In Kirkuk, the announcement of government employment causes ethnic tensions

Kirkuk- protest of lecturer teachers. Photo:KirkukNow

KirkukNow- Kirkuk

On Wednesday, January 8, Education Department in Kirkuk announced the names of newly employed teachers that brought immediate complaints from Kurdish and Turkmen parties as well as graduates, calling it “unjust” employment and only favoring one ethnic group.

The list of names the department published contains more than two thousand and 500 hundred names that will be employed.

Approximately, one thousand and 45 graduates from Kirkuk city and six other subdistricts will be employed while 921 graduates only from Hawija, a predominant Arab district, are employed according to the list.

After announcing the names, Parwin Fatih Jabari, who is head of supervisors of Kurdish education in Kirkuk and was part of the committee for the employment process, accused the Kurdish MPs of not being able to solve Kurdish allotment.

Based on the list, one thousand and 517, equivalent to 62 percent, of the employee are Arabs, followed by Kurds with around 500, close to 20 percent, and Turkmen with 412, 17 percent.

Kurdistan Patriotic Union (PUK) headquarter in the city started receiving complaints even though the education department has provided an online commplaint form where the people can directly send their complaints to the department.

“The education department receives the complaints online, but our call for receiving complaints is to have public evidence on the fraud committed in the employment process, we will work on this seriously through the court and the integrity commission,” Bestun Adil, a PUK MP, told KirkukNow.

Ali Said, 29, who has not been employed after six years of graduation, said, “we followed the call of PUK HQ because the Kurds have been wronged and also Turkmen share is close to Kurdish share.”

The event brought a united Kurdish and Tukrmen stance against the announced list and soon Kurdish and Turkmen MPs held a press conference in which they rejected the list. “we will not accept the announcement at all and we assure the people that we will take it to the court,” Jamal Shkur, A PUK MP, claimed.

Head of the education department has been criticized and 80 lawsuits has been filed against him. A Turkmen female, Sara Ali, told KirkukNow that she and her friends went to the Kirkuk court and filed lawsuits because they have not been employed.

“Kurds and Turkmen have been misrepresented, as a result, we were more than 80 people when we filed the lawsuits. We think there was intervention in the process to favor Arab graduates. Selecting the graduates was based on ethnic and sect, not credits and qualifications,” Sara added.

However, Abid Ali Hussein, head of the Education department and who led the employment committee, claimed that no one has been wronged and called it a normal process.

“Graduates have the right to have complaints and the door for receiving them are open,” he said.

Bashir Haddad, deputy Iraqi parliament speaker, issued a statement in which he stated that minister of education and head of Kirkuk’s department of education will be invited by the education committee in parliament to provide clarifications on the matter, if necessary, acting governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Al-Jabouri, will be invited, too.

According to 2020 Iraqi budget law and ministry of education decision, online application for employment was open from August 27 to September 15, 2019 during which 84,000 applications was received for two thousand and 841 jobs. 








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