The issue of the three Turkmen officers was solved who were supposed to be questioned by the ministry for saluting an anthem for the Turkmens in an event in Kirkuk Northern Province.
On June 14th, three Turkmen officers attending the Turkmen martyr day in Kirkuk rendered a military hand salute to the anthem of the Turkmen, one of the main components in Iraq.
Following the circulation of the footage on social media, the Iraqi ministry of interior has formed a committee and of the three officers was questioned in Baghdad, a source in Kirkuk police told KirkukNow on the condition of anonymity.
"Photo and footage of those three officers was rapidly circulated on social media and was criticized by some people pushing the ministry to form a committee but the problem has been solved," the anonymous source said.
He declared no further information about procedures taken or mechanism of sorting out the issue.
The Turkmen, the third largest ethnic group in Iraq after Arabs and Kurds, are spread across the country, 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 all Muslims, Sunnis and Shiites as well.
Kirkuk, 238 km north of Baghdad & Iraq's second largest oil reserves, is ethnically a mixed province for 1.2 million Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen. It has long been at the center of the disputed territories between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.
The disputed territories between Erbil and Baghdad extend from Khanaqin in the east on the border with Iran to the oil rich city of Kirkuk heading to the west of Mosul in Shingal, home to the Ezidi ethno-religious minority, on the border with Syria.
Footage of the three Kirkuki officers rendered a hand salute to the Turkmen anthem
The Turkmen believe the matter is normal yet some people aim at intriguing feud.
"Annually we commemorate the day of Turkmen martyr attended by officers and officials…. We play the Turkmen anthem and the military salute it but this was never a problem," a source close to the Iraqi Turkmen Front ITF, one of the leading Iraqi Turkmen parties, said.
Turkmen political parties won eight seats out of 329 in Iraq's May 2018 parliamentary elections. ITF holds three seats, and the Turkmen Bloc has five seats.
"It seems this year someone poured oil on the fire to punish the officers but fortunately the plan failed and the issue has been sorted out," he added.
The three officers are Colonel Taha Salahaddin, director of security checkpoints' department, Brigadier Mustafa Nawzad, Chief of Qoria police station and the first lieutenant Fatima Wahid.
Kirkuk is currently under control of Baghdad. Kirkuk Operations command is an umbrella for local and federal police, the Shiite paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF known as Hashid al-Sha’abi and the Iraqi army.