christian and Yezidi’s whom they consider to be infidels.


Violence: massacres villages, acts of torture, rape, kidnapping, execution. Amerli Siege: In June 2014, ISIL seized the area round the Turkmen Shi’a town of Amerli, placing the town and its remaining 13,000 inhabitants (including 10,000 women and children) under siege. Resident forces defending the town against ISIL themselves. Executed at gunpoint. Turkmen villages under attack: Brawawchli, Karanaz, Chardaghli and Bashir Amerli in salauldin governate ISIL was reported to have shelled the town on an almost daily basis until the siege of the town was broken by a combination of ISF and US air strikes on 31 August. Casualties: 1000 Turkmen killed, and 500,000 displaced. Main resons for their high risk: iraqi army overstretched resources, focusing on central iraq. Turkmen live in many kurdish areas, pershmerga withdrew (eg city of bshar)

12 ‘REMEMBER US’ objective
Remember us when we were dragged from our homes in the middle of the night, and taken to the cold mountains in the middle of the night. Remember us when we were gassed to death. Remember us when our women were raped Remember us when ISIS came to get us. Remember us when our men where rounded up and shot for just being us. .

13 Recommendations Status report: We call on the member states to investigate the current state of these minorities, as they have been neglected within the UN’s latest report on minorities and UNIOM report on internally displaced people. Commission inquiry: Into the massacres of the Turkmen villages and the perpetrators to be bough to justice. (UN international organisation of migration)

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