Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, July 24, 2006

A ‘Run Down’ On Kurdistan

As reported by the Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI), “Turkey’s patience is running out and it will no longer be satisfied with words but wants action.” According to the report, Turkey has “expressed their desire for concrete measures against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq” and they expect the United States to either, “act immediately in the zone it has taken the responsibility of providing security for, or should not lift a finger if Turkey undertakes such an action to ‘defend itself.’”

In another WKI report, “a senior Iraqi-Kurdish official accused Iranian forces of shelling Kurdish guerillas in northern Iraq.” The report said that “there was no immediate comment from officials in Iran,” and that “Kurdish officials have previously accused Iranian forces of shelling Iranian Kurds based in Iraq.”

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) “has accepted to hear the application made by the Volunteers of Hasankeyf group consisting of journalists, scientists and jurists to stop the construction of a major dam in southeast Turkey that will immerse the historical town of Hasankeyf under water,” WKI reports. The application stressed that Hasankeyf was ‘unique’ and it needed to be ‘preserved in its natural form.’”

According to WKI, “Turkey’s parliament has approved changes to an anti-terrorism law despite concerns that they will place new limits on free expression.” The report says that “the amendments to the Law on the Fight against Terrorism, passed on 29 June, could lead to arbitrary prosecutions of journalists covering ‘terrorist organizations’ and will particularly impact pro-Kurdish media.”

WKI reports that there is a language divide between northern Iraq and the rest of the country. “The Arab majority in Iraq doesn’t speak Kurdish and few Kurds—particularly the younger generation—speak Arabic.” The report says that, “even though Kurdish and Arabic are both listed as official languages of Iraq, few can speak and read both languages.”

“Security and economic growth have created a boom in the beauty business in Sulaimaniyah,” WKI reports. The industry has been fuelled by the increased earning power of women, who hold many of the civil service jobs in a public sector that is the largest employer in Iraqi Kurdistan.”

“The conflict that has been percolating in Kirkuk remains dangerous and dangerously neglected,” says WKI. The report says that “the international community cannot afford to stand by, allowing the situation to slip into chaos by default,” and that “it needs to step in and propose a solution that addresses all sides’ core concerns without crossing their existential red lines.”

To read more from the Washington Kurdish Institute click here.


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