Is it time for Turkey to decide if it wants to be called Turkey or Ottoman Empire. After Erdogan’s threats in regard to Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, NYTimes and Reuters report that Iraq has requested an emergency U.N. Security Council session to discuss the presence of Turkish troops on its territory as a dispute with Ankara escalates.
Turkey’s parliament last Saturday overwhelmingly approved a one-year extension of an existing mandate to use Turkish troops abroad in Syria and Iraq. A number of an estimated 2,000 troops across northern Iraq by a year to combat “terrorist organizations” will be deployed – a likely reference to Kurdish rebels as well as Islamic State.
The Iraqi government condemned the vote, and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned Turkey that it risks ‘regional war’ by keeping troops on Iraqi soil. Yesterday the 5th of October, Turkey and Iraq summoned each other’s ambassadors in protest at remarks from the other’s camp.
Relations between the two regional key players are already into a lot of tensions as a consequence of the continuing war in Syria and the rise of ISIS and other terrorist groups in the region.
Iraq’s parliament responded by condemning the vote while calling the neighbor country Turkey to pull its approximated 2,000 troops out and quit areas across northern Iraq.
Turkey however, remained defiant, with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim vowing on Thursday to maintain Turkish troop presence “no matter what Baghdad says.”
Anadolu, the Turkish national news agency reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed what it described as the Iraqi parliament’s “mischaracterization” of the Turkish military presence in Bashiqa.
“We strongly condemn the Iraqi parliament’s unacceptable assertions, including base accusations leveled against the Turkish president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan],” the ministry declared in a statement.
Turkey-Iraq relations became strained after Ankara late last year sent troops to the region of Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul, to train fighters against ISIS — a move Baghdad considers as a “blatant violation” of its sovereignty.
This week, Turkey’s Erdogan expressed Ankara’s readiness to take part in the forthcoming battle to retake Iraq’s second largest city Mosul from ISIS. Ankara also worries that Baghdad’s Shi’ite Muslim-led forces will destabilize Mosul’s largely Sunni population and worsen ethnic strife across the region, where there are also populations of Turkmens, ethnic kin of the Turks.
As it was reported by Kurdistan24.net, Safeen Dizayi, the KRG spokesperson said that the opening of military bases in northern Mosul and the stationing of Turkish military advisers were approved by the Iraqi Defense Ministry and federal governmentafter the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq.
The Kurdish Rudaw news service reports Shiite militia leaders in Iraq aren’t exactly helping to calm the situation down. One militia leader agreed with Baghdad that Turkish forces in northern Iraq are “occupiers,” and threatened to attack Turkish troops “if they do not retreat from Iraqi land.”
“If they insist on staying in Iraq we will treat them as enemies. We fight them the way we fight ISIS,” militia spokesman Yousif al-Kilabi declared.
— Ari Murad (@Arimurad) 5 octobre 2016
— Tamer Yazar (@tameryazar) 23 septembre 2016
— Şehit Evleri (@sehitevi) 5 octobre 2016