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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Iraqi MP tells of post-Saddam Iraq

By Stacy Jenkins, Staff Writer
The Farmington Observer

Conditions for the Turkmen people in northern Iraq are worse now than before the fall of Saddam Hussein.

That was the message from Dr. Sadettin Ergeç, a member of the Iraqi Parliament, who visited Farmington Hills Monday as part of his U.S. trip to raise awareness about the conditions the Turkmen ethnic group in northern Iraq is facing.

Ergeç also met with U.S. government officials at the State Department and the National Security Council in Washington D.C. and with United Nations officials in New York.
He was brought to speak at the Farmington Hills Manor by the International Visitors Council of Metropolitan Detroit board member John Akouri, of Farmington Hills, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and Farmington Hills resident Nurten Ural, Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Turkey.
“We thought the Americans needed to hear this,” said Ural. “Many people do not know this. This type of news isn’t out there too much. There’s so much going on in Iraq that we don’t know about.”
Ergeç, who has survived five assassination attempts, said the Turkmen in northern Iraq are being over-taken by the Kurds, who have moved into the oil-rich Kirkuk area and destroyed the infrastructure. He said the Turkmen are not allowed to speak their language and their government buildings and documents have all been destroyed. They’re represented in Parliament by Ergeç, but he said the U.S. and Coalition forces are not listening to their needs.
“We were very happy about the Coalition forces stopping Saddam Hussein — we thought the Coalition forces would listen to us because we are now able to talk,” said Ergeç, through a translator. “Unfortunately, their ears are plugged and they’re not listening to us.”
He said the Turkmen are non-violent, well educated and business savvy people who believe in Democracy. “We all believe in Democracy. We all believe in brotherhood and we all believe we need a unified Iraq,” he said. “Since 2003, everything has been changed upside down.”
He fears a civil war is on the horizon.
“The power keg is going to explode,” he said. “Civil war is going to erupt.
”Iraq has numerous ethnic groups and there is no majority. Instead, there are many minority groups who are struggling for control.
“The Arabs have ruled Iraq for 80 years; the Kurds have ruled northern Iraq for 12 years. The time has come for the Turkmen — we’re still waiting to rule or least have a part in the administration of Iraq,” said Ergeç.

JOHN AKOURI ONLINE NEWSROOM 'We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won.' -- PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Add to end of above"line without paranthesis when wanting to loop sound (( loop="-1">