The Iraqi Turkmen community is increasingly fearful of the potential impact of Article 140 of Iraq’s constitution. The article calls for resolving the status of areas disputed between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)—regions that are additionally marred by competition between diverse local communities. Turkmen fears are particularly acute as community leaders feel ignored by Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ Al-Sudani’s administration and worry that the tide is turning against them.
Successive Iraqi governments have faced the issue of the so-called “disputed territories” since the current constitution was adopted in 2005. The areas covered by Article 140 include Kirkuk as well as parts of Diyala, Nineveh, Salah Al-Din and other governorates. The complex histories of the disputed regions—particularly oil-rich Kirkuk—involve competing and overlapping claims by Arab, Kurdish, Turkmen, and other communities.
Prior to the US-led invasion in 2003, the ruling Ba’ath Party altered the demographic makeup of many of these areas through Arabization policies which displaced ethnic minorities. Since the fall of the Ba’ath Party, Turkmen community leaders have also argued that...
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