Two separate demonstrations in front of Kirkuk’s Education Department

Kirkuk, 22 September – a protest by teacher of Kurdish education in Kikruk City – Photo by Soran Muhammad

KirkukNow - Kirkuk

Two separate demonstrations took place in Kirkuk today in front of the building of Kirkuk Education Department. One by the teachers of Kurdish education, demanding a meeting with PM al-Kadhimi, and another by Turkmen residents, demanding equal share of hiring.

The Turkmens claim that there is discrimination against them in the hiring processes. They also demand that the families of their “martyrs” should be given priority.

footage of the protest by Turmens

The Ministry of Education had released a list of the individuals who will be hired earlier this year. 62% of them are of the Arab component, about 21% Kurds, 17% Turkmen, and less than 1% Christians.

The teachers of the Kurdish education demand to be registered with the Federal Government instead of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which fails to pay them salaries. It is the fifth time that a committee representing the Kurdish teachers has made a request to meet with the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Salam Aziz, the head of the committee, told KirkukNow: “We want to meet with the prime minister directly to say that we are residents of this city and we serve it, but our salaries are not being paid by the KRG. We want Kurdish education to be treated as Arabic and Turmkmen are treated.”

footage of the protest by Kurdish teachers

More than 8,000 educators in Kurdish work in the disputed areas under the control of the Federal Government, but they are registered with KRG.

“If they keep ignoring us and don’t give replies to our demands, we will go to Baghdad to protest in front of the Council of Ministers [building],” added Salam Aziz.

During the protest, the teachers read a statement, part of which read: “We as all three leaderships of the Federal Government take our demands into consideration; we ask for our basic right, which is being paid a salary.”

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