Iraqi Turkmens Massacred by ISIS


Turkmen children who are running away from ISIS and forced by Iraqi Kurdistan under the heat weather without sufficient water, food and medicine.

Thousands of Turkmens, who are in the danger of being massacred or slaughtered by the terrorists of ISIL, now are running away from Tal Afar, a Turkmen city with a population of 200.000 in Turkmeneli which is located in the north of Iraq, and 75 percent of whom are Sunni Muslims. These days Turkmens have no place to settle after ISIS took the city from them, and now they are abondened to their fate, by waiting for a place to take sanctuary and shelter, who are also forced by the government of Iraqi Kurdistan to wait under the heat weather of 45-40 °C without sufficient water, food and medicine. Especially kids and elders are to die of starvation and illnesses. Turkmens sound off the situation by uttering “Here Arabs and Kurds have their own protectors, but we, Turkmens, have no power to protect ourselves from ISIS.” Turkmens also complain about the ignorance and indifference of Turkish government against Iraqi Turkmens. 

Kurdistan Regional Government makes Turkmen refugees wait under the hot weather in Hazir, which is a passage point between ISIL and Iraqi Kurdistan for days. Turkmens who speak a dialect of Turkish language and nearly %50 of whom are of Shiah way, are under the danger of being slaughtered by ISIL. Mahsun Habil Muhsin, a Turkmen father who runs away with his wife and five children, says: “We are suffering here for days; Peshmerga don’t accept us to enter Arbil. Our children are suffering from heat, starvation, and illnesses. We buried an old lady and three kids yesterday. And we have several new-born babies in the camp who are about to die.”

Fazıl Muhammed, another Turkmen who ran away from Tal Afar with his family of 9 persons, says: We conflicted with ISIL to defend Tal Afar, but we couldn’t take enough support from Iraqi government for the defense, so we retreated from Tal Afar with our families. Some of the refugees went to Kirkuk, and some came here. Unfortunately, we have been waiting here for nearly 30 days, and the Kurdistan Regional Government disallow us to pass here.”

Hadi Hasan, who came to the passage point 5 days ago, said: “ISIL killed all Shiite Turkmens who were unable to run away. ISIL killed even a new-born baby of 40 days in his cradle. They also destroyed all the mosques and tombs. They slaughtered animals such as cows, goats etc. We couldn’t have enough time to bury the death.”


Map of Turkmeneli, where Turkmens live in majority, but they are oppressed ethnically by ISIL, Regional Kurdistan Government and Iraqi Government. Kirkuk, Mosul, Diala, Zakho, Tal Afar, Tuzhurmatu, Altunköprü, Karatepe, Makhmor, Tazehurmatu, Arbil are all Turkmen cities, but Arbil was Kurdicized after the collapse of Saddam. And now Kurds aim to kurdicize the other Turkmen cities, especially Kirkuk, by oppressing Turkmens ethnically.

Zeynep Ali Ekber, a female Turkmen running away from ISIL, left his father and two brothers behind, who were captured by ISIL, said: “My father was a shepherd. One day the terrorists came to the village, captured all the males and brought them. That’s the same for other villages as well. We couldn’t hear from them anymore.”

Mahsun Habil Muhsin complains: “We are Turks, but the government of Turkey doesn’t embrace us. If we return our hometown, ISIL will pull off our heads. We need the help of Turkey. If Turkey negotiates with Peshmerga, they might allow us to go to Kirkuk via Arbil.

Hıdır Süleyman, a teacher in a primary school in Tal Afar, also ran away with his nine children, says: “We ran away from Tal Afar, leaving everything behind. We lost some elders on the way, we also lost some children and females. You see our miserable situation. We want them to allow us pass via Hazir for Kirkuk.

Eyat Sutto informed that his wife is ill for days, but the Peshmerga disallow them to go to a hospital. He also said: “Atatürk, the founder of Turkish Republic, had a will of protecting Turkmens in Iraq, but the Turkish government doesn’t embrace us now. We are to die of starvation, heat and dust here. Keeping us wait here in the desert is the same thing what ISIL makes.”

The resource for the article is Hürriyet. Reporter: Ipek Yezdani; Photo by S. Şamiloğlu; Translated by, 23.07.2014

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