Why Are People In Northern Iraq Protesting?

Arzu YORKAN
24 March 2011
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After the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, on February 17, 2011, the Kurds in Northern Iraq poured into the streets to support the people of these countries. The international community had firstly believed that was the case. However, the situation is completely different. The Kurdish people have been demonstrating for their rights only.

 

They are protesting against their Government, Kurdistan Regional Government, for democracy, employment opportunities, better living conditions, freedom, justice and such like. They have been fighting for a decade now. Their struggle has been strenghtened with the support of the opposition group, the Gorran Movement, which was born two years ago, June 2009, when the Parliamentary elections were held. From those elections, the Gorran gained 25 seats out of 111 in the Parliament, who changed the dynamics of politics in the regional government. The party started to challenge Government politics with nepotism, corruption, oil revenue, etc. especially, after having experienced some disagreements and problems with Barzani. Meanwhile, the revolutions of Tunisia and Egypt have created a suitable atmosphere for the Gorran and the people themselves to protest against the Government for political, social and economic reforms.


To that date the Government had not taken their concerns seriously. Now, it is the time to create a stronger pressure over the Government for democratization, employment opportunities, better social services, and justice, emphasized by the protesters. They seem very stable to continue their demonstrations until getting their rights. Although the Government has promised to hold an early parliamentary elections requested by the oppostion groups, and declared to make reforms, the people gathered in the streets do not believe, they see those promises as nothing but political discourse. If the Kurdistan Regional Government does not keep its promises, the situation could possibly be worse than that of the current. On the contrary, if the Government takes those concerns of the people and opposition groups into consideration and implement the reforms, written in the resolution enacted by the 23th of February, 2011, the situation will be better. As expressed by the Kurdish people, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will experience a ‘new era’: a more democratic political system, human rights, better living conditions, freedom, free press, and justice. In this study, the author explains first the political structure of the Kurdistan Regional Government and administration of ruling parties in a critical way; secondly, the reasons that stand behind the protests; thirdly, demands of the people and opposition groups separately; and fourthly, plans of the Government after the uprisings. In the last section, she analyzes the situation and the future of those developments under the light of optimistic and pessimistic scenarios.


Political Structure of the Region


Kurdistan Region, the so called “Northern Iraq”, is an autonomous region in federal Iraq. The Constitution of Iraqi government recognizes the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Kurdistan National Assembly and the Peshmerga guard as the legitimate authorities of the Kurdistan. Erbil, Suleimaniah and Duhok are three provinces, and Erbil, locally known as Hawler, is the capital city of the region. Massoud Barzani is the president of the Kurdistan Region, while Barham Ahmed Salih is the prime minister. The Kurdistan Region Parliament, after the current elections of July 2009, has the following parties. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headed by Massoud Barzani, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) headed by Jalal Talabani, who is the current President of Iraq, the Gorran (Change) Movement headed by Nawshirwan Mustafa,  the Kurdistan Islamic Union, the Kurdistan Islamic Group and other smaller parties represented mostly by ethnic groups. The KDP and PUK are ruling parties and the last three are opposition groups in the parliament. The Kurdish Assembly has 111 seats; 59 are shared by the KDP and PUK; 25 belong to the main opposition group, the Gorran Movement, and the rest are owned by the Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Group and others. The number of female members in this assembly is relatively high, 36 seats out of 111. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is ruled by the parties of Barzani and Talabani, the KDP and PUK.


Despite having a structured government, the Kurdistan Region has been practically divided into two separate zones of influence. The local administrations in the provinces of Erbil and Dohuk are controlled by the KDP, while Sulaimaniah is mostly administered by the PUK. The Barzani administration is called Hewlêr while Talabani’s is called Slêmanî. However, after the July 2009 parliamentary elections, the influence of Talabani for many decades in the province of Suleimaniah has been started to decrease due to the fact that Gorran Movement gained most of its votes in those elections. This divided administration and the constant distrust between the PUK and KDP leaders have together weakened Kurdish political power in the region and Iraq as well. And it has created a power structure that has been furnished with nepotism and corruption.
From time to time some negotiations and talks between Barzani and Talabani took place with the purpose of unifying their seperated administrations. In 2005, they e such style of administration in the government, but as of today the entire regional government entities such as security forces and finance departments of both ruling parties –  the KDP and PUK are still not totaly unified. But they could easily become unified for their ‘common’ interests such as in the case of “National Pact”. The leaders of KDP and PUK signed this Pact to protect interests of their people in Kurdistan Region. Ironically, no one except their inner circles was informed about its content. If the agreement was for the interests of the people of region, why  have they been till now uninformed about such strategic Pact? 


Why the Protests in Suleimaniah?


Suleimaniah is the second largest province located in the south of the Kurdistan Region. It is the city of most educated people, that is called the ‘capital of cultur’ in the region. So, the demonstrators are journalists, intellectuals, students, academics, members of parliament, musicians, poets, workers, and religious men (Mullas). What kind of problems do these people have, and why have they been protesting since February 17, 2011.


All the Kurdistan Region including the Suleimaniah province for twenty years has been ruled by the two major parties that are controlled by Barzani and Talabani families, who have political and economic power in the region since they came to power. Those two families live in luxury, control the allmost all business/markets of the region, the national budget including the hydrocarbon revenues (oil and gas), security forces the so called ‘Peshmerga’ and all the security apparatuses known as ‘Asayish’, intelligence services, and so on.  Those security forces and apparatuses owned by the two parties control every aspect of people’s life. And nepotism and corruption are other serious problems for Kurdish people, which have created a paralyzed political system, hence a dysfunctional government, the KRG.


Moreover, the free press is under threat of the parties of Barzani and Talabani, the KDP and PUK. Most of media outlets, TV and Radio stations are owned and controlled by those two parties. There exist e few independent press sources,  however, they are threatened by the KRG, Barzani-Talabani coalition government. Especially, in the wake of the uprising, many journalists were attacked and injured, and some TV-Radio stations were damaged, such as Nalia Radio and Television (NRT), which is only independent Kurdish satellite. So, it should be easy to understand the reason why the people in Suleimaniah have been protesting against the regional government, the KRG.


In addition to such undemocratic system, the people poured on the streets have other serious problems in their daily life like poverty, lack of social services, high inflation, unemployment, inequality of income distribution and such like. Most of graduates have no job, and no guarantee for upcoming bachelors. The region has not any industiral development, except a small movement in the construction sector, in which foreign investment plays a significant role. The factories in this sector produce only some construction materials like iron and cement. The people of Kurdistan region claim that the national oil revenue is not equally distributed to them. The country natural resources are shared by the two families, namely Barzani and Talabani, says an Iraqi journalist, Ahmet Mira.  Therefore, the poverty in the society has been seriously increasing. Many families, who lived in cities before, are immigrating to the rural areas. The middle-class was totally disappeared, states Rebwar Kerim Veli, the Kurdish journalist, now, there is only high-class – families of Barzani and Talabani – and low-class.


The living conditions and basic services in the region are very poor. In case of electricity and water, it is reported that people who live in Suleimaniah, explain the situation as follows. Electricity is one of the biggest problems of the region. There are two lines inside one house, one is from the public and the other is private. The public line is provided by the municipality, while the second line is supplied by private generators, which have 8 or 10-house or one-street capacity. The public power is often cut, while the private has no sufficient volume to meet needs of the people. In the region, summers the temperature is 50-55 degree, while the winters are relatively cold. Because of this hot climate, it is impossible to live without air-conditioners, not every house but every room must have it seperately. However, due to insufficent and poor service, summers the people suffer from such of 50-55-degree hot weather and winters from the cold.

 

But the situation is only for the poor people, not for the wealty. Because the rich people have their own generator, which is used for their hous only. The situation in water case is worse than that of electricity. The people in Suleimaniah say they have water only four-hour every two days. Therefore, they use small water storages, putting on their roofs, which are not enough for their needs. Allmost all of the Kurdistan region has the same problems of electricity and water shortage, not only the province of Suleimaniah. One should ask, why the people living in Erbil and Duhok do not demonstrate, inasmuch as they have such problems of poor service. Becuase Erbil and Duhok are under control of Barzani families, and there is a serious pressure from the politicians of the KDP over them. It seems very difficult to go out on the streets to protest against Barzani. To sum up, the people in Suleimainah are protesting against undemocratic political system, widespread corruption, nepotism, unemployment, injustice, control of the economy by the ruling parties and their inner circles, lack of better services, and freedom of press.

 

What Demand the People of the Region?


The people, the demonstrators poured on the streets for one month, do demand political, social and economic reforms. They demand transparency in politics, jobs, better services, better living conditions, social justice, transparency in oil revenue, freedom of assembly, and free press. “Our country which is dominated by the youth needs a dynamic economy so that it can satisfy our needs.” expresses Mufid Abdulla, a journalist from Kurdishmedia. The Kurdish people have been expressing their demands for more than eight years, not only  now. However, the ruling parties did not give any attention to their requests, and they always ignored those demands of the region’s people. A member of the Gorran Movement, Mr. Shaho Saeed, stresses that “we have said over and over that the government should address the needs of the public before those of the political parties.” And he adds, “despite our warnings and several submitted proposals which adress our concerns regarding political system, the government has done nothing until now.”

 

What Demands the Opposition – Gorran Movement?

Before explaining what the Gorran Movement demands, I would like to briefly mention how this opposition group emerged in the Kurdistan Regional Parliament. The distrust between the ruling parties, the KDP and the PUK, in general, which creates disunity in the KRG over many national issues, and disagreements in the PUK leadership in particular created a conducive environment for the Gorran Movement to be born. Then, the Gorran Party appeared on the political scene of the Kurdistan region with the last election of June 2009, and secured 25 seats in the Parliament, which changed the dynamics of the political system. This is due to the fact that the KRG had not until this date experienced any opposition group. The emergence of the Gorran has become a great challenge to the KDP-PUK government.

 

The Gorran Movement emphasizes on the following points as its demands: democratization, transparency in the budget, administrative reforms, disarmament of political parties, development of civil society, and reducing influence of the ruling parties over the politics. With regard to the problems between the regional government and central (Iraqi) government, the Gorran proposes that they should be solved according to the Consitution in a peaceful and democratic way, and the regional government should recieve an equal share of the central government from road, rail and oil sectors of Iraq.

 

The Gorran Party calls for new parliamentary elections. However, they do not want the elections to be held under the government of the KDP-PUK coalition. To have a free and fair election, the KRG should be dissolved, says, Zana Rauf, a member of the Gorran Party from Kurdish parliament. And she states that ‘we need an interim government which should be run by technocrats and independents to prepare the ground for genuine elections’. According to the Gorran party, the current regional government should resign, and be replaced with a three-month interim government that can pave the way for a free and fair election far from fraud of the ruling parties. They suggest that within this three-month period, the provisional government should reorganize the armed forces of Kurdistan Region –  Peshmerga, Asayish, Police and intelligence services of the KDP and PUK – as unified national forces. We believe that “the reorganisation, renationalisation and professionalization of those forces would be achieved through two formulas”, says Mr. Shaho Saeed, another member of the Gorran Movement. “The first formula is to change the function of these forces from the function of defending the interest of the political parties to the defence of the security of the homeland and the people of the region”. And “the second formula is to replace the directors and executive layer of these forces with independent, professional and qualified individual and not appointees of political parties”. And he explains if the interim government is able to succeed that then it will be able to oversee the running of a ‘bona-fide election’.

 

The Gorran highlights that it has frequently raised those concerns to the ruling parties, the KDP and PUK, through their representatives in the regional and central Parliaments, and warned them about the potential dangers of the situation. But time and again no difference from the government has beenexpressed by the Gorran group.  As a result, now it is the time for us, the Gorran, to submit our demands publically to the KDP-PUK coalition and all the parties in the Parliament, which is a genuine solution to “end the system of partisanship autocracy and establish new principals of government”. The Gorran Movement issued a statement on January 29, 2011 to publicly re-repeat its demands. The ‘Statement’ covers the following points:


1. To prohibit the leadership of KDP and PUK from any kind of interference in the affairs of the Government, statutory bodies, the Parliament, judiciary, security services and Peshmerga (armed forces).
2. To prohibit the Security Services, Zanyary (PUK intelligence Services), Parastin (KDP intelligence Services) and Peshmerga from any kind of interference in the political activities of individuals and groups. We demand that the directors of these apparatuses be replaced by independent professional individuals.
3. The dissolution of the current PUK-KDP partisan government and the formation of a transitional apolitical technocratic administration.
4. The dissolution of the current Parliament.
5. The preparations for an authentic election free from rigging for a new Kurdistan Parliament within 3 months.
6. The return to their rightful owners of all properties of the government and individuals that were sequestered by the political parties and their officials.
7. To withdraw the draft constitution of the region and all of the legislations that are pertinent to the system of government of the country and pass it on to the oncoming Parliament.

 

Before this memo, last year in August, 2010, the Gorran Group had issued another Notice for political and economic reforms, which covers 13 articles about such as transparency in oil income of the Kurdistan Region, regulations about the political parties’ budget, etc. The Gorran, with those Memos and its oral notices, calls for the people not to remain in silent against the KRG, and warns them to demonstrate for corruption, nepotism, anti-democratic government as well as lack of the basic services. For example, before the first day of the demonstrations, February 17, 2011, the Gorran party had invited the people of Suleimaniah to the streets to protest against the electricity shortage, which was one of the most serious problems in the region, and other municipal services.

 

Unfortunately, the KRG, as it did before, did not take those concerns and demands of the Gorran seriously, which was raised on January 29, 2011, when the demonstrations in Tunusia and Egypt had already launched. The spokesman of the Gorran, Mohammed Tevfik Rahim, had warned the government as ‘if the KRG does not make any reforms, we will all demonstrate like those in these countries. Likewise, the leader of the Gorran party, Nawshirwan Mustafa, had given the examples of Tunusia and Egypt to the people for having gathered them to protest against the KDP-PUK coalition. As a result, the incident has occured on 17th February, 2011, in Suleimaniah, Southern Kurdistan Region.

 

During that uprising, the Peshmerga opened fire on the demonstrators and five were dead and fifty wounded. By doing so, the KDP, Barzani’s party,  has aimed to frighten the protesters with the purpose of preventing them for any upcoming revolts. However, this has provoked the demonstrators, including supporters of the Gorran, and caused more deads and wounders and many physical damages in the following days. The protests in Kurdistan Region, Suleimaniah, still continue, but with less damage luckily, and in more peaceful way. However, the people of the region stress that they would continue to struggle with the government of Barzani and Talabani, the KDP and PUK, until their needs and demands are fulfilled.

 

Accordingly, the three opposition groups in the regional parliament – the Gorran Movement, Kurdistan Islamic Union and Kurdistan Islamic Group –  issued a new Statement, in March, 2011, to again warn the KRG administration to give attention to their demands for political and economic reforms. They also have been adressing other concerns which are waiting to be solved by the KDP-PUK government. The intelligence services of both ruling parties should be integrated. All the political parties in the parliament should be represented by the governmental organizations and offices. The budget shared to all the political parties based on their seats in the Parliament should be fairly distributed. Finally, an independent body should be founded to investigate widespread corruption in the region, the cases of all missing political prisoners and the crimes and abuse of power by politicians. To summarize, the people of Northern Iraq are fighting mainly for economic and social reasons like unemployment, poor living conditions, freedom, justice, etc., while the opposition political groups, particularly the Gorran, which is the owner of 25 seats in the Parliament, are struggling for above-mentioned political reforms.

 

Political Reasons Behind the Demonstrations/Uprisings

The date of 17th of February, 2011, was not the beginning of the protests in Kurdistan Region. The demonstrations in the region had already started before that date. There are some political reasons that acount for the former protests such as trade union elections and legislation of ‘Meeting and Demonstration Law’. According to the new legislation, groups who wish to hold meetings or demonstrations have to take permission from the local authorities. However, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil organizations refused to accept this Law, while waiting the approval of the president, Barzani. And they accepted giving information whenever they wish to organize any activity but not getting permission from local governors. The Gorran Movement, who did not become as successful as it expected in the union elections, invited its supporters and NGOs to protest the Demonstration Law for not being ratified. Accordingly, some campaigns were organized in the early days of January, five hundred thousand signatures were collected and some protests were happened. However, despite all those activities of the opposition group, Barzani signed the Act, which then hardened the relationship between Barzani and the Gorran.

 

On the other hand, the last elections of July 2009, which was won by the KDP and PUK, was far from fair, and was plagued by fraud, claimed by the opposition groups. And also the request of the Gorran Party, which was getting a ministry in Baghdat, was rejected due to the KDP leader. The Gorran claims that Barzani had asked Maliki to not grant any ministry to them in the new Iraqi Government. All those caused the oppostion group to fight against the ruling parties, particularly the KDP. And the Gorran started to hardly criticize the government policy for not being transparent in politics, the national oil revenue, corruption, etc., especially through its television channel, KNN. Meanwhile, the successful civil revolts had been launched in Tunisia and Egypt. And those rebellions have created a great opportunity for the Gorran to make more pressure over the KRG for Parliamentary elections, and to take attention of international community to Kurdistan Region.

 

Furthermore, the Gorran Movement criticizes the coalition government of the KDP-PUK for having failed to take any serious measure to democratise the political system, succeed social justice and improve living conditions of its citizens. The emergence of the Gorran party in the Parliament had created a new hope for our people, expressed by members of the party. They had expected that the KRG would handle their problems, revise its attitude and take this as an opportunity to democratise the government, decrease unemployment and provide better social services. Instead, the ruling parties continued their constant political attitude and did not take those expectations of the people into account. All those have created an interaction between the people of the region and the opposition groups in the Parliament to protest together against the KRG.

However, the ruling parties, particularly the KDP, accused the opposition groups and neighbouring countries like Iran as organizers of those demonstrations. The protests have not been controlled by the opposition parties but the opposition, the Gorran, has tried to use the momentum on the streets in order to create changes in the political system, says Assos Hardi, the founder of two independent Kurdish newspapers.  Becuase both the people and Gorran have been fighting for similar goals: political, social and economic reforms.

 

What the Government Has Done After the 17th of February

After the first incident on February 17, 2011, the KDP tried to stop that uprising, accordingly, Barzani did some speeches to calm down the people, having said demonstration is your legitimate right but violence and attack are not acceptable. He called for immediate elections for the Parliament and provincial councils of Erbil, Dohuk and Suleimaniah, and called on the Parliament and Government to begin preparations for the elections as soon as possible. The PUK leader, Talabani, has declared that he agrees with the call from Barzani. During their meeting in the city of Salahuddin, the both leaders said they would continue to work together to solve the problems arising in the region. Talabani has emphasized that ‘we, in the past, struggled together for the liberation of our Kurdish people, and want to struggle today too’.

 

Moreover, on February 23, 2011, the KRG held an extraordinary session to discuss the urgent situation of the region and demands of the people. Then the Government enacted a resolution – No.1, 2011, which has seventeen articles. With this Resolution, the KRG adopted the following points: withdrawal of the Peshmerga to their previous locations, which were sent to Suleimaniah and the other cities during the protests, finding those who burnt the Nalia channel and Gorran’s radio and television buildings, immediately improving living conditions of the people, social justice, political freedoms and rights, and establishment of a special committee in order to listen to demands of the demonstrators. The KRG declared that the Council of Minitries and the relevant authorities shall implement the articles of the resolution, which is waiting the approval of the Parliament. (See all articles of the Resolution attached the article). However, the people in the region do not believe those promises of Barzani and its coalition goverment, reported by Cetin Cetiner, a turkish correspondent of the Norhtern Iraq, becuase they say it is only a political discourse.

 

What Bring the Protests to the Region?

Kurdistan Region is after February 17, 2011, is different from before, says Asos Hardi, the founder of two independent Kurdish newspapers. He states that “we are definitely in a new era now”. Before this date calls from the people, the opposition groups and media for reforms were not taken seriously. It seemed very difficult for the opposition parties and public, for example, to demand a re-election at that time under the government of the KDP-PUK. So, after February 17, the ruling parties can not remain silent against those demands any more.

 

If the ruling parties, particularly, the KDP, keeps its promises, which were given within a few days after the first demonstrations as political and economic reforms, and could implement them on time, the Kurds could likely witness the new era in the region very soon. If not, uprisings would grow and spread to other cities of the region, and bring more blood to the region, and the KRG rulers be sent like those of Egypt and Tunisia. Becuase the demonstrations in Suleimaniah still continue, and it seems difficult to estimate when they will end. The protesters express their feelings as ‘we are here, in the Liberation Square, until we get our rights, we shall not leave this Square’. Everyday, the support to the demonstrators is increasingly growing from trade unions, non-governmental organizations and the ordinary people. It is a social and economic revolution, says Mufid Abdulla, a journalist from KurdishMedia. The ruling elites should realize that those uprisings reflect a profound process of this revulotion. It is hence impossible to prevent such process with their armed forces such as the Peshmerga. They should take demands of the people into consideration, and work in a cooperative way with other political parties to solve the problems of the region.

 

The situation in Northern Iraq is different from those of Egypt and Tunisia. When the people of those countries poured into the streets and the governments lost control of those situations, the future of their nations was not threatened by any of the neighbouring countries, by interfering in their internal affairs or using the unrests for their interests for example. However, the situation in the Kurdistan Region is very sensitive and could easily get out of the control. If the regional government fails to take control of that situation, it may trigger a civil war and may never be controlled again. The protests in Southern Kurdistan Region reflect the nature of ‘civil disobedience’, which means to refuse to obey certain laws of government. The people in Suleimaniah are potesting without obeying any demonstration law and the government’s commands. The KRG should see the examples of Tunisia and Egypt or those of others throughout the history. And ruling elites should realize that if they do not fulfill those demands of the people, then they would end their political life like leaders of Egypt and Tunisia – Mubarek and Bin Ali who went with blood.  

 

In conclusion, the people of Nothern Iraq are protesting the Kurdistan Regional Government for social and economic reforms. They have been fighting for their rights for one decade  now. The emergence of the opposition groups in the Kurdish Parliament, mainly the Gorran Movement, has brought a new challenge to the KRG. The Gorran has started to struggle with the Government for political reforms. The social and economic demands from the people and political demands from the Gorran have created an interaction between them to fight together against the KRG. Meanwhile, a revolutionary mood has spread accross the Middle East and North Africa. And it has created a conducive environment for the people to be encouraged, and for the Gorran to gather people on the streets. Then the incident, February 17, 2011, erupted as the first event. Still the demonstrations in Suleimaniah continue with a larger groups. And no one knows when those protests will end. Becuase the people of the region do not trust the Government’s proposals that were issued after the first incident. If the Barzani and Talabani keep their promises and reform the political and economic system of Kurdistan Region, then the people leave protesting. Otherwise, the uprisings would grow and spread accross the other cities of the region, which could create a civil war. The Kurdistan Region is unfortunately not lucky as much as Tunisia and Egypt were because its situation is very sensitive and any possible interference could come from neighbouring countries such as Iran which could cause to make the situation more complicated and worse. As a final word, if the current government, the KRG, implements the reforms requested by the people and opposition, it would be possible to have a ‘new era’ in the region, which will bring more democratic political system, social justice, freedom, job, better basic services and such like.  It does not seem to be so difficult to fulfill such demands and change their behaviour of distrust if the ruling elites leave dishonesty, corruption, nepotism, and work together for interests of the people not of their parties and inner circles.   

 


Endnotes:


1. The Kurdistan Regional Government’s Resolution No.1, 2011,
2. Interview with Boran Yorkan, Leyla Yorkan and Kadir Yorkan, March 9,2011.
3. Kirmanj Gundi, “Party politics of Kurdish leadership engenders mayhem in Slêmanî”, KurdishMedia, February 26, 2011
4. Dilshad Amin, “The legitimate civil disobedience in southern Kurdistan should be answered” , KurdishMedia,  March 5, 2011.
5. Newswatch Desk, “Raid prevents Kurdistan first independent TV station from covering unrest”, February 22, 2011.
6. TRT Turk “Detay Bakis”, March 10, 2010.
7. Mufid Abdulla, “Why the mood of the south of Kurdistan’s youth is in a state of revolution”, Kurdish Media, February 21, 2011.
8. Kurdishmedia, “Dr. Shaho Saeed: The ruling parties of the region have frankly declared that they have no proposals for reforms in Kurdistan”, February 22, 2011.
9. Bilgay Duman, “Irak Kürt Bölgesinde ‘Yasemin Kokulari’, ORSAM, February, 16, 2011.
10. Mohammed A. Salih, “Iraqi Kurdistan's Liberation Square”, Aljazeera, March 8, 2011.
11. KurdishMedia, “Statement by Gorran Movement about the Current Situation in Kurdistan – Iraq”, January 31, 2011.
12. Bilgay Duman, “Irak Kürt Bölgesinde ‘Yasemin Kokulari’, ORSAM, February, 16, 2011.
13. Selen Tonkus Kareem, “Kürt Bölgesel Yönetiminin ‘Tahrir’inden Izlenimler I”, ORSAM, February 23, 2011.
14. KurdishMedia, “Shocking reaction to the uprising in Sulaymaniah: How genuine popular revolutions begin”, February 18, 2011.

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