The Solution to the Kirkuk Problem is the Turkish-Islamic Union
Turkey has a historic duty to protect an innocent people who share the same origins and beliefs and who speak the same language. The peace and prosperity of our Turkmen brothers is a historic, moral and political responsibility for Turkey. This can be brought about through the establishment of the Turkish-Islamic Union. In order to bring peace to reign in a region experiencing troubles and suffering, steps toward the foundation of the Turkish-Islamic Union must be taken without delay. The Turkish-Islamic Union is also essential and indispensible for the peace, liberation and happiness of all Muslims in Iraq.
The territory of Mosul was given to the newly founded Republic of Iraq at the end of the First World War, in violation of international law and disregarding the wishes of the people of the region. The fact is that if the historical, geographic, political and cultural evidence submitted by Ismet Pasha at the Lausanne Conference had been considered objectively, if international laws had been applied, and if the referendum demanded by the people of the region and Turkey had been carried out, then these lands would have become part of Turkey. This is a known fact, one that must not be forgotten.
This does not, of course, mean the re-acquisition of Northern Iraq. The leaders of the Turkish state and the senior command of the Turkish Armed Forces who are totally devoted to the great leader Ataturk’s principle of “Peace at Home, Peace in the World,” have many times set on record that Turkey has no aim or intention of occupying Northern Iraq.
However, Turkey cannot ignore the sufferings and difficulties of its relatives living in those lands, nor, of course, of all the other communities. Ensuring the security of our Turkmen brothers, who have been ignored by the foreign powers for some 90 years and whom Iraqi administrations have attempted to assimilate is a moral responsibility for Turkey, the heir to an empire that ruled the region for hundreds of years.
Our Turkmen brothers must have an equal say in the administration of the country, must be able to do business as they wish, must live their daily lives in full possession of all rights, must be able to worship freely and use their own language and, most important of all, must be sure that their lives and possessions are safe.
All the peoples of the region suffered enormously under the Saddam administration. Not just the Turkmen, but also the Kurds, Sunni Arabs and other people all suffered grave losses and lived in fear and terror. There is a lesson to be learned from this historic suffering. An opportunity has arisen for all the peoples of the region to live in peace and security. Policies that trample on rights, laws and good conscience as one community attempts to crush and disregard others are unacceptable in the face of this opportunity to reconstruct in a framework of truth and justice.
The bloodshed in the region can be stopped and the peace that reigned throughout the Ottoman period can be re-established through the foundation of a union based on love and brotherhood in the area. What happened in the past must be left in the past and all communities must act in a spirit of reconciliation and tolerance if a bright future is to be built. The peoples of the region share the same historical and cultural values and the same beliefs, and must approach one another with understanding, respect and love, and be one another’s protectors and defenders, rather than enemies and foes.
Allah has revealed in the Qur’an that Muslims are one another’s brothers. Certain cultural differences between Muslims must be regarded, not as elements of division, but on the contrary as a diversity and wealth that enrich society. And these cultural differences must not be made the basis of conflict. Allah commands Muslims to “Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together, and do not separate.” The Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen living in the region must never ignore these facts.
Turkey must embrace the region by combining its traditional peaceable foreign policy and the “Ottoman vision” bestowed on it by history, thus winning over the whole people of the region and uniting them around a common value, and initiating a “cultural policy” and economic leap forward that will ensure they look at Turkey sympathetically. A strengthening of the cultural and commercial ties that already exist in the region, the prevention of instability and disorder and winning over the hearts and minds of the people of the region must form the basis of Turkey’s “Mosul-Kirkuk Policy.” The most important way of bringing all this about is the immediate foundation of the Turkish-Islamic Union that will protect the unitary structure of all states and guarantee, under a laic system, freedom of religion and ideas of all peoples under Turkish leadership.
It is essential for common factors between states to be well evaluated in order for this union to be brought about; language is one such factor. The establishment of a linguistic union based on Turkish between the Turkic republics will weld them together. Steps in the direction of linguistic union will make a great contribution to the objective of a Turkish-Islamic Union. In our view, linguistic union among the Turkic states must be based on the “Turkish of Turkey.”
Foundation for the Preservation of National Values