Jalal Talabani

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Jalal Talabani
Image:Talabani Sept05.jpg

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Incumbent
Assumed office 
April 7 2005 - April 22 2006
Transitional President
April 22 2006
Vice President(s)   Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Tariq Al-Hashimi
Succeeded by Incumbent

Born 1933
Kelkan, Iraq
Political party Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)


Jalal Talabani (Kurdish: جهلال تالهبانی / Celal Talebanî / Jelal Talebaní Arabic: جلال طالباني‎, Jalāl Tālabānī) (born 1933), is an Iraqi politician, who was elected President of Iraq on April 6, 2005, (sworn in the next day, April 7, and once again on April 22, 2006, by the Iraqi National Assembly.[1] Talabani is the founder and secretary general of one of the main Iraqi Kurdish political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). He was a prominent member of the Interim Iraq Governing Council, which was established following the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Image:Jalal Talabani and Rumsfeld.jpg
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (left) responds to a reporter's question during a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld following their meeting in the Pentagon on Sept. 9, 2005.

Currently President of Iraq and Secretary General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Talabani has been an advocate for Kurdish rights and democracy in Iraq for more than fifty years. He was born in 1933 in the village of Kelkan in Iraqi Kurdistan near lake Dokan. He descended from the Talabani tribe that has produced many leading social figures.[citation needed] He received his elementary and intermediate school education in Koya (Koysanjak) and his high school education in Erbil and Kirkuk. Talabani has a record of lifelong activism and leadership in the Kurdish and Iraqi causes. In 1946, at the age of 13 he formed a secret Kurdish student association. The following year he became a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and in 1951, at 18, he was elected to the KDP's central committee. Upon finishing his secondary education, he sought admission to medical school but was denied it by authorities of the then ruling Hashemite monarchy owing to his political activities. In 1953 he was allowed to enter law school but was obliged to go into hiding in 1956 to escape arrest for his activities as founder and Secretary General of the Kurdistan Student Union. Following the July 1958 overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy, Talabani returned to law school, at the same time pursuing a career as a journalist and editor of two publications, Khabat and Kurdistan. After graduating in 1959, Talabani performed national service in the Iraqi army where he served in artillery and armor units and served as a commander of a tank unit.

Image:Jalal Talabani Rumsfeld Rice Khalilzad.jpg
From left U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Baghdad, Iraq, on April 26, 2006.

When in September 1961, the Kurdish revolution for the rights of the Kurds in Iraq was declared against the Baghdad government of Abdul Karim Qassem, Talabani took charge of the Kirkuk and Sulaimani battle fronts and organized and led resistance in Mawat, Rezan and the Karadagh regions. In March 1962 he led a coordinated offensive that brought about the liberation of the district of Sharbazher from Iraqi government forces. When not engaged in fighting in the early and mid 1960s, Talabani undertook numerous diplomatic missions, representing the Kurdish leadership at meetings in Europe and the Middle East. When the KDP split in 1964, Talabani along with his long time mentor Ibrahim Ahmed was part of the "Political Bureau" group that broke away from General Mustafa Barzani's leadership, although he later rejoined the KDP and fought during the 1974-1975 revolution against Iraq’s Ba’athist dictatorship.

The collapse of the Kurdish resistance in March 1975 presented a moment of profound crisis for the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. Believing it was time to give a new direction to the Kurdish resistance and to the Kurdish society, Talabani, with a group of Kurdish intellectuals and activists, founded the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Yekiaiti Nishtimani Kurdistan). In 1976, he began organizing armed resistance inside Iraq. During the 1980s, Talabani led Kurdish struggle from bases inside Iraq until Saddam Hussein's genocidal "Anfal" campaign of 1987 and 1988.

In 1991, he helped inspire the Kurdish rising against Saddam Hussein’s regime. He negotiated a ceasefire with the Iraqi regime that saved the lives of many Kurds and worked closely with the US, UK, Turkey, France and other countries to set up the safe haven in Iraqi Kurdistan. He established a close personal relationship with the then President of Turkey, Turgut Ozal. Democratic elections were held in the safe haven in 1992 for a Kurdish parliament and the Kurdistan Regional Government was founded.

Talabani has pursued a negotiated settlement to the internecine problems plaguing the Kurdish movement, as well as the larger issue of Kurdish rights in the current regional context. He worked closely with other Kurdish politicians, the rest of the Iraqi opposition factions, and the governments of the UK and Turkey during the Ankara process of Kurdish reconciliation. In close coordination with Massoud Barzani, Talabani and the Iraqi Kurds played a key role as a partner of the US-Coalition in the invasion of Iraq.

Talabani was a member of the Iraqi Governing Council that negotiated the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL), Iraq’s interim constitution. The TAL governed all politics in Iraq and the process of writing and adopting the final constitution.

On 22nd April 2006, Talabani was elected for a second term as President of Iraq, thus becoming the first President elected under the country's new Constitution. Currently, his office is part of the Presidency Council of Iraq.

[edit] Timeline

1947 Joined the Kurdistan Democratic Party
1953 Elected to the KDP central committee
1954 Elected as the Secretary General of the Kurdistan Students Union
1961 Head of the KDP Peshmerga
1974 Formed the Kurdistan Autonomous Region (K.A.R.)
1975 Founded the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
1995 Took part in the war between KDP and PUK which killed many Kurds
2005 Elected President of Iraq
2006 Elected President of Iraq for second term

[edit] Quotes

  • "Two to three years are needed to build our security forces and say bye-bye to our friends,"
Preceded by:
None - Position created in 1975
General Secretary of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
1975 –
Succeeded by:
Incumbent
Preceded by:
Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer (Interim)
President of Iraq
April 7, 2005 –

[edit] External links

cs:Džalál Talabání da:Jalal Talabani de:Dschalal Talabani es:Yalal Talabani eo:Ĝalal Talabani fa:جلال طالبانی fr:Jalal Talabani gl:Jalal Talabani ko:잘랄 탈라바니 id:Jalal Talabani it:Jalal Talabani he:ג'לאל טלאבני ka:თალაბანი, ჯალალ ku:Celal Talebanî lt:Džalalas Talabanis nl:Jalal Talabani ja:ジャラル・タラバニ no:Jalal Talabani nn:Jalal Talabani pl:Dżalal Talabani pt:Jalal Talabani ru:Талабани, Джаляль sk:Džalál Talabání fi:Jalal Talabani sv:Jalal Talabani tr:Celal Talabani zh:贾拉勒·塔拉巴尼

Jalal Talabani

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