The predominantly Muslim Turkmen are an ethnic group with close cultural and linguistic ties to Anatolia in Turkey.
There have been clashes between Kurds and Turkmen, in which people have been killed, in and around the city of Kirkuk.
Both groups have been competing for power in the city since the downfall of Saddam Hussein.
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, though the Coalition Provisional Authority has requested that Ankara contribute troops to bring security to Iraq.