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‘Time to recognize Kurdistan as nation,’ Toronto councillor says

2019/03/16 | 07:30

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- TORONTO (Kurdistan 24) – “It’s about time we recognized Kurdistan as a nation,” Toronto City Councillor Jim Karygiannis said on Friday ahead of a historic Kurdistan flag raising ceremony to mark the 31st anniversary of the Halabja genocide.

Karygiannis was at the heart of an initiative to turn the Canadian Kurdish community’s dream into a reality. In February, he introduced a motion to the City of Toronto which called for a bypass to a protocol on the city’s flag raising criteria.

An initial proposal was rejected on grounds the Kurdistan flag “is an official symbol of the sub-national Kurdistan Region of Iraq.” However, after strong efforts by the Toronto councillor and the local Kurdish community – in particular, the leadership of Sartip Kakayee, an executive member of the Greater Toronto Kurdish House – an amendment to the flag raising criteria was approved.

Read More: Canada’s Toronto to raise Kurdistan flag on anniversary of Halabja genocide

Karygiannis said the ceremony would honor the victims of the 1988 Halabja genocide, a brutal massacre which killed nearly 5,000 people and injured 10,000 more.

“There are people out there in the world that don’t believe this,” he told Kurdistan 24. “This happened. Saddam Hussein gassed his own people, and this is a genocide, and we in Toronto are recognizing that fact, and we’re going to raise the flag of Kurdistan.”







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