Unfortunately the content of the Article 140 has been underestimated through the many articles usually and frequently not objectively written, by who don’t distinguish this Article from another constitutional Articles, and contain wrong interpretations and pretexts aspiring to decrease its value.
The conspicuous phenomenon concerning the Article 140 is the existing of writers who have a tendency to steal from another writers work, they combine the stolen phrases in a poor articles which are far away from profession and the robbery in it is obvious, the reader of articles published on the internet or in the weeklies and monthlies can easily find tens of phrases stolen from articles written by famous writers.
The debate in the media created a negative and a disastrous reactions by means of discussing the Article only in a part and not as a whole. This Articles doesn’t concern only Kirkuk and the neighboring districts to Kurdistan region, but concerns all Iraqi cities which have been detached and annexed to other cities after its maps have been altered, examples are those of Salah Al-Din, Al- Anbar, Najaf, Babel and Diyala.
The discussions in Iraqi media about the Article 140 have created a negative influence more than a positive one, it has been frequently discussed en written about by everyone, in particular by writers who are identified as nationalists and remainders of Al Ba’ath Party who believe that the Kurds will announce the independent Kurdish state and their separation after the implementation of this Article takes place, and that will be a disaster in their opinion, they focus on Kirkuk ( the oil-rich district) and ignore other districts implied by this Article, as Singar, Makhmur, Talkif and Tilafer.
The conclusion is: the articles which attacked or underestimated the Article 140 were a lot more than those which focused on the importance of its implementation at the present time. More worse than that, who wrote about this Article judged that the Kurds take advantage of the weakness of the Iraqi state and attempt to disconnect another districts to annex them to the Kurdistan region. They don’t mention that the Article is a part of the constitution all sides have agreed on, and it has to be implemented at the appointed time to prove the sincerity of Iraqi state in accomplishing its programs at the time without any delay.
Although the most official statements assure that the Article will be implemented, there are on the ground currents who decelerate the steps of the implementation or intend to do that, and the media deliberately ignores to mention that.
On the other side the Kurdish media hasn’t paid sufficient attention to this Article, neither the political parties media nor the public media nor the governmental media, the only magazine titled (140) which publishes in Erbil, doesn’t have a large circulation and reaches only a small fraction of people who put the journals and magazines on their bookshelves, if anyone has been asked if he is acquainted with this magazine, his answer certainly will be a negative one. What disastrous is, there was until last June a big percentage of citizens who didn’t know any details about the way of the implementation of this Article.
It is certain that the attention paid by the media in Kurdistan region is not sufficient, and especially in the Arabic language. The activities of the ministry for External – Regional Affairs chaired by Dr. Ihsan Mohammad are also not satisfying, as this activities go along with the political circumstances and the partial competitions. If anyone has been asked if he noticed anything of the ministry preparation for the implementation of this Article on the ground, his answer will be simply no.
What is discussed in the media serves the political agendas and ignores the public opinion, until this moment there is no intension to direct the programs to the people deported from areas implied by this Article ( Singar, Makhmur and Khaniqin).
It was necessary to concentrate on another districts as Mandali, Bidra, Jassan, Tilafer, and Kuwair because that would signify that the other disputed districts ( Kirkuk, Singar, Shikhan and Khaniqin ) are beyond the question.
There is a sporadic programs about the Article 140 on the satellite television station and again their influence are not sufficient. The local media, in particular the two journals Union and Brotherhood ( Al-Itihaad, and Al-Taakhi ) publish a lot for Arabic writers about this Article, but unfortunately the publications are not used in a concentrated enlightenment campaign ( this is a low voice between high-pitched voices en doesn’t have impact ).
It was necessary to concentrate the publications in Arabic language as the inhabitants of those areas use the Arabic language and it is easy for them to read and understand what is published.
Unfortunately the Kurdish media didn’t attach the same importance to the Article 140 as the political parties have done. The problem is, there is no cadre who is familiar with the Arabic language and can give an account of what takes place on the ground, and the offices brought into being in those areas to accomplish this task are ineffective ( unfortunately they act according to the partial interests, they hide information from one to give it to another), thus there are a thousands of people who don’t know the phases of the implementing of this crucial Article.
The text of Article 140 of Iraqi constitution:
First: The executive authority shall undertake the necessary steps to complete the
implementation of the requirements of all subparagraphs of Article 58 of the
Transitional Administrative Law.
Second: The responsibility placed upon the executive branch of the Iraqi
Transitional Government stipulated in Article 58 of the Transitional
Administrative Law shall extend and continue to the executive authority elected
in accordance with this Constitution, provided that it accomplishes completely
(normalization and census and concludes with a referendum in Kirkuk and other
disputed territories to determine the will of their citizens), by a date not to exceed
the 31st of December 2007.
The attitude of the most Arab states towards this Article is a negative one, except Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Those two states agree with the will of Iraqi citizens, the attitude of the rest of the Arab states is discriminatory and nationalistic, and their official and public media is against this Article, and likewise the opposition media but in a different grades.
* The official Iraqi media cautiously approves the implementation of the Article 140.
* The unofficial media of Turkmen and Sunni Arabs is against the Article 140, not to mention the whole constitution.
* Shiite media, Al-Sadr current which is a large fraction, disapproves the implementation of the Article 140, and nearly all the other political blocs approve the implementation.
* The Liberal and secular media agrees on the implementation of the Article 140, but its influence is insignificant.
* The official en public media in Turkey severely disapproves the Article 140, they are of the opinion that the implementation of this Article will form a danger to the Turkish nation and split Iraq, they restrict the Article to a Kirkuk city that, in case of the implementation, will be turned into a bomb that can explode at any moment, they keep insisting that Kirkuk and Mosel were two districts of former Ottoman Empire, and have to be regained and re-incorporated into the Turkish state, they agitate the public opinion against this Article, alleging that its implementation will be the first step towards the independent Kurdish state, and that is a displeasing idea for them.
* The Iranian media is against the implementation of the Article 140 but in a less extent and in a more diplomacy.
The government of Kurdistan region has to take the following actions:
1. augmenting of lectures aiming for the enlightenment of the people.
2. broadcasting of programs explaining the content of the Article 140 and showing the advantages of its implementation.
3. producing of documentary films about the disputed areas and translating those into English language.
4. launching an internet site and also a periodical in English language about the Article 140.
This is the summary of the speech I have delivered in the conference on the Article 140, which was hold in the Brussels Parliament on 2 July 2007.