The Turkmen Front in Kirkuk said they are awaiting the acting governor’s approval so that they celebrate Nawroz (Kurdish New Year) festivals planned to be held at Kirkuk Citadel on March 20.
Arshad Salihi, head of the front in a letter addressed to the governor has asked for permission to allow their members hold the Nawroz festivals at the historic site.
Mardin Joshqi, head of the civil society organizations and leading member of the Turkmen Front told KirkukNow, “The request to take part in the celebrations stems from the fact that we regard the day a celebratory day for Turks as well as the day is also marked in Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan.”
Every year on March 20, Kurds celebrate the Kurdish New Year by lighting bonfires and wearing Kurdish traditional clothes. It also coincides with the day Kurdish Peshmarga forces controlled Kirkuk after driving out the former Ba’ath regime from the city in 1991.
The Turkmen Front official said, “We hope that Kirkuk administration organize this year’s festivals in a way that includes activities for all the diverse components of the province with Iraqi flags raised. But unfortunately, we feel that there are some groups who want to disrupt the situation by designating the Citadel for the celebrations and by raising their own flag.”
Joshqi indicated that their request has not been answered yet by the governor. “We consider Nawroz a Turkish festival and we hope that all the different components participate in this event”, he added.
Kurdish political parties in Kirkuk earlier decided to hold the Nawroz and Kurdish uprising anniversaries jointly at the Kirkuk Citadel and raise the flag of the Kurdistan Region, noting that they were given permission by local authorities.