"Who Owns Kirkuk? The Turkoman Case
by Yücel Güçlü
Middle East Quarterly
The question of Kirkuk's final status remains among the touchiest issues concerning Iraq's future. The Iraqi Kurdish political parties seek to include Kirkuk in a federal Kurdish state, an outcome at odds with Iraqi Turkoman sensitivities. The Turkomans consider Kirkuk to be their own ancestral capital and cultural center. Understanding the Turkoman claim to Kirkuk is essential to defuse a potentially explosive problem.
Policymakers and commentators outside Turkey often ignore the Turkomans. Literature about them is scarce in Western languages; the little that exists is limited in academic rigor and utility. Furthermore, in terms of enunciating their concerns and interacting with Western officials, the Turkomans themselves have not always been effective spokesmen for their cause."
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