Senior Turkmen official: we are against misbehavior toward police

Protests by Kirkuk Turkmen over the results of 2018 parliamentary elections in Kirkuk. Photo by KirkukNow.

Goran Baban, Kirkuk

A senior Turkmen official denounced assault against local police by guards of Iraqi Turkmen Front ITF.

Mardin Gokkaya, head of political organizations of ITF, said “we are against such behavior but unfortunately we are hold accountable for it.

On May 5th, a number of ITF members and guards attacked a patrol of emergency police and beaten them which sparked wide protests on social media platforms pushing the Iraqi minister of interior to interfere upon request of Pm Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a source in Kirkuk Police told KirkukNow.

A security source unauthorized to speak to the media said the patrol was imposing night curfew, 10 pm to 5 am, when a group of ITF vehicles were driving the opposite way and violating the curfew in 90 neighborhood of Kirkuk at 11 pm.

“The main two of the wanted, sons of a vice president of ITF, surrendered to police so that law and court take regular and legal procedures against them,” he added.

“The main two of the wanted, sons of a vice president of ITF, surrendered to police so that law and court take regular and legal procedures against them,” he added.

A video circulated on Facebook, showing part of the incident, and confirmed by KirkukNow, shows the guards carrying pistol attack the policemen and fire shot at air but it’s not clear yet which party is shooting.

Iraqi minister of interior, tasked by the Prime Minister, issued an arrest warrant against nine members of Iraqi Turkmen Front ITF in Kirkuk for abusing patrol of local police.

As the convoy comes into a police check point, they shoot fire in air and come to clashes with police and the problem occurs, Gokkaya narrates.

He called on “all sides to restore stability and the law to sort out the issue because Kirkuk is a sensitive case and we as ITF respect law and the constitution.”

Turkmen, the third largest ethnic group in Iraq after Arabs and Kurds, are spread across the country, residing almost exclusively in the northern towns and villages stretching from Tal Afar through Mosul, Erbil, Altun Kopri, Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, Kifri and Khanaqin. They are all Muslims, half Sunnis and half Shiites.

Turkmen political parties won eight seats out of 329 in Iraq's May 2018 parliamentary elections. ITF holds three seats, and the Turkmen Bloc has five seats.

On May 6th, office of ITF leader, Hassan Turan, in a statement thanked Iraqi PM and commander of Iraqi forces for putting an end to the incident and following legal procedures.

“The ITF supports rule of law and highly appreciates the role of the security services in imposing law and restoring security and stability,” the statement says. “Kirkuk is a special case wisdom and logic can control crisis instead of instigating feud which failed and won’t succeed in Kirkuk.”

The oil-rich city of Kirkuk, located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, is home to about 1.2 million Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs, according to KRG figures in 2018. Kirkuk. It has long been at the center of disputes between Baghdad and the Erbil.

Currently, Kirkuk is under control of Baghdad. Kirkuk Operations command is an umbrella for local and federal police, PMF known as Hashid aal-Sha’abi and Iraqi army.

  • FB
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YT