Iraq: Mothers for Peace

by Michele Naar-Obed

Located at the end of a long, dusty road in Iraq’s Nineveh Province, Makhmoor Refugee Camp is home to over 11,000 Turkish Kurds.  These refugees fled across the southeastern border of Turkey into Iraq following a military crackdown against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in 1996.

The Makhmoor camp is also home to nine “Mothers for Peace.”  These Kurdish women are part of a larger organization of mothers − over 1000 strong − who have lost children in the armed conflict between Kurdish rebels and the militaries of Turkey and Iraq.  All of them call for the laying down of arms and for the establishment of political and diplomatic means to guarantee Kurds their basic human rights.

“We want neither the Turkish mother nor the Kurdish mother to cry again,” Amin tells CPT.  “We have seen our children tortured and killed and we know that Turkish mothers have seen their children killed,” she continued.  “It is time for reconciliation, forgiveness and peace.”