Conditions for the Turkmen people in northern Iraq are worse now than before the fall of Saddam Hussein.

That was the message from Dr. Sadettin Erge, a member of the Iraqi Parliament, who visited Farmington Hills Monday as part of his U.S. trip to raise awareness about the conditions the Turkmen ethnic group in northern Iraq is facing.

Erge also met with U.S. government officials at the State Department and the National Security Council in Washington D.C. and with United Nations officials in New York.

He was brought to speak at the Farmington Hills Manor by the International Visitors Council of Metropolitan Detroit board member John Akouri, of Farmington Hills, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and Farmington Hills resident Nurten Ural, Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Turkey. . .

The Turkmen and other ethnic groups in Iraq will wait a long time, according to Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Southfield.

“Each group in Iraq claims to be the most oppressed,” said Walid. “And, each group has a grievance with another group – these are severe barriers to the healing process of the nation.”

Walid said the U.S. occupation in Iraq needs to end and the religious groups need to accept one another, for there to be a unified Iraq.

“Our nation’s occupation in Iraq is a catalyst for sectarian violence,” said Walid.

“It’s more than just a political situation, it’s a spiritual, psychological situation that needs to be addressed. The religious leadership in Iraq needs to come together, because spiritual healing needs to take place first.”


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