Declaration of the Turkmen, Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian and Yazidi people of Iraq at the European Parliament in Brussels
The Declaration was signed on 19th November 2014 at the European Parliament in Brussels. The conference was hosted by MEP Mr. Branislav Skripek Member of the EU Parliament, European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Member of the Bureau.
The conference was organized by Mr. Johannes de Jong, Manager Christian Political Foundation for Europe.
The meeting was attended by several MEPs and the signatories to the declaration Mr Fikret Igrek, Head of Foreign Affairs Federation of the Yezidi Associations; Dr Hassan Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU representative; Mr. Lahdo Hobil, President European Syriac Union; Mr. Lahdo Hobil, President European Syriac Union.
A representative from the Iraqi Embassy in Brussels was present along with a representative from the Kurdish Government was also present.
Excerpt of the Common Declaration:
We, Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians, Turkmens and Yazidis have come together as peoples of Iraq, belonging to this country. Our peoples are original inhabitants of Iraq in equal rights with all other peoples composing our nation and living in Iraq.
Each of our peoples has suffered under the fact that our existence has not been adequately recognized in Iraq and in the international community for many decades. We all have experienced discrimination, persecution and ethnic and cultural cleansing due to this lack of adequate recognition of our ethnic, cultural and religious identity and the right to be as we are in our country.
Now we have been driven from our homelands in Iraq by the evil that is ISIS. This evil knows nothing else but destruction and death and has hit our peoples in ways unimaginable. Children have been decapitated, women raped and sold and men killed and tortured.
The battle agains ISIS is not a religious battle but a battle for the most fundamental notions of humanity. In light of this current crisis we have united ourselves to work towards a common future in which each of our peoples are recognized as part of our country and will be able to preserve the existence of our ethnic, cultural and religious identities.
It is our aim to maintain and contribute to the rich diversity of our land and to support in this effort those peoples who are our neighbours and share the same wish for a common peaceful future. We do not want to be treated as victims, we want to be recognized as equal citizens of Iraq.
We have come to the conclusion that in order to be recognised equal citizens of Iraq as Turkmen, Ezidi Kurds and Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians we need to have recognition and self-determination in those part of the land which have been historically (and in present day) our lands where we have been able to be and live as we are without fear for our neighbours and without the need to hide our identities.
We Ezidi Kurds want to return and live in Sinjar, we Turkmen want to return to and live in our homelands across Iraq and we Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians want to return to and live in Nineveh Plain.
We want to live there as citizens and recognised peoples of Iraq and not as tolerated minorities. It is this stigmatization that has lead to the situation that we are experiencing now. For this reason it is necessary that we will have local autonomy and self-administration in cooperation both with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional government and the Iraqi central government.