Representatives of the Turkmens population in Iraq have accused the central government and other political actors in the country of discrimination.
Ahmed Haydar, speaking on behalf of Turkmens deputies of Iraq at a press conference, said that the central government excludes them from the state system and disregards their administrative rights.
Pointing out to the Iraqi presidency, prime ministry and parliament speaker's office, Haydar said these three institutions and other political parties are unwilling to give Turkmens executive, political and cultural rights.
Haydar stressed that although there are serious efforts on reconstruction in northern Kirkuk city, which is predominantly inhabited by Turkmens, Tal Afar and Mosul were abandoned to their fate as no progress has been made yet. He added that Turkmens in the Tuz Khurmatu district of the Saladin governorate have also been facing neglect.
Though two years have passed since the Iraqi military and paramilitary forces regained full control of occupied territories from Daesh, slow reconstruction efforts remain the main problem in the country. Iraqi Turkmens often complain about the central government neglecting their rights. Currently, they have 10 deputies in the 329-seat Iraqi Parliament, but do not hold a significant position in the administration. Although the countryside of Kirkuk is predominantly inhabited by Kurds, the city itself is predominantly inhabited by Arabs and Iraqi Turkmens. The region was subject to an Arabization policy during the Baath Party rule, but after 2003, this policy was reversed in favor of the Kurds, prompting protests by the local Arab and Turkmens population and raising concerns in Ankara. During the Daesh terrorist group's advance in northwestern Iraq in June 2014, Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) forces assumed control of the city.