Denunciation of the Lies Diffused by Anglo-French Colonials and ´Kurdish” Terrorists About Iraq

rich_soitm_kurds1.jpgDr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

In a previous article entitled “Devastating Refutation of the UK-promoted Fallacy about ´Kurdish´ Historical Presence in Kerkuk” (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/devastating-refutation-of-the-uk-promoted-fallacy-about-kurdish-historical-presence-in-kerkuk.html), I underscored the historical reality that the assumption that Kerkuk has been a historically ´Kurdish” area, and that there has been a significant “Kurdish” presence there, is a colonial fallacy of criminal dimensions.

In fact, Kerkuk belongs to the Turkmen, and this is what all the Europeans and the English said by themselves, when they crossed the Ottoman Empire during the last two centuries of its existence.

I specified that the fallacy about “Kurdish Kerkuk” is now being diffused only to misinform Western audiences and readerships, and thus promote a consensus and a public support for a ´Kurdish” state in the area of Northern Iraq that will – illegally, criminally and ominously – control the Oil-rich territory of Kerkuk only to further finance wars and discords, conflicts and calamities throughout the region, according to the messianic and eschatological plans of the Apostate Freemasonic Lodge.

To better illuminate the issue, I found it greatly worthy for the criminally misinformed readerships to republish a pertinent historical study that has been elaborated by the famous SOITM Foundation in total refutation of the fallacious ICG Report (about which: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/oil-for-soil-in-iraq-and-peace-for-land-in-palestine-more-bloodshed-tyranny-and-chaos.html).

In the present article, I proceed re-publishing further parts of the comprehensive report that so convincingly refutes the ICG-promoted falsehood.

The Historical Anatomy of Kerkuk Region

http://www.turkmen.nl/1A_soitm/art.30-K2908.htm

Kerkuk in the First Half of the 20th Century

Kerkuk by the Officers of the British Mandate

Almost all the administrative units of the modern Iraqi state were built by the British after the First World War. Besides large numbers of Iraqis in every administrative field (including justice, economy, industry, education, health.. etc), tens of the English military and political officers worked for decades to institute the governmental structures of the new Iraqi state and to guard English interests. Despite that these Britons were politically minded, their publications can be considered as being relatively reliable sources. These include important information about the Turkmen nature of the region. Edmonds and Lyon lived in Iraq 3 decades; the former worked in Kerkuk two and half years, the second more than 1 year. Longrigg, Soane and Hay worked in Iraq for several years.

E. B. Soane, an intelligence British officer visited Kerkuk before occupation in 1908 mentioned: 55

“Kirkuk is famous for Turkomans, fruit, and crude oil, all of which abound. The town, which must have a population of at least I5.000, is one of the trilingual towns of the Kurdistan borders”.

“Itself a Turkoman town, to its south and west are nomad Arabs, and to its east the country of the Hamavand Kurds”.

“Turkish power is very evident here. Being near to Bagdad—seven days and possessing a Turkish-speaking population, it is in a position to supply a large number of youths to the military schools”.

“The Chaldean settlement is of considerable antiquity, having migrated here, according to their own traditions, during the time of Alp Arslan, in the 11th century. If Kirkuk is, as the natives assert, a remnant of the Seljuq kings, this is possible, and perhaps even probable. Unlike the Chaldeans of Mosul, they have not forgotten the Syriac character, and while they speak only Turkish, employ these characters in writing among themselves”.

Despite that Edmonds imposed the Kurdish nature on Kerkuk province and largely ignores that of the Turkmen and Arab, the realities forced him to present important information on the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk city. Relating to the population nature of Kerkuk city in the early 1920s, he says the following: 56

“The population at the time which I am writing numbered perhaps about 25,000, of whom the great majority was Turkmen and about one-quarter Kurds, with smaller colonies of Arab, Christians and Jews”.

The Turkmen nature of Tuz Khurmatu, (which was considered one of the largest of Kerkuk´s districts before detachment in 1976), and the villages around it, were indirectly described by Edmonds as Turkmen. He mentioned: 57

“He proved to be Shaikh Hasan, head of the Dol Pamu branch of the Barzinja family, who, though to all outward appearance an orthodox Sunni, was accepted as their Spiritual Guide by the unorthodox Qizilbash inhabitants of Tuz Khurmatu and other Turkoman villages near the High Way in Kirkuk liwa”.

The followings are another oblique way by which Edmonds seems to be forced to admit the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk city: 58, 59

“Kirkuk remained an important garrison town and, for reasons of Language and the racial composition of the population, an important recruiting centre or civil servants and gendarmes on ‘whom the Ottoman administration could rely”.

“The administrative status of Kirkuk was very different from that of Sulaimani. Although the liwa had not yet acceded to Faisal’s kingdom it was being administered almost exactly as if it had, except that Turkish was still being used not only for local purposes but also in communications with Baghdad, that all the civil servants were local men (of whom there was no dearth in this cradle of Ottoman officials), and that the Iraqi flag was not flown over the serai”.

The Large district Kara Tepe, of the Kifri district which was also detached from Kerkuk province in 1976, was clearly presented by Longrigg as Turkmen: 60

“An operation by the 13th and 14th division late November ended with the seizure of the Saqaltutan Pass on the Jabal Hamrin and the Turkmen Town of Qara tepe in the Kifri plain”.

The political officer of Erbil province from 1918 to 1920 is another source of information. He emphasized the Turkmen nature of several important regions also out of the Kerkuk province. Hay listed the Turkmen towns, and stressed the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk city and villages around it as follows: 61

“Starting with the Nebi Yunis (the tomb of the Prophet Jonah) on the bank of the Tigris opposite Mosul, and running down through Arbil, Altun Keupri, Kirkuk, Kifri, and Qizil Robat to Mandali, we find a line of towns with Turkish-speaking inhabitants. It is practically the same line which divides predominantly Kurdish from predominantly Arab territory. Kirkuk is the main centre of this Turkish population, and before the war possessed 30,000 inhabitants. Several villages in its vicinity are also Turkish speaking, whereas the other towns are isolated communities surrounded by Kurds and Arabs”.

On another occasions he said: 62, 63

“Kirkuk and Arbil, especially the former, provided large numbers of officials to the Turkish Government, who favored them owing to their knowledge of the State language”.

“The only two places with a Turkish-speaking population which concern us closely are Arbil and Altun Keupri”.

Hay is considered from the rare sources which presented information on one of the Turkmen regions in Diyala province. He resided in Mendeli for 6 months. He says: 64

“Mandali in fact was an ideal training ground. Four languages were current in the district, and most of the townsmen could speak all four. As children they learnt their mother tongue, Turkish, from their parents, and the local Kurdo-Lurish dialect from their nurses and the people of the hills, whither they were sent for the hot weather. Subsequently they acquired Arabic from the men who tended their date-gardens, and Persian from the merchants who visited their town and became guests in their houses”.

For the same town, Keppel in 1824 presented the followings: 65

“Not many weeks before we saw this Moolah, he was one of the principal persons of Mendali, a Turkish town near the frontier. In those days he was the bosom friend of Davoud Pasha, “his best of cut-throats” and most willing instrument of assassination”.

On several occasions Lyon´s information contradicts that of Edmonds on the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk city. Relating to the most important notable of Kerkuk, Edmonds presented the Kurdish tribal family Talabani and their poet Sheikh Riza, while Lyon presented four Turkmen families and a Turkmen poet as the prominent families of Kerkuk. Lyon did not include neither Talabani family nor their poet in between Kerkuk notables. 66

“There were four main families of notables in Kirkuk – the Naftchizadas, Qirdars, Aouchis and Ya’qubizadas. The first, headed by Husain Beg, were an old Turkish family which had the local oil concession. The Qirdars, headed by Haji Jemil, a much revered and astute old gentleman, were wealthy merchants, cousins of the Mayor of Istanbul. Haji Hassan Effendi Aouchi, head of his family, an ex-mudir and a keen farmer, had spent a large fortune making an irrigation canal on his land in the Hawija plain bordering the Lesser Zab River. His sons were great sportsmen and fully upheld the family name Aouchi, which in Turkish means hunter.

The Yaqubizadas were municipal officials with considerable property in the city. They had retreated from Kirkuk with the British and so cast in their lot on our side and Mejid Effendi was Mayor of the city. All four families were solid reliable Turkish stock, and after the war their leadership and support was a most stabilizing factor in local government”.

On the Turkmen regions in the north of Iraq Lyon presented the followings: 5

“The country between Kifri and Kirkuk and onwards to Arbil, Mosul and across the Turkish boundary to the north consists of rolling steppes, bounded on the right or east by the Kurdish foothills and on the left by the Tigris. It is intersected by many watercourses, including the Greater and Lesser Zab Rivers; and along the road to Mosul and onwards to Turkey are numerous villages inhabited by people of Turkish origin speaking the Turkish tongue, who are quite distinct from the people on either side”.

On the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk city, he said: 67

“Then came Kirkuk, mostly Turkish, which had held out against all Arab blandishments and refused him, but nevertheless was under the Iraqi administration and in any case was situated on the return route to the capital Baghdad”.

Lyon clearly and openly stressed the Turkmen nature of the Kerkuk city: 68

“Kirkuk city was not without its culture – Turkish and proud of it” “The Kurdish struggle for independence had been a constant source of trouble in Turkey and Persia and the conservative Turkish culture of Kirkuk was likewise suspect in Iraq, a country newly torn out of the old Turkish Empire”.

Kerkuk by Some Expert Authorities

Toward the end of the 19th century Vital cuinet, a French geographer that was charged to survey areas and count their population, presented the population number of the communities in Kerkuk central district, which included the city and the sub-districts and villages annexed to it as follows: 69

“La population du chef-lieu et ses environs est de 30.000 habitants suit:

Turkmen: 28.000

Chaldeens: 400

Israelites: 1600”

The commission of the league of the nations, which had extensively studied the demography of Kerkuk region in 1924, presented important information on the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk region. Under the heading “The Turkish Character of Kerkuk and other towns along the High Way” Commission´s report stated: 70

“It is obvious, however, that the basis stock of the population of these towns along what is known as the “high-road” is Turkish. The leading men are Turkish. We may mention that even the Christians of Kerkuk speak Turkish among themselves. At Kerkuk the only newspaper which appears – twice weekly – under Government control, is printed in Turkish. Official Acts are published in Turkish and Arabic. The British political officer knows Turkish but speaks neither Arabic nor Kurdish. Turkish is spoken all along the high-road in all localities of any importance. The little town of Altun Kopru is definitely Turkish. The population of Tuz Khurmatu is, except for a few Jewish families, entirely Turkish or Turkmen. We estimate the population of Qara Tepe to be 75 per cent Turkish, 22 per cent Kurd, and 3 per cent Arab. Taza KhnrmatIi and Tauq are also mainly Turkish. As regards the population of the villages in the neighborhood of these towns, the Turks constitute only a scattered minority.

Razzuq Isa, an Iraqi author, in his volume “The geography of Iraq” published in 1922, considered the Turkmen as the first component of Kerkuk city and Malha (West) and Tawuk (North) sub-districts. He regarded Turkish as the major language of Kerkuk city and he said that the poets in Kerkuk write in Turkish. The population of Kifri district, Kara Tepe and Tuz Khurmatu was estimated by him as predominantly Turkmen. However, he unexpectedly described the population of the Altun Kopru Sub-district as predominantly Kurds and no Turkmen. 71

Taha Baker al-Hashimi is an Iraqi historian; his book “The Geography of Iraq” was approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Education to be studied in secondary schools in 1929. In the section on Kerkuk province, he considers the majority in the province to be Turkmen: 72

“The population of the province according to the estimation of the year 1920 was 92.000, of which the majority are Turks”

Al-Daftari in his book, “The Iraqi North” published in 1954 considered the Turkmen as the first component of Kerkuk city. 73

Talking on the early decades of the 20th century, the English Air minister CBT Thomson mentioned: 74

“Thence, in the course of the afternoon, to Kerkuk, a Turcoman city and the seat of the Chaldean archbishop, where we spent the night …”.

The English peerage Hoare said: 75

“In less than an hour we were at Kirkuk, a place that is mainly Turcoman”.

American traveler Warfield described Kerkuk of the early 19th century as distinctly Turkish. 76

“Turks and Arabs never did get on well together and Kerkuk is distinctly Turkish”.

The American scholar of Near Eastern cultures, O’Shea, mentioned: 77

“Of cities such as Kirkuk, in which Kurdish inhabitants were the minority”

Gordon who worked out of the Baghdad in the 1930s mentioned that Kerkuk is a Turkish speaking city. 78

“There are some Turcoman villages, while the city of Kerkuk (eclipsed in size only by Baghdad, Basra and Mosul) is Turkish speaking.

The Encyclopedia of Islam, which was updated between 1913 and 1936, is the standard encyclopedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies. Its section on Kerkuk stated: 79

“Turkmen are the predominant element in the city. It considers the city as bulwark of the Ottoman Empire and a center of its culture”.

Liora Lukitz, a research fellow for several years at the Centre for Middle East Studies at Harvard University, clearly confirm the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk city: 80

“The Kerkuklis made their participation in the electoral process conditional on four provisos: (1) non-interference of the government in the electoral procedures; (2) the preservation of the Turkish character in the Liwa;s administration; (3) the recognition of Turkish as the Liwa´s official language; and (4) the appointment of Kerkuklis in all cabinets to be formed in Baghdad thereafter.

In a telegram in Turkish sent in July 1923, the Prime Minister, ´Abd el Muhsin al Sa´dun, confirmed the Council of ministers´ acceptance of the conditions two and three”.

She determines the important regions populated by Turkmen in Kerkuk province: 81

“Those borders left the districts of Arbil, Altin Kopru, Kirkuk and Kifri (Inhabited mostly by Turkmen) outside the area in which the Kurds predominated”.

Batatu´s work on Iraq is widely considered the pre-eminent study of the modern Iraqi history,82 his description for the city of Kerkuk is: 83

“Kerkuk, an oil center, lying 180 miles north of Baghdad, had been Turkish through and through in the not too distant past. By degrees, Kurds moved into the city from the surrounding villages. With the growth of the oil industry, their migration intensified. By 1959, they had swollen to more than one third of the population, and the Turkmen had declined to just over half, the Assyrians and Arabs accounting, in the main, for the rest of the total of 120,000”.

The western region of Kerkuk province, which was exposed to severe demographical changes, was described by Batatu as owned by the Turkmen: 84

“The Turkmen owned much of the agricultural country in the Malhah region, along the lesser Zab and in the western outskirts of Kerkuk, but their ploughs and sheep were tended by Arabs”.

David McDowall, a distinguished scholar and a specialist on minorities in the Middle East presents valuable information on the Turkmen regions in Kerkuk province, particularly on the Turkmen nature of Kerkuk region: 85 – 88

“Kerkuk City had a large Turkmen population as recently as 1958”.

“The Turkmen Towns on the edges of the Mesopotamian plain, most probably Erbil and Kerkuk”.

“Finally an autonomous Southern Kurdistan excluding Kerkuk, Altun Kopru and Arbil where the largest urban communities were Turkmen”.

“Tension had been growing for some time between Turkmen, the originally predominant element (of Kerkuk city), and Kurds who had settled during the 1930s and 1940s, driven from the land by landlord rapacity and drawn by the chance for employment in the burgeoning oil industry. By 1959 half the populations of 150,000 were Turkmen, rather less than half were Kurds and the balance Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians”.

McDowall shed light on Kurdish obstinate attempts to take over Kerkuk region: 85, 89

“Few Kurds would claim quite as much today, but would still claim the city of Kerkuk, even though it had a larger Turkmen population as recently as 1958”.

“When the government proposed to apply the 1957 census to Kerkuk, Mulla Mustafa refused it, since this was bound to show that the Turkmen, although outnumbered in the province as a whole, were still predominant in Kerkuk town”.

Professor Phebe Marr a retired prominent historian of modern Iraq. She was research professor at the National Defense University and a professor of history at the University of Tennessee and at Stanislaus State University in California considers Turkmen the leading family of Kerkuk city and she says that many Kurds migrated into Kerkuk city: 90

“Kirkuk, the Communists reckoned, would be an ideal location for the intimidation of their enemies. The leading families in the city were Turcoman. They formed a well-educated, relatively conservative group of upper- and middle-class bureaucrats, merchants, landowners, and businessmen. The town was also inhabited by a substantial number of Kurds, many of whom had migrated there to work for the oil company as laborers. The Kurds would form a good base of support for the Communists, as many belonged to, or sympathized with, the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), which was allied with the Communist Party. As the headquarters of the oil company, Kirkuk also had a large concentration of workers, who could be mobilized by the Communists as during the earlier Kirkuk episode in 1946”.

In a recent article, Prof. Odisho, a Christian native of Kerkuk describes Kerkuk as follows: 91

“Some of their (Turkmen) early settlements were and still are along the highway from Baghdad to Kirkuk and then to Mosul including Qara Tapa, Kifri, Tuz Khurmatu, Tauq, Kirkuk, Altun Kopru, Arbil, Tell Afar. Their largest population concentration is in the city of Kirkuk whose linguistics, cultural and ethnic identity is distinctly colored by their presence”. “The Turkomans, as a larger native community, rarely acquired the languages of the smaller ethnic groups such as Assyrians and Armenians except in certain isolated cases when certain Turkomani families or individuals lived among or settled adjacent to the Assyrian and Armenian settlements or socialized with them through employment or friendship” “On different occasions in the elementary school, class presentations were conducted in Turkomani”.

Notes

55. Cyrus Herzl Gordon, “Lands of the Cross and Crescent, Aspects of Middle Eastern and Occidental Affairs”, Ventnor Publishers 1948, P. 100

56. Martijn Theodoor Houtsma, “First Encyclopedia of Islam, 1913-1936”, Brill 2007, P. 1028

57. Liora Lukitz, “Iraq: The Search for National Identity”, Routledge 1995, P. 41

58. Ibid., P. 34

59. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanna_Batatu

60. Hanna Batatu,”The old social classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq”, (Princeton University Press, New Jersey 1978), p. 913,

61. Ibid., P. 45 – 46

62. D. McDowall, “A Modern History of the Kurds”, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd Publishers 1996, London & New York, P. 3

63. Ibid., P. 117

64. Ibid., P. 118

65. Ibid., P. 305

66. Ibid., P. 329

67. Phebe Marr, “The Modern History of Iraq”, P. 165

68. Edward Y. Odisho, “City of Kerkuk: No historical authenticity without multi-ethnicity”. North eastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL U.S..A. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kerkuk/message/576

69. SOITM report, “SOITM Presentation in the conference “Kerkuk Problem and the article 140: Defining alternatives, the views of Kerkuk´s Turkmen and Arabs” in the European Parliament”, dated 1 June 2008

70. D. McDowall, “A Modern History of the Kurds”, P. 9

71. Michael Morony, “Iraq after the Muslim Conquest”, Princeton university press, Priceton, New Jersey, 1984, P. 265

72. Al-Tabari, “the History of al-Tabari: Prophets and Patriarchs”, translated by William M. Brinner, State University of New York Press, vol. II, P. 58

73. D. McDowall, “A Modern History of the Kurds”, P. 13

74. McDowall, “A Modern History of the Kurds”, P. 8

75. Phebe Marr, “The Modern History of Iraq”, P. 8

76. Marco Polo and Hugh Murray, “The Travels of Marco Polo”, Oliver & Boyd 1845, P. 38

77. Paul White, “Ethnic Differentiation among the Kurds: Kurmancî, Kizilbash and Zaza”, http://members.tripod.com/~zaza_kirmanc/research/paul.htm

78. V. Minorsky, “The GÅ«rān”, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 11, No. 1 (1943), pp. 75-103

79. Martijn Theodoor Houtsma, “First Encyclopedia of Islam, 1913-1936”, Vol. IV, P. 1130

80. Ibid, P. 1132

81. P. M. Holt, “The Cambridge History of Islam”, Cambridge University Press 1970, P. 338

82. Le Strange, “The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate”, Cambridge University Press 1930, P. 192

83. Ibid., P. 193

84. Ibid., P. 86

85. Ibid., P. 92

86. Josafa Barbaro and Ambrogio Contarini, “Travels to Tana and Persia”, Burt Franklin Publisher New York 1964

87. M. Kunt, M. van Bruinessen and Hendrik Boeschoten, “Evliya Celebi in Diyarbakir” E.J. Brill 1988, P. 17, A deep note

88. Hakan ÖzoÄŸlu, “Kurdish notables and the Ottoman state: evolving identities, competing …”, SUNY Press 2004, P. 29, 34

89. Martijn Theodoor Houtsma, “First Encyclopedia of Islam, 1913-1936”, Vol. IV, P. 1028

90. Conrad Malte-Brun et al, “Universal Geography: Or a Description of All Parts of the World, on a New .. “, Wells and Lillyp 1826, 108 – 109

91. Ker porter, “Travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia, Ancient Babylonia, &c. &c. during the Years 1817, 1818, 1819, and 1820”, The Monthly Review 1923, Vol. II, P. 426

Note

Picture: The western boundaries of Kurdistan (red line) which was given by Rich

A section of the Map of C. J. Edmonds entitled “Parts of the Liwas Kerkuk and Sulaymani” from the “Kurds, Turks and Arabs”.
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/83553