Cablegate: Iraqi Turkmen Front Reps Say Itf Will Support

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

(U) Sensitive but unclassified - please protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) Ankara and London reps
Ahmet Muratli and Asif Sertturkmen called on PolMilOff Dec.
5. They complained that Kurdish parties were flying flags
all over Kirkuk, an act they considered provocative. They
also complained that Kurds were disproportionately being
given jobs in Kirkuk (claiming that 80 to 85 percent of jobs
had gone to Kurds) and that "huge numbers" of Kurds had
recently moved into Kirkuk. Muratli and Sertturkmen
emphasized that the ITF was not opposed to the return to
Kirkuk of Kurds who had been displaced by Saddam. They also
pledged their full cooperation and support for the coalition,
and expressed frustration that their new leader, Faruk
Abdulrahman, had been unable to get an appointment to meet
with Amb. Bremer. The ITF and Abdulrahman, they stressed,
wanted good contact with the CPA. They also wanted the
coalition to succeed so that when it left Iraq, it would do
so proud of its accomplishments.

2. (SBU) The ITF reps said the party's goal was to bring all
Turkmen together under one political umbrella, and that since
the ITF Congress in September, they believed they represented
80 percent of all Iraqi Turkmen. (NOTE: Before the war the
ITF claimed to represent all Iraqi Turkmen.) They also said
their new leadership has made clear that the ITF has opened
the door to good relations with all of Iraq's political
parties, including the Kurds. The ITF, they said, seeks a
unified Iraq in which all groups can retain their identity by
preserving their language, culture and heritage. While the
ITF firmly opposes federalism in Iraq based on ethnic or
broad geographic divisions, Muratli and Sertturkmen stated
that the ITF would support federalism based on the old Iraqi
governorates, "like the states in the US or Canada." They
said the ITF's new slogan is, "Everything is for Iraq."

3. (SBU) Muratli and Sertturkmen said that the ITF looked
forward to elections that would secure Turkmen (and the ITF
in particular) seats in government commensurate with their
share of the population (they asserted that there were 3
million Iraqi Turkmen) and that would allow other parties who
were excluded from the Iraqi Governing council, such as the
Constitutional Monarchists, to be represented. PolMilOff
went through the details of the Nov. 15 IGC-CPA agreement
with them and urged them to be active in the Iraqi political
process between now and elections, but cautioned that
election results would likely not be strictly along ethnic
lines and therefore ethnic groups' representation in
government would not be a direct reflection of their share of
the population.

4. (SBU) The ITF reps reported that the party has very
limited funding and cannot afford to run advertisements or
regularly publish a newspaper. They said their funding comes
mainly from the Turkmen NGO the Turkmeneli Foundation and
from very limited donations from outside Iraq. They said
they would continue to maintain offices in Washington, DC,
Berlin, London and Ankara for the foreseeable future.

5. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.

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