Turkey says PKK is a threat to Iraqi security, ignoring Baghdad’s complaints about Ankara’s air attacks on Iraqi soil.
Turkey expects the government in Iraq to officially recognise the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK, as a “terrorist” organisation, mirroring Ankara and its Western allies, its foreign minister says.
Turkey’s top diplomat, Hakan Fidan, was in Baghdad on Tuesday on his first official visit since taking office.
Fidan, whose visit is also aimed at preparing for an upcoming trip by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – which as yet does not have an official date – described the PKK as a common enemy.
“We cannot accept PKK challenging the sovereignty of Iraq,” he told a joint news conference after sitting down with his Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein, in the Iraqi capital.
“Sinjar, Makhmour, Qandil, Sulaimaniyah, and many other Iraqi districts have been occupied by the PKK terror group.”
Baghdad has regularly complained that Turkish air attacks in northern Iraq constitute a violation of its sovereignty, despite Ankara’s claims that it is trying to face off a force that has “occupied” parts of Iraq.
On Wednesday, Turkish intelligence announced that a PKK member had been “neutralised” in Sulaimaniyah, having been training for assassinations against security forces in Turkey.
Fidan, a former intelligence chief, is next slated to visit northern Iraq to hold talks with Kurdish officials.
The PKK, designated a “terrorist” group by the European Union and the United States as well as Turkey, launched an armed rebellion in southeast Turkey in 1984, in which more than 40,000 people have since been killed.
Turkey also targets the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it considers to be the Syrian branch of the PKK.
Source : Aljazeera