Without the light and the fire of Love,Without the Designer and the power of Creator,We are not able to reach Union.(Light is for us and dark is the night)This fire massing and washing the Heart,My heart claim after it.And here come Newroz and the New Year,When a such light is rising.
security forces have captured the Kurdish government headquarters
buildings in the centre of Kirkuk with the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider
al-Abadi ordering the Iraqi flag to be raised over Kirkuk and other
disputed territories. An Iraqi Oil Ministry official said that it would
be “a very short time” before the Iraqi military seized all the
oilfields in Kirkuk province.
The century-old movement for Kurdish independence
has suffered a calamitous defeat as Iraqi military forces retake the
Kirkuk oil province, facing little resistance so far from the Peshmerga
fighters. Kurdish officials accuse part of the forces belonging to the
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main Kurdish parties,
of “treason” in not resisting the Iraqi assault.
Iraqi Kurdish dreams of achieving real
independence depended on controlling the oil wealth of Kirkuk which is
now lost to them, probably forever. Such autonomy as they did have will
be curtailed, with Turkey announcing that it will hand over control of
the border gate between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan to the central
government in Baghdad.
The Iraqi government operation began early on Monday morning as
troops swiftly seized two major oilfields and the headquarters of the
North Oil Company. A convoy of armoured vehicles from Baghdad’s
highly-trained and experienced Counter-Terrorism Force, which led the
attack in the battle for Mosul, drove unopposed to the quarter of Kirkuk
occupied by the governor’s office and other administration buildings.
Iraqi oil officials in Baghdad say that the Kurdish authorities of
the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had tried to close down oil
production by evacuating oil workers but that output would soon be
resumed. The Kurds seized Kirkuk city in 2003 at the time of the US
invasion and expanded their area of control in 2014 when the Iraqi army
in northern was defeated by Isis.
The streets in Kirkuk city were deserted in the morning as people stayed
in their houses or fled to KRG territory further north. So far there
has been little shooting as the Peshmerga abandoned their positions in
what appears to have been a prearranged withdrawal. The city has a
population of one million made up of Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen, the
latter two communities hostile to Kurdish rule. A resident of Kirkuk
said today that ethnic Turkmen were firing guns into the air in
celebration of the takeover by government forces.
Mr Abadi told his security forces in a statement read on state
television “to impose security in Kirkuk in cooperation with the
population of the city and the Peshmerga”. He called on the Peshmerga to
serve under federal authority as part of the Iraqi armed forces. Coming
after the recapture of Mosul from Isis in July after a nine-month
siege, Mr Abadi will be politically strengthened by his victory over the
Kurds whose commanders had promised to defend Kirkuk to the end.
The speed and success of the Iraqi military advance against
negligible resistance so far is a blow to President Masoud Barzani who
ignited the present crisis. He did so by holding a referendum on Kurdish
independence on 25 September that was greeted with enthusiasm by Iraqi
Kurds. But it was adamantly opposed by the Iraqi central government,
Iran, Turkey as well as traditional Kurdish allies such as the US and
Europeans, leaving Mr Barzani isolated in the face of superior forces.
The referendum is seen, even by many of those who originally
supported it, as a disastrous miscalculation by Mr Barzani. Kamran
Kardaghi, a Kurdish commentator and former chief of staff to Iraqi
President Jalal Talabani, who died last week says that “the Kurdish
leadership never expected that there would be such consequences to the
referendum.” Omar Sheikhmous, a veteran Kurdish leader, warned before
the referendum that it might turn out to be one of the classic
misjudgements in Iraqi history, comparing it to Saddam Hussein’s
decision to invade Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990. He feared the
referendum, guaranteed to alienate all the Kurds’allies, would turn out
to a political error with similar calamitous consequences.
The withdrawal of part of the Kurdish forces is ultimately a
reflection of deep divisions between the Kurdish leaders and their
parties, whose rivalry has always been intense. The two main political
parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Masoud Barzani and
the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), founded and led for decades by
Jalal Talabani, have always had separate armed forces, intelligence and
political management. The KDP, strongest in west Kurdistan, fought a
savage civil war with the PUK, based in the east, in the 1990s. Kirkuk
was always considered PUK territory, though its PUK governor, Najmaldin
Karim, has recently inclined towards support for Mr Barzani’s policies.
Part of the PUK, much divided since its leader Jalal Talabani
suffered a stroke and sank into a coma, opposed the independence
referendum as a manoeuvre by Mr Barzani to present himself as the great
Kurdish nationalist leader. Ala Talabani, leader of the PUK
parliamentary delegation in Baghdad, was shocked at the funeral of her
uncle, former Iraq president Jalal Talabani last Friday, to find that
the Iraqi flag had been removed from the coffin and there was only a
The US has been closely allied to the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, but
strongly opposed the independence referendum which it saw as provocative
and divisive. Washington has called for “all parties to immediately
cease military action and restore calm,” adding that Isis remained the
true enemy of all parties in Iraq and they should focus on its
President Trump’s denunciation of Iran when he decertified the deal
over its nuclear programme last Friday could have energised Iran,
traditionally a supporter of the PUK, to back an Iraqi government
offensive in Kirkuk. The Iranians have always been worried about Iraqi
Kurdistan becoming a base for US forces that could be used against us.
A simpler explanation for what happened is that the Kurdish
leadership was more divided than expected and the Iraqi armed forces
stronger, while Mr Barzani had alienated his traditional allies. A
meeting of Kurdish leaders attended by Kurdish leaders on Sunday called
for mediation and a non-military solution to the crisis, but by then it
was too late.
OFFICIAL THEME FOR THE END OF KURDISH UNITY & INDEPENDENCE
From the Sephardi egalitarian synagogue in Jerusalem (yes Virginia, they exist!) Degel Yehuda, a beautiful recording of three different tunes from the Kurdish Jewish community for the book of Lamentations, traditionally read on Tisha beAv.
“Kürdüm, Türkiyeliyim, İsveçliyim, İskandinav’ım, evrenselim. Hem iki kutsal nehrin, Dicle ve Fırat’ın arasındaki çok kapalı bir bölgenin yerlisiyim, hem de çok çeşitli kültürler, ülkeler ve diller arasında, devamlı dolaşan bir dünya vatandaşıyım.”
Mehmed Uzun Görsel : Kurdish People in traditional Attire, Erbil, 1951.
kurdish rugs are characterized by their symmetrical knots and the colours used to colour the rugs. the rugs are typically made of wool and sometimes cotton. many traditional kurdish rugs are predominantly red, with hints of blue and yellow, such as the rug above.
“Costumes of wealthy women from the city of Orfa (Urfa) and neighboring tribes.”
Post-card by Capucin Mission, of the Costumes of the rich females of the city of Urfa,or Edessa,now in southern Turkey north of the Syrian border,and prior to 1920’s part of the Aleppo province.Edessa was a strong center of Aramaic culture and thought, the Prophet Abraham Settled there for a while [at close-by Harran ] .Center for the cult of Moon and Sun,[Sabians ] ,cult of Atargatis [ close-by Munbij,or Hierapolis in Syria ]. Early Christianity adopted by the Abgars, kings of Edessa,the correspondence between Jesus and King Abgar V, the origin of the shroud of Turin,Center of the Early Gnostic Academy surviving well into the Islamic era, and hot bed of early Eastern Christian movements: Assyrian Christians[Nestorians], and Monophysites Christians[ Jacobites,or Syriac ].The County of Edessa,was a Crusader state for a brief period. Most Arabic speaking Syriacs and Armenians of Urfa, fled to Syria and Lebanon in the 1920’s.
I used henna to draw traditional Kurdish tattoo patters on my hand. In Kurdish we call them Deq and our ancestors practiced this art for thousands of years, both my grandmothers, my great grandmothers etc had these tattoos on their bodies, hands and faces. The real tattoos are more dark blue in colour because of the mixture used to make the ink (which I’ve put more information about below) the symbols all have meanings and were used spiritually. I am absolutely fascinated by them and enjoy drawing them on my hands almost as a homage to my wonderful late grandmothers and ancestors.
“The art of adorning the face and body with tattoos has a very long history in Kurdish culture. Tattooing carries symbolism from old belief systems, such as paganism, shamanism and Zoroastrianism, overlaid with many other influences.
Traditionally, tattoos are made by mixing soot and milk. The design is drawn on the skin using a thin twig and is, with the help of a sewing needle, penetrated under the skin. Tattoos last a lifetime.
The most common tattoo symbols are those that protect against evil forces; maintain good health or cure illnesses; show tribal affiliations; and enhance beauty, sexuality and fertility. Tattoos are placed on the most significant parts of the body, such as near the mouth and nostrils, hands, between the eyebrows and close to the breasts and genitals. Today, a decreasing number of Kurds are choosing permanent tattoos. More commonly, temporary markings are drawn on the face for special occasions and as a gesture of respect for this traditional cultural practice.”