Al-Arabi al-Jadeed newspaper published a report on Friday on the rise of tension between Kurds and Turkmen in Kirkuk against the background of the Kurdistan independence referendum file, which the local government insists on participating in.
The report pointed out that “the province is witnessing a tense political and popular remarkable for several days, because of differences between the Kurds and Turkmen, on the referendum of secession, which the Kurdistan region intends to carry out on the twenty-fifth of September.”
Turkoman’s rejectionists said hundreds of banners denouncing Kurdish attempts to secede from Iraq in different parts of Kirkuk, according to the Turkmen civil activist Emad Aslan, told the newspaper that the banners refused to include Kirkuk by referendum, because the city includes a mix of Iraqi elements such as Turkmen, Arabs, Kurds and Christians.
Aslan added that “signs and slogans may turn into protests, if the local government in Kirkuk insisted on participating in the referendum of the Kurdistan region scheduled for next September,” noting that there is a Turkoman movement to internationalize the crisis if the Kurds clung to the referendum.
Aslan criticized the establishment of a Kurdish Peshmerga force to remove a large number of banners condemning the referendum from the streets and sidewalks. He said that the force has imposed severe sanctions against anyone who reintroduces such banners.
The Iraqi Turkmen Front refused on Friday to Kurdish groups to tear down banners against the referendum in the Kurdistan region, saying that “an attack on the freedom of opinion and expression.”
The Front pointed out that “such acts reflect the state of chaos experienced by Kirkuk these days,” explained in a statement, “The introduction of a military force from the Kurdistan region to tear up signs opposing the referendum put by the Turkmen represents a non-civilized method, and assault on freedom of opinion and expression, The chaos of Kirkuk. ”
She added that “the Turkmen Front declares its rejection of the division of Iraq and abuses of democratic rights,” indicating that it announced, on more than one occasion, its refusal to establish a referendum in the Kurdistan region in Kirkuk, and confirmed its adherence to the unity of Iraqi territory,
The governor of Kirkuk, Najmuddin Karim, on Thursday, that his province will include a referendum in the Kurdistan region, explaining that “Kirkuk is part of the Kurdish territory from a historical perspective.”
Also, the Electoral Commission in the Kurdistan region, earlier, the opening of UNHCR offices in the “Kurdish areas” outside the Kurdistan Regional Administration, asserting that the offices opened in the provinces of Kirkuk and Mosul, in order to create areas in the two provinces in the referendum of separation.