World, Middle East

Turkmen seek representation in Iraq’s next government

Iraq’s Turkmen eye top government posts, including presidential aide and deputy premiership

12.10.2018
Turkmen seek representation in Iraq’s next government

Iraq

By Haydar Karaalp

BAGHDAD

Turkmen are hoping for greater representation in Iraq’s incoming government, which is now in the process of being drawn up by Prime Minister-designate Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Arshad Salihi, leader of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF), said that Abdul-Mahdi had recently visited the ITF’s Baghdad office, where he had discussed the incoming government with Turkmen representatives.

Describing the acting PM’s visit as “historic”, Salihi said: “Turkmen want more than just one ministerial portfolio in Abdul-Mahdi’s incoming government.”

Turkmen, he added, were also seeking the post of presidential aide -- along with that of deputy prime minister -- with a view to “ensuring the rights of Iraq’s Turkmen community”.

The Baghdad meeting also reportedly tackled Iraq’s precarious security and economic situation.

Salihi also described a Thursday meeting in Baghdad with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as “significant”, saying the two men had discussed chronic water shortages currently plaguing southern Iraq.

Following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority (Iraq’s U.S.-run post-invasion interim government) instituted a political system based on sectarian “quotas”.

Ostensibly aimed at fairly distributing top political posts among Iraq’s main ethno-religious segments, the system reserves the presidency for a Kurd, the premiership for a Shia Muslim, and the post of parliamentary speaker for a Sunni Muslim.

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