Kurdistan issues in press interviews: Sheikh Qambar Al-Bayati


American Express


Sign the petition for Iraq's three-region solution June 19, 2008 Kurdistan issues in press interviews: Sheikh Qambar Al-Bayati

The Turkomans need to know their destiny is bound by the destiny of the people of Kurdistan

Interview with head of Iraqi Turkoman tribes Sheikh Qambar Al-Bayati

Kurdishaspect.com - Translated by Dr Kamal Mirawdeli

[Interview with Chief of Iraqi Turkoman Tribes Sheikh Qambar [Al-Bayati] by Sarwat Gli" Iraqi Turkomans' destiny is bound by Kurdistan Region"]

Sheikh Qambar [Al-Bayati] was born in Kirkuk in 1956 and completed all stages of his education in Kifri. He is a graduate from Agriculture College in Baghdad where he has lived for some time. He is member of the Consultation Committee for Article 140 in Kirkuk and from 16 May 2006 he has been elected as head of Iraqi Turkoman tribes.

He says: “Turkomans can obtain their rights under the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG).”  Sheikh Qambar [Al-Bayati] has an office where he communicates his views on article 140, issues concerning the Turkomans and other matters. Aso conducted this interview with the head of Iraqi Turkoman tribes Sheikh Qambar Rashid Abbas Al-Bayati.

The tasks of his office [heading added]

About the tasks of his office, Sheikh Qambar Al-Bayati says: “This office was opened for us by the General Directorate of Kurdistan Region Government on 16 May 2006. We have programmes and action plans. We have members from Mandali to Tala’far. The aim of this office is to encourage peaceful co-existence and fraternity between the three nations, Arabs, Kurds and Turkomans within the framework of a federal democratic Iraq.”

He adds; “We have done a lot of good. We have solved many big tribal problems and conflicts between Kurds and Turkomans which they had not been completely resolved by courts. We found solutions for them. Our doors are open to everyone. People come to us every day. We have been able to create [the spirit of] co-existence and fraternity among people.” Sheikh Qambar added: “We had good impact on the Turkomans. We have been able to explain the truth and the fact for them that the destiny of the Turkomans is bound by the destiny of the people of Kurdistan and that under KRG the Turkomans can achieve all their rights.” 

KRG support

The head of Turkoman tribes talks about the support offered to the Turkomans by the President of Iraq Mam [honorific] Jalal [Talabani]. He says: “So far we have been able to provide salaries to over 600 Turkoman families through the KRG. Furthermore by a decision made by the President Mam Jalal, 5000 Turkomans now get monthly salaries from the Ministry of Social Affairs of KRG.  We have also been able through the KRG to support the victims of Tala’far and Amerly explosions and send the wounded to Iran for treatment. Whenever people needed us we facilitated sending them to Iran for treatment for wounds or diseases. We have so far sent more than 1000 people to Iran. “He added:” We continue to register the names of those patients who wish to go to Iran for treatment. After we get accurate details about them, we make them fill in and sign a pledge that they would not go for political purposes and when they return they must visit our office.” He also indicated that the needs of many Turkoman schools in the cities of Kirkuk, Tuzkhurmato and Mnadali have been met by KRG.”

Budget of the office

About the budget (funding) for his office, the head of Turkoman tribes says:” The monthly budget of the office is 13,300,000 Iraqi dinars. We receive this money from the General Directorate of KRG. We use this amount of money to pay the salaries of 18 peshmargas, 22 employees of the office, rent and other running expenses of our office. “But, he said, “for 8 months now our budget has been suspended and this was because of a dispute about an illegally used plot of land which was near our office. A number of armed men came to occupy this land but we did not accept. This has caused a problem between us and our friends at [PUK?] Hamrin Centre. Since then our budget has been stopped. Then we found out that these armed men had not come from the Hamrin Centre. The suspension of our budget has indeed created a lot of problems for us. We have been visited three times by the General Financial Committee. They have inspected our work and we never had any problem in relation of our expenditure."


The Turkoman tribes [office] used  to publish a weekly newspaper in Arabic called “Ojagh”. But the publication was stopped after just 8 issues. Sheikh Qambar was the owner of the newspaper. He says: “Ojagh was a weekly paper in Arabic and it was distributed in most Iraqi cities and towns. It has its impact especially in relation to article 140 and peaceful coexistence of the nations in Iraq. But because of lack of funding and the suspension of our budget we could not maintain it. Whenever our budget is restored, we will resume its publication as a weekly paper. We only stopped it because of lack of funding otherwise we do not have any problem for its publication.”

Article 140 and Turkoman interests

About article 140 and where the interests of Turkomans lie, Sheikh Qambar Al-Bayati says: “Article 140 is a constitutional article, violating it means violation of the constitution. We have always frankly said that the implementation of this article serves the interests of the Turkomans. The Turkomans need to know the fact their destiny is bound by the destiny of the people of Kurdistan.” 

Turkoman tribes/Turkoman Front relations

On the relations between Turkoman tribes and the Turkoman Front Sheikh Qamabr Bayati says openly:”The Turkoman Front does not represent the Turkomans. It implements part of Turkish system and Turkey’s plans here and they act against the interests of Turkomans. Now the Turkomans desert them daily after they realized the truth that Turkoman Front does not represent them. They come and contact us.” The head of Turkoman tribes added: “Turkoman Front is always creating problems for us. Because of a plot by the Turkoman Front I was kidnapped on Baghdad-Tuzkhurmatu road. I was released after I paid 50,000 dollars.”

Turkish bombardment of Kurdistan Region

Sheikh Qambar Bayati condemns Turkey’s bombardment of Kurdistan Region areas. He says: “Turkey aims to undermine the stable and peaceful conditions in Kurdistan. It looks at Kurdistan from the view point of its own interests. Turkey has never aimed at protecting the rights of Iraq’s Turkomans. If Turkey wants to protect the rights of minorities, why doesn’t it recognize the rights of 40 [?] millions of Kurds in Turkey? Turkey uses the existence of PKK bases in Kurdistan Mountains just as an excuse.”

Turkoman population in Iraq

The head of Iraqi Turkoman tribes revealed to Aso that the real number of Turkomans in Iraq is about half a million. He added;” Within this number some are originally Kurds and they know that their origin goes back to the [Kurdish tribes of] Zangana or Gil and most of the Turkomans recognise that they are part of Kurdistan.”

Role of Iraqi President

Sheikh Qambar highly appreciates the role of the President of the Republic of Iraq [Jalal Talabani]. He said: “We thank Mam Jalal for supporting Turkomans rights and protecting the interests of Turkomans. We have formed a [Turkoman] committee with the help of [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s] Centre Two in Kirkuk. I am a member of this committee which has 20 members. I would like to thank the bureau of [PUK’s] Bureau of Kurdistani Relations who have offered us a lot of support and assistance to set up this office which will open soon in Kirkuk.”

Source: //Aso, Kirkuk, daily newspaper in standard Kurdish, 15 June 08, p 5//

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