The Iraqi Turkmen: From an ethnic group to internal supplement and external proxy

7 months agoPolicy Reports

By Farhad H. Abdullah

The Turkmens are one of the ethnic groups that make up Iraq. In the country's constitution, they are legally considered an ethnic minority in the country and not the third nation within the Iraqi State. The Turkmens as an ethnic group are spread out across the northern Iraqi provinces of Kirkuk, Erbil, Diyala, and Mosul. Until the end of the 20th Century, this group was only in receipt of economic, cultural and educational assistance internationally. However, the formal establishment of Kurdistan Region of Iraq in Iraq in the early 21st century also saw the politicisation of the Turkman portfolio. This minority group has for many years secretly and publically involved itself with numerous internal and external forces. These connections have resulted in neighbouring states threatening to intervene militarily if the Iraqi Turkmens are targeted or marginalised in Iraq's political process. Therefore, this paper intends to answer two primary questions;
How has the Turkmen issue in Iraq been politicised?
Who are the internal and external forces that have politicised the Turkmen issue through the creation of political parties?
The answer to these questions will be sought following a presentation of a brief history of the Turkmen community in Iraq.

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