Endangered community: the Turkoman identity in Iraq
Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs
309 - 325
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This paper provides a preliminary survey of the origins, population size and areas of settlement of the Turkoman community in Iraq. After examining their political status during the pre‐1990 and post‐1990 periods in Turkey, an attempt is made to assess Turkey's policies towards this community with particular focus on the post‐Cold War era developments. The paper also analyses post‐September 11 developments in Iraq as far as their possible impact on the Turkoman community is concerned and examines prospects for the future. In closing it is argued that for the Turkoman community in Iraq to be treated fairly, first, the US should focus on the installation of a truly representative democracy. Second, the Turkish approach towards Iraq in general and the Kurds in particular should be revised so that both Kurds and Turkomans are seen as Turkey's true relatives in the region. Third, the old policy of balancing the Kurds through the strengthening of the Turkomans should be replaced by the policy of constructive engagement with the Kurds. Finally, the Turkomans should avoid internal bickering and try to speak and act with one voice.