Speech by President Barzani at the opening ceremony of the Barzani National Memorial
I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you. It is a great honor for us that you have come today and made a long journey to get here. I consider this an opportunity to present you with a brief history of Barzan. Much has been written and said about Barzan, a lot of the written was distorted by the enemies. However, after obtaining a lot of evidence from the archives of many of these states and occupiers , it became clear to everyone that what emerged in Barzan was a democratic liberation movement and have a great impact.
The Barzan Takya was built in the ninth century in Islamic Calendar which is equal to fifteen century in Georgian Calendar by our great grandfather Sheikh Tajaddin. At the same time, he built a school for the students to teach islamic texts next to the Takya. He was a very knowledgeable scholar and the Takya and the school were widely welcomed by the people of the region and surrounding. This continued until his death. After his death it stopped until his descendants, Sheikh Abdul Salam I. According to all evidence, he was very capable and well versed in religious sciences. He began to lay the groundwork for social reform, but death did not allow him, He died in 1872, and was succeeded by his son Sheikh Mohammed. Sheikh Mohammed was very ascetic and pious. He was still engaged in religion and guidance, but he had such great influence that the Ottoman Empire was afraid of him and start a war with him. They arrested him and took him to Badlis prison for two years. When he was released, he died in 1903
After him, his son Sheikh Abdul Salam II, took over the leadership of the sect. Sheikh Abdul Salam II, although short-lived but had a productive, began as a great revolution that was perhaps a hundred years ahead of his time. He began a fundamental reform to define the Barzan Creed Anyone who believes in these principles can be said to be a follower of the Barzan path.
- Knowen and worshipping God and theology.
- Religion is morality
- In humanity, we are all brothers
- Religion and Homeland are inseparable
- Struggle against the oppressors is obligatory
- Environmental protection is required
- Women's rights must be protected and prohibited forced marriage and everything that go against a girls will to marrying a person she wants.
Alongside this, he has extensive contacts with religious leaders, tribal chiefs and organizations, not only in Iraq, but in the region as a whole. At that time there was a governor of Mosul named Mohammed Nazif, who was a very dictatorial and inhuman in rulings. He tried to convince the the Ottoman Empire to declare a general curse against Sheikh Abdul Salam When these reforms were carried out, influence spread widely and rapidly in the region, which the Ottomans did not like.
To face this inhuman acts some of the tribes formed a federation and they are: Sherwani, Mazuri, Dolamari, Gardi, Barozi, Nzari and Harki Banaji, which are seven tribes that formed a federation and chose their title as Barzan and call themselves Barzani.
When the curse was announced, the Ottoman army attacked Barzani from two or three fronts. There was a very heroic resistance. After that, Sheikh Abdul Salam was forced to leave the region and went to Iran. They had a great program and continue there, till they went to Badlisi. We knew that in our family and in Barzan, where he met the representative of the Czar, But Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov came to Erbil two or three years ago and said that he had seen in their archives the he had met the Czar himself. On his return, several traitors betrayed him and handed him over to the Ottomans. In 1914, he was martyred and executed in Mosul.
He was only 37 years old when he was executed, but in that short life he left behind a great history and a great work. He was succeeded by his brother, Sheikh Ahmad al-Noorani, who, although he was ver young at the time of his brother's martyrdom, he able quickly filled the gap. I was one of those who had the honor to meet him serve him several times, and there are many who have served him still alive. He was truly a divine blessing. He was a great man, believed in justice and he was just and was very patience person. He continues the legacy of his brothers, fathers and grandfathers.
In 1931, a regiment led by Colonel Barqi came around Barzani one night and asked him to surrender. They fought, and the regiment was failed to achieve th goals they come for and tarred. Then, of course, the British planes that were helping Iraq bombed Barzan village and Barzan area. It was the first time they bomb Barzan village. A large number of women and children were martyred.
I don't want to go into all the details, but eventually after a six-month war, they were forced to migrate again to Turkey, there was Mustafa Kamal Ataturk time rules Turkiye, handed over Sheikh Ahmad to the Iraqi government. Once he spent 12 years in prison, the other time he spent 14 years in exile, they were in Nasiriyah, Baghdad and Sulaymaniyah. He was asked by the authorities at the time to ask for forgiveness bu he refused and said, 'I will not ask forgiveness from you because I have done no wrong, you have betrayed us. I have done nothing and I will ask forgiveness from Allah and not from you. He stayed for 12 years handcuffed and did not write the letter until July 20, 1958, when the July Revolution, the so-called Abdul Karim Qassim Revolution, came out of prison. We were children at the time, but we all went to the reception. It was a very, very historic and unforgettable day. Truthfully for us he was our leader. Mullah Mustafa his loyal student and follow his Creed.
Mullah Mustafa served this Creed very faithfully and sacrificially. I will not go into all the details of his life, only the historical path that he walked 700 kilometers through Iran, Iraq and Turkiye until It reached the Soviet border at the time tell a lot about him. This in itself seems more like a miracle than a truth, but it is a truth. They fought several times and miraculously escaped, where they suffered the greatest suffering at the hands of Mir Jaffar Abbas Oghlu Gaghirov who was the ruler of Azerbaijan at the time. Stalin died and Bagirov was executed Barzani was transferred to Moscow and treated with respect until he returned to Baghdad on October 6, 1958, where he was warmly welcomed by the Iraqi people at Musanna airport.
All this in the September Revolution, many of the reforms that Sheikh Abdul Salam and Sheikh Ahmad had started, he implemented in the September Revolution, especially in the social sphere. We now feel the wisdom of his leadership. He constantly emphasized that our war with the regime does not mean a war between two nations. Our war with an oppressive regime, whether it is Arab or Kurdish, we will defend ourselves. In the September Revolution, many Arab brothers, Turkmen and Christian brothers, participated in the leadership of the revolution and the Peshmergas of the revolution were martyrs and gave their blood for liberty and freedom. It is a great honor that the September Revolution became a refuge for all democrats and all freedom fighters of the Iraqi people. Barzani was able to establish spiritual and brotherly relations with many Shiite and Sunni religious leaders. after a while you will see the Jacket was given to him by Imam Mohsin al-Hakim (may Allah be pleased with him) sent him as a gift. I once told the story to Shahid Mihrab about the jacket that the Imam had sent to Barzani. He said that an Afghani man had brought it to me.
We are proud. Not a single terrorist act was committed during the September Revolution. Not a single civilian target was attacked. He always said that the soldiers are not guilty, it’s a tragedy to this death, but the war against an oppressive regime is obligatory.
We are reaping the fruits of that wisdom today. This great presence here means that yes, this is the right path, the path of brotherhood, coexistence and reconciliation. This is the right path, not bloodshed and murder.
Barzan is a small village in size, but it became a major target for all the empires and governments that came to the region. From 1892 to 1987, it was either invaded or burned 16 times. This in itself raises the question of how a small village or several tribes with such weak capacity can rise again after their villages and areas have been burned or occupied 16 times. Is this questionable in itself? This shows the fact that this path is deeply rooted and the people were not loyal to anyone else except their faith and ready to die for.
Our ancestors have left us a very rich and sovereign path to take and shape the history. My request to all these friends is not to evaluate this history in the light of us, the present generation. The evaluation should be based on the struggles of Sheikh Abdul Salam, Sheikh Ahmad and Mullah Mustafa.
Relations between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad
I will not go into the past, but I will talk about the present. There is a very, very favorable climate now. We see a strong will and pure intentions. I would like to thank my brother, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Sudani, for his courage to implement the political agreement that has been reached. I assure him that we will support him with all our might.
It has been proven that if there is a strong will and well intentions, there is no problem that cannot be solved. We hope that this atmosphere and this pleasant situation will continue to solve all other problems, God willing.
Internal situation in the region
I would like to appeal to all parties in the Kurdistan Region to open a new chapter and to hold a broad meeting before the 18th of this month, to discuss and solve all problems in a sincere, responsible and Kurdish manner. Before that meeting, I call on the two Political Bureaus of the PUK and KDP to sit down, remove this ambiguity and create the conditions for these broad meetings.
We should have learned a lesson from the uprising. After seventy years of struggle, sacrifice and blood, we could not do what was done in seven days in 1991 when it was the whole nation come together, it was miraculously created, let's consider this. I would like to repeat this request to all political parties in the Kurdistan Region. I am ready to do whatever I can to support this request.
I ask all media and civil society organizations to help make this message a success, not to play a negative role, I ask you to play a positive role.
I think it is necessary to declare that the Kurdish people and the Kurdistan Region, as always, in view of Barzani's path and thought, are with the brotherhood of the peoples of the region and mutual acceptance. It should be for the prosperity and development of the region and the problems should be resolved within the framework of continuous dialogue, democracy and respect for the will of the peoples of the region.
Thank you all again, for attending. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the friends of the Kurdish people, both those who are present and participating here in large numbers, and those who are far away and in different parts of the world.
I would like to thank the brothers and sisters who have undertaken this project, both in building this memorial and in organizing this program. Thank you and I personally thank them.
I would like to mention here that of those who accompanied Mr. Barzani on this historic journey, five men are still alive, along with 10 women who married Barzani men there.
Thank you all again, warmly welcome good luck. thank you so much