Turkmen blocs in the Kurdistan parliament are happy for the recognitions of their two national days: Opening of first Turkmen school in 1993 and first Turkish newspaper in South of Kurdistan in 1911.
The resolution, which formally designates Turkmen national days, has encouraged Turkmen to call upon the Iraq Council of Representative to take the same step in order to promote peaceful coexistence in Kirkuk.
Mohammed Saadedin, a member of Turkmen Development Party bloc in the Kurdistan parliament, said, “based on the protection law of ethnic groups of Parliament, every ethnic group has the right to have its own national days. As a result, Kurdistan Parliament officially designated two Turkmen’s national days.”
November 17th is designated as Turkmen’s cultural and language day because on the same day in 1993 the first two Turkmen schools were opened in Erbil and Kifri, Sulaimani.
Likewise, February 25th is designated for Turkish newspaper day as it was published for the first time in 1911 in South Kurdsitan, Iraqi Kurdistan.
Saadedin stated, “designating that two national days is important for us. For instance, after 100 years, in 1993 we could study in our mother tongue.”
“Ethnic groups’ rights are protected in the Kurdistan Region and their national days are designated by the parliament. It is important to Iraqi parliament, which has more experience than Kurdistan Region’s parliament and as it claims for democracy, should pass a specific resolution for ethnic groups that would determine their rights because Iraqi parliament is yet to pass such law.”
Turkmen blocs have five seats of the 11 seats allocated to minorities in the Kurdistan Region’s parliament.
Turkmen Front has two of the seats and three other blocs have the remaining seats.
For the first time in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Ministry of Ethnic Groups Affairs and parliament secretary have been allocated to Turkmen.
Aiden Maruf, minister of ethnic group’s affairs, said, “it was a great job and a happy step for the Turkmen to have our cultural and language days. We live in the KRG freely and have no national problems.”
“I am in the council of ministers and represent all the ethnic groups, not only representing one ethnic group. In my opinion, it is necessary to all ethnic group to have their national days,” he added.