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Iraqi Party Seeks Turkoman-Majority Province

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MOSUL, Iraq -- An official with a party representing Iraq's ethnic Turkic minority has said the predominantly Turkoman district of Talafar in northwestern Iraq should be detached from Nineveh province and declared a province in its own right, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq reports.

Muhammad Jaro al-Pasha, of the Iraqi Turkoman Front, told RFE/RL that the idea was floated first in 1941 and again in 1977.

He added that Talafar is larger in both size and population than "27 existing countries in the world" and that the party's call to turn the district into a province is "a democratic demand."

The Kurdish deputy chairman of Nineveh's provincial council, Dildar Zebari, told RFE/RL that separating Talafar from Mosul "is out of the question at present, but conceivable in the future under different circumstances."