Mosul: War and Peace

BY: Hasan Öztürk*

An arrest warrant has been issued for Mosul Governor Nuceyfi. The reason: “Helping Turkey.”

A few days ago Nuceyfi spoke to Yeni Şafak journalists in Erbil. He said, “Turkey should be in Mosul”, “To stand against Hashdi Shaabi (popular mobilization Shiite militias) and Daesh” he adds.

An important point about Nuceyfi is that he is the commander of the Iraqis who were trained in Bashiqa. We also know him as the Ninova Guard Commander.

But now the Baghdadi government has issued an arrest warrant against him!

Hashimi was sentenced to death

Let’s go back a little. After the U.S. withdrew from Iraq, the Vice President Tariq Hashimi went through very hard times in his country. He was first issued with an arrest warrant and then an international travel ban…

After a long adventure, he took refuge in Turkey. In September of 2012 he was sentenced to death.

All these warrants were issued by Baghdad’s sectarian government. Hashimi was a political actor for Sunni Arabs, and according to him, Sunnis were distanced from the central administration.

It is expected that Nuceyfi is expected to have an end similar to Hashimi’s.

Obviously, Turkey’s emphasis on “territorial integrity”, a “sectarian-free political approach” and its warnings on the terror of Daesh and groups like Hashdi Shaabi is of no importance for Baghdad and its allies.

Turkey is the only country that cares about Iraq’s territorial integrity

They hope to see a divided Iraq after the bloody Mosul war which they have been planting the seeds for close to a century!

I had the chance to speak to Tariq Hashimi a few days ago. We spoke about many topics. There are topics we have different opinions about.

The sadness, anger, concern and sorrow on his face caught my attention!

At one point, he said, “We have come to the stage where we have started to believe that Iraq needs to be divided for the atrocities to end.”

Hashimi says something even terribly sadder…

When I ask him “How can you defend such a division when Turkey is focusing on protecting your territorial integrity”, he says, “Would I ever want Iraq to be divided? But our people are suffering so badly that we have started to think that the breakup of our country is the best for us.”

Angry, hesitant, mournful!

In point of fact, we all now see that Iraq will not remain integral. Turkey realizes this too. Iraq’s territorial integrity is defended as a hope, a wish.

But, Baghdad, Iran, and America’s mind unite on a divided Iraq.

No one cares about the oppressed people of this geography.

Mosul is our blooming rose garden, a garden in which nightingales sing

They threaten us, saying, “What is Mosul to you?” And they add, “Mosul is history for you.”

Damn the petrol, geopolitics and strategies… It is humans that die, and kill…

Every one of them are a loved one, a child, a grandparent, a mother a father to someone…

They are all a part of us; their faces are turned to us.

This is how the poet calls out to his loved one in the Mosul/Kirkuk folk song:

“I cannot call you a rose, a rose is smelled and thrown away.

I cannot call you sugar, it is used in bitter tea.

I cannot call you gold, it is sold in the bazaars.

I will call you Kirkuk…

I will call you Erbil…

I will call you Tuz (Tuz Khurmatu)…The one I can lay in the shadow of.”

Mosul is our blooming rose garden, a garden in which nightingales sing

Roses bloomed and nightingales sang in Mosul…

Today Mosul’s people are only statistics: a percentage of Turkmens, a percentage of Arabs and a percentage of Kurds…

Mosul was once a blooming rose garden in which nightingales sang, now it is a statistic of oil reserves.

It is humans that die, and kill…

Every figure is a life.

Damn you geopolitics, petrol, strategies.

It is humans that die, and kill…

“Roses bloom and nightingales sing in Mosul…

I couldn’t stand being in Mosul, my patience ran out”


*Hasan Öztürk is a Turkish columnist. He writes columns for Yeni Şafak Turkısh newspaper.
         (Published in Yeni Şafak on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016)