Ahmed Kataw, the most prominent leader of the Circassians of Iraq, announced his candidacy in the parliamentary elections in the city of Kirkuk, north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. This candidacy is the first of its kind for the Circassian minority in Iraq.
In an exclusive interview with “News & Post”, Kataw explained the reasons for the delay in choosing representatives for the Circassians due to the deteriorating security conditions that Iraq has experienced during the past years, which prompted many of them to flee from areas where their population is concentrated and settled in Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah.
He added, that what prompted him to run was the lack of recognition of them as an Iraqi component, and in light of the lack of political representation for Iraqis of Caucasian origin in the existing political parties or through the establishment of parties that represent them.
Katao revealed that there was consensus on choosing a unified official naming for the Circassians, Chechns and Dagestans, which is Iraq’s Caucasus.
There is no exact statistic of the number of Circassians in Iraq, but, according to estimates of Circassian activists in Iraq live between ten thousand and twenty thousand Circassians.
Soruce : Circassian Press