Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Opinion

Kirkuk’s Arabization is a throwback to the Baathist era

By Arif Qurbany 8/8/2018
-
-

Murder and kidnap have spread through the city of Kirkuk since the events of October 16. Now city officials have begun settling Arab families on the land and Kurdish officials have been replaced by Arabs and Turkmen.


The Kurds of the city are particularly concerned about instructions issued by the Kirkuk governor and the Iraqi agriculture ministry to return the farmlands owned by Kurds to Arab settlers, who were offered these lands by Saddam Hussein in the past.

The farmland on the outskirts of Kirkuk owned by Kurds and Turkmen was seized by the Baath regime between 1975 and 1995 under different pretexts in aid of its Arabization project – 1,193,164 acres of land in all.

These lands are mostly located around Kurdish and Turkmen villages in the suburbs of Kirkuk. During the Baath party’s rule, indigenous residents of these villages were expelled and their lands given to Arab settlers.

After the fall of Saddam, Kurds returned to their land and Arab settlers were compensated in accordance with article 140 of the Iraqi constitution. These Arab settlers had to return to their original homes.

During the fourteen years between the fall of Saddam and the October events, few of these lands were cultivated by the Kurds. Some have been abandoned by their owners.

Now it seems Arabization is back with a vengeance. 

Baghdad is practicing this policy deliberately through the acting governor of Kirkuk, Rakan Saeed. And this practice is deepening disputes with the Kurds and Sunnis in the city, giving the Shiites the power to dominate Kirkuk through newly-appointed Shiite Turkmen. By doing this, Baghdad hopes to draw the Turkmen of the city into its embrace, and away from Turkey and the Kurds.


What are the Kurds doing to prevent this new wave of Arabization and ethnic cleaning?

The people of the Kurdistan Region are unaware of what is happening in Kirkuk. And this is because of Kurdish disunity on Kirkuk, the implications of October 16 events, and media apathy toward the dangers and threats to the city. They might not believe the way Kirkuk is being run is akin to Baath party rule.

Baghdad is influencing Kirkuk systematically. And there are many officials within Kurdish parties who are drawn and committed to the strategy Baghdad is pursuing, strengthening Baghdad’s position in Kirkuk and undermining the Kurdish role in the city.

Kirkuk will have a decisive provincial election in the next few months. Unlike the May 12 election, Baghdad may not honor the mechanisms used to maintain the ethnic balance of the city administration. It could force Kurdish influence out of office.

The Kurdish position in Kirkuk is increasingly undermined. Kurds must work together to prevent a return to the Baathist era. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rudaw.

Comments

 
Peleng | 8/8/2018
The author seems to have missed the big picture. This is not an Arabizaion policy but a Shiazaion policy. It's an Iranian plan to solidify a Shia belt across that area all the way to Syria and Lebanon.
Yamaha | 8/8/2018
No people on the kurdish street do know what's going, and they're getting angrier by the day. The iraqi system of govedmance is collapsing and soon bagdad will collapse so those shiite theives should not get too comfortable on kurdish land in kirkuk because they will be kicked out again. and not so nicely this time
Eagle | 11/8/2018
Bullshit you can call it whatever you want but it’s the same salami tactics that the Sudanese falsely called Arabs are using since 3 thousand years ago and stripped the Kurds actually Israelis from Egypt and hole of Middle East and Europe. They used altruism religion and nowadays fascism as an excuse but in the end they want to strip us from our lands and even more humiliate us and actually try to enslave us to their deluded people.
Post a New Comment
Comment as a guest or Login for more enhanced interactive experience

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Pete | 8/13/2018 1:24:51 PM
Rojava's democratic system is the most fair and progressive political system in human history. It represents the future of the middle east, and...
Zagros | 8/14/2018 5:40:11 AM
Hey Pete, no Rojava isn't the most fair and progressive system in the world. It's a place controlled by an expired Marxist group called YPG and those...
Rojava hopes to preserve autonomy in talks with Syrian regime
| 11/8/2018 | (6)
IranMan | 8/14/2018 4:26:36 AM
@pre-Boomer Marine brat, and the are both terrible economists ;)
SuperJC | 8/14/2018 5:27:01 AM
Erdogan does all the things against Allah...then calls Allah to help him. Contradict one...two...and thee. Even Allah says bye-bye.
Why is Turkey facing economic oblivion?
| 23 hours ago | (5)
Iraniannationalist | 8/13/2018 12:19:19 PM
Then why some of you sunni ottomanized Kurds are 24/7 active insulting Iranian people and country? If you say Iran only "has" a small part of...
Mohamedzzz | 8/14/2018 5:14:20 AM
@Iranian nationalist is just a Turkish rat: you are right, Turkey will promote animosity between Iran and Kurds so he can expand its Ottoman...
Iran says 10 militants killed in Kurdish area near Iraq
| 11/8/2018 | (7)
Guest | 8/13/2018 9:51:13 PM
A puppet at the end of Iran's string.
Jay | 8/14/2018 3:06:13 AM
Sure, otherwise the billion dollar drug trade that politicians run will be in jeopardy. If drug trade stop and Iran is not able to smuggle all these...
Abadi: Iraq will continue to do business with Iran – but not in US dollars
| 12 hours ago | (7)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

What effect will a Hashd drawdown have on Nineveh? 45 minutes ago |

What effect will a Hashd drawdown have on Nineveh?

"Yezidis have an understandable fear of any more
Turkey crisis risks souring military ties with US 1 hour ago |

Turkey crisis risks souring military ties with US

"It'll just force Turkey into Russia's hands" more
New Generation announces 50 candidates for KRG election 10 hours ago | (1)

New Generation announces 50 candidates for KRG election

The party secured four seats in Iraq's May 12 more
0.25 seconds