WORLD

28 years on, Iraq's Kirkuk remembers Turkmen massacre

A ceremony was held in Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk on Wednesday to commemorate the 1991 massacre of scores of Turkmen by Saddam Hussein's Baath regime.

The bloodbath occurred on March 28, 1991 in the town of Altun Kupri, where more than one hundred Turkmen -- including children and the elderly -- were reportedly killed by Iraqi soldiers.

Organized by the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF), Wednesday's ceremony was attended by Hakan Karaçay, the Turkish consul in Erbil; Aydin Maruf, an ITF lawmaker; and a number of local officials and residents.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of the event, Karaçay said that Turkmen were a main component of Iraq's national fabric, stressing Ankara's continued support for the political, economic and cultural rights of the country's large Turkmen community.

"May our Turkmen brothers who were martyred in the [1991] massacre rest in peace," he said.

"The perpetrators had hoped to efface the political and cultural presence of Iraqi Turkmen," he added.

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