Early life and education
Talabani received his elementary and intermediate school education in Koya (Koysanjak)
and his high school education in Erbil
When he was in his teens, Talabani's peers began referring to him as "Mam" Jalal, as 'mam' meaning "paternal uncle" in Kurdish
, and the Kurds have called him by this affectionate name ever since.
In 1953, he began a to study law at the Baghdad University. He had to flee into exile in Syria
in 1956, in order to prevent an arrest for being involved In activities of the Kurdish Students Union.
Residing in Damascus
, he helped to establish the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria
He later returned to Iraq and gained a degree in 1959.
After completing his studies at the Baghdad University, he entered the Iraqi Army
, where he served shortly as a tank unit commander. In the early 1960 he was made the head of the Polit bureau of the Kurdistan Democratic Party
When in September 1961, the Kurdish
uprising for the rights of the Kurds in northern Iraq was declared against the Baghdad
government of Abd al-Karim Qasim
, Talabani took charge of the Kirkuk and Silemani
battlefronts and organized and led separatist movements 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.
In 1964, he and the Barzani family had a dispute over the direction of the KDP and Talabani left Iraq and settled in Iran.
In Iran he purchased weapons without the knowledge of the Barzanis, following which he was expelled from the KDP in summer 1964.
After the March 1970 agreement between the Iraqi government and the Kurdish rebels, Talabani returned to Iraqi Kurdistan, and rejoined the KDP, even though he wouldn't hold an office at the time.
The Kurdish separatist movement collapsed in March 1975, after Iran ended their support in exchange for a border agreement with Iraq.
This agreement was the 1975 Algiers Agreement
, where Iraq gave up claims to the Shatt al-Arab
(Arvand Rūd) waterway and Khuzestan
, which later became the basis for the Iran–Iraq War
Believing it was time to give a new direction to the Kurdish separatists and to the Kurdish society, Talabani, with a group of Kurdish intellectuals and activists, founded the Kurdish Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
(Yekiaiti Nishtimani Kurdistan
In 1976, he began organizing an armed campaign for Kurdish independence inside Iraqi Kurdistan
From 1977 onwards, he established PUK base within Iranian Kurdistan in Nawkhan and an other one in Iraqi Kurdistan in Qandil.
During the 1980s, Talabani sided with Iran
and led a Kurdish struggle from bases inside Iraq until the crackdown against Kurdish separatists from 1987 to 1988.
Following the invasion of Kuwait
by Iraq in August 1990, he travelled to the United States, in order to offer his services and troops to the United States and raise support for the PUK. But his attempts did not bear the success he expected for at the time.
In 1991, he helped inspire a renewed effort for Kurdish independence.
He negotiated a ceasefire with the Iraqi Ba'athist government that saved the lives of many Kurds and worked closely with the United States, United Kingdom, France and other countries to set up the safe haven in Iraqi Kurdistan.
In 1992 the Kurdistan Regional Government
He was also supportive of peace negotiations between the Kurdistan Workers' Party
and Turkey, and was also present as Abdullah Öcalan
announced the ceasefire
of the PKK on the 17 March and prolonged it indefinitely on the 16 April 1993.
Talabani pursued a negotiated settlement to the Iraqi Kurdish Civil War
, as well as the larger issue of Kurdish rights in the current regional context.
He worked closely with other Kurdish politicians as well as the rest of the Iraqi opposition factions.
In close coordination with Masoud Barzani
, Talabani and the Kurds played a key role as a partner of the U.S. led Coalition in the invasion of Iraq.
Talabani between U.S. Vice President Joe Biden
and Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, 2011
On 22 April 2006, Talabani began his second term as President of Iraq, becoming the first President elected under the country's new constitution.
His office was part of the Presidency Council of Iraq
. Nawshirwan Mustafa
was Talabani's deputy until Mustafa resigned in 2006 and formed an opposition party called Gorran
He supported Barzani's extended presidency of the Kurdistan Region post-2013.
Health and death
On 18 December 2012, Talabani suffered a stroke and was in intensive care in Baghdad, where his condition eventually stabilized after reports that he was in a coma.
A statement on the President's official website said that he was being treated for blocked arteries
On 20 December, Talabani's condition had improved enough to allow travel to Germany for treatment.
The head of Talabani's medical team in Iraq has been Governor Najmiddin Karim
On 19 July 2014, Jalal Talabani returned to Iraq after more than 18 months of medical treatment.
Due to his absence from politics, as a result of his illness, the PUK became consumed by a succession crisis.
Jalal Talabani died on 3 October 2017, at the age of 83, in Berlin
, Germany, of a cerebral hemorrhage
as complications of the stroke he suffered in 2012.
He died a few days after the referendum about the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan was approved by the voters.Masoud Barzani
, President of Kurdistan Regional Government and for years his Kurdish rival,
announced seven days of mourning
in Iraqi Kurdistan
in memory of Talabani.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
also announced three days of mourning in the country.
His state funeral
was held on 6 October 2017.
Millions turned out across the cities and memorials were held across the globe.
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- ^ Alas, it may make little difference: The incumbent prime minister holds on like grim death, economist.com.
- ^ Zanko Ahmad (24 July 2014). Mourning The Magic Man — Ex-President Talabani Returns To Iraq Diminished. Niqash.
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Last edited on 16 April 2021, at 16:28
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