Iraqi Turkmens Call for Help

iraqi-refugees3ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) seized the province of Sinjar, and the Peshmarga left the area. Thousands of refugees are fleeing from Sinjar to Arbil, Duhok and Zakho.

It is reported that 450 Turkmen families, a group from the refugees of Talafar, have just arrived in the border checkpoint (Zakho-Habur) between Turkey and Iraq. However, the refugees are disallowed to enter Turkey at this moment because it is required to have passports. Turkmen refugees demand to enter and take refuge in Turkey without passports.

iraqi-refugees4Abbas Beyatli, an individual from one of the refugee families, says: “We’ve just arrived in the border checkpoint. We ask Turkey to accept us. We don’t have passports, but we want to refuge in Turkey.” Kasim Kara, a delegate of Iraqi Turkmen Front of Talafar, said that they informed Arshad Salihi, the leader of Iraqi Turkmen Front, who is now in Ankara, about the problems of the refugees on the border checkpoint.

Abbas Beyatli, who spoke with the journalists for 450 families, most of whom are of Bayatli clan of Turkmens, says: “We want to be refugees in Turkey. First we went to Sinjar as refugees, but we had to leave there due to ISIS. We ask Turkey to open doors to us till the safety is provided. We don’t have passports. We want to be settled in one of the refugee camps in Turkey.”

Kasim Kara, the delegate of Iraqi Turkmen Front from Talafar, who also took refuge in Dohuk, stated that most of Turkmens moved to the south of Iraq due to the conditions whereas some of them could arrive in the border to take refuge in Turkey. He also claimed that Turkey sent humanitarian aid to them when they were in Sinjar, but most of the aid was grabbed by Kurds, who claimed rights for them.

Some of the refugees, who flee from the province of Sinjar, have arrived in the Hazer checkpoint, which is 50 km far to Arbil. Among the refugees, there are Turkmens, Yazidis, Arabs etc, who want to take refuge in Arbil. The refugees of Shia origin prefer to migrate to Baghdat to be in safe. Thousands of the refugees fell into a long line on the roads and expect Peshmarga allow them to pass via Arbil to Kerkuk.

Ali Hüseyin, one of the Turkmen refugees from Talafar, says: “We stayed in a school building in Sinjar for more than a month. We didn’t have good conditions, but we thought it was safe. After all, ISIS attacked the Sinjar, and we had to leave.”

In the meantime, it is also claimed that Mosul Dam was seized by the ISIS militants, but the spokesman of Peshmarga denies the claims.

04.08.2014, revised from Hürriyet and Cumhuriyet.

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