Turkmen women call to uncover fate of 1300 missing Turkmen abducted by ISIS

Demonstration by Turkmen women organizations and activists in Kirkuk to find the captives abducted by ISIS on February 2, 2021. Photo: Goran Baban

Goran Baban, Kirkuk

Turkmen activists and NGOs call upon Iraqi authorities to uncover fate of 1300 kidnapped by Islamic State ISIS militants in Talafar, west of Mosul.

The activists demonstrated in front of Iraqi high commission of human rights in Kirkuk on Tuesday calling for serious follow up for the case of Shiite-Turkmen abducted by ISIS/Daesh.

“Many of our people in Talafar were killed and abducted by ISIS,” Istabraq Yazaroglu, in charge of Turkmen civil society organizations affiliated to Iraqi Turkmen Front ITF, said.

Daesh committed atrocities in June 2014 when they controlled Shiite-majority Turkmen town of Talafar. 1300 people were abducted: 700 men, 470 women and 130 children, among them 400-500 in ISIS controlled prisons in Syria, a statement by Turkmen civil society NGOs said.

Turkmen are considered the third largest ethnic group in Iraq after Arabs and Kurds, residing almost exclusively in the northern towns and villages stretching from Tal Afar through Mosul, Erbil, Altun Kopri, Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, Kifri and Khanaqin. They are half Sunnis and half Shiite.

“Many of our people in Talafar were killed and abducted by ISIS,” Istabraq Yazaroglu, in charge of Turkmen civil society organizations affiliated to Iraqi Turkmen Front ITF, said.

 

“We believe so far no truthful and serious acts or steps have been taken to find them,” Yazaroglu believes, as up today “only 42 were freed, 20 women and 22 children."

The demonstrators asked for immediate and quick actions to free 400-500 Turkmen girls imprisoned by ISIS in Syria.

Based on correspondence between Iraqi parliament human rights’ committee and high commission of human rights, slaved Turkmen women in Syria are in Hawl detention camp in Raqqa and Afrin detentions, Yazaroglu concluded.

Gathering for release of a number of Turkmen women from ISIS in August 2019 in Kirkuk. Photo: Iraqi Turkmen Front ITF leader.

 

A number of missing Turkmen women faced sexual assault, forcible abortion, and other violations not disclosed for social reasons, Turkmen activists elaborated to KirkukNow in previous reports.

“We believe so far no truthful and serious acts or steps have been taken to find them,” Yazaroglu believes, as up today “only 42 were freed, 20 women and 22 children."

 

Though 1300 Turkmen went missing in 2014, international recognition of the atrocity came later. Shiite Turkmen were among captives under ISIS faced sexual violence, the United Nations representative for sexual violence against women Zainab Bankora admitted in August 2016.

In 2019, Turkmen in Iraq declared it to the media that Turkmen women were taken captive and sexually harassed by ISIS militants.

Gathering for release of a number of Turkmen women from ISIS in August 2019 in Kirkuk. Photo: Iraqi Turkmen Front ITF leader.

“We have got information that some of the women in Hawl detention camps are Turkmen from Talafar and we are here asking the government to interfere to free them to reunite their families ,” Khiloud Nashat, member of Turkmen women union, said.

 

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