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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Who's who in Iraq: Turkmen
BBC News Online looks at Iraq's Turkmen minority, as part of a guide to the key players in post-Saddam Iraq.

Turkmen protest in Baghdad, February 2004
Iraqi Turkmen have protested for guarantees of their rights
The predominantly Muslim Turkmen are an ethnic group with close cultural and linguistic ties to Anatolia in Turkey.

There have been clashes between Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen, in which people have been killed, in and around the city of Kirkuk.

Experts believe that the city's population is roughly one third Kurdish, one third Arab and one third Turkmen, although no reliable population figures exist.

Thousands of Kurds were forced to leave Kirkuk by the former Baathist government, which encouraged Arab families to move to the city instead.

Shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, coalition officials promised to set up a commission to handle disputes over property and claims for compensation, but little progress appears to have been made.

Protests

Meanwhile, sporadic violence has continued, and leaders of the Iraqi Turkmen Front have called for Turkey to send troops to restore order.

Kurds are adamantly opposed to the deployment of Turkish troops in the area.

In December 2003 Arab and Turkmen demonstrators joined forces in protests against Kurdish demands for a federal system in Iraq.

Iraqi Turkmen Front officials criticised the temporary constitution agreed by the Iraqi Governing Council in March, saying that it did not go far enough in recognising Turkmen rights.

There was one Turkmen representative on the Iraqi Governing Council.

The interim government announced in June 2004 includes Turkmen engineer Rashad Mandan Omar as minister of science and technology.


The Struggle for Iraq

GUIDE: WHO'S WHO IN IRAQ

Jalal Talabani Overview
A look at the key players in post-Saddam Iraq

TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT


ISLAMIC GROUPS AND LEADERS
 

SECULAR GROUPS AND LEADERS
 

NATIONAL GROUPS
 



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