Photos: Kurdish flag flies in Kirkuk despite Baghdad’s opposition
By Sartip Othman
KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan flag has been raised throughout the ethnically-diverse and disputed city of Kirkuk after the provincial council voted to fly the Kurdish flag side-by-side the Iraqi one.
“It is impossible for Kurdistan’s flag to be lowered again,” said Rebwar Talabani, acting head of Kirkuk Provincial Council.
Kirkuk has Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen populations. The city is located in a disputed area, claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil. It has been secured by Kurdish Peshmerga since mid-2014.
The governor of Kirkuk, Najmaldin Karim, argued in support of flying the Kurdish flag since the city is largely under the administration and protection of the Kurdish government.
Turkmen in the city decry the move as an attempt to change the demographic makeup of Kirkuk. Turkey’s Prime Minister weighed in on the matter saying it is “clearly against the Iraqi constitution.”
The Iraqi parliament voted to repeal the provincial council’s decision and the parliament speaker has formed a committee to find a settlement to the ongoing issue.