Türkiye Expresses ‘Strong Support’ for Iraq’s Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and Stability at UN

ANKARA

Türkiye’s deputy permanent representative to the UN reiterated his “strong support” for Iraq, saying he is ready to support the Iraqi authorities in their investigations to uncover the facts behind last week’s attack in Duhok province which killed nine civilians.

In his statement to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Oncu Keceli reiterated Türkiye’s willingness to “take all measures to expose the truth” about the attack.

“They (Ankara) rejected the allegations and expressed their support for the Iraqi authorities in their investigations,” he noted, saying this is not the first time Türkiye has been blamed for such an incident.

Recalling the August 22, 2021 attack, in which two Iraqi tourists were killed in the same area, Keceli said: “Immediately after the incident, there was a campaign to blame my country for what happened. has passed. However, it was eventually revealed that the PKK terrorist organization was responsible for the bombing. »

He stressed that “Turkey has always maintained its firm support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, stability and prosperity of Iraq” and added that “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq are flouted by terrorist organizations, not by Turkey”.

The Iraqi government has no presence in its northern territories, the Turkish diplomat also said, noting: “We estimate that the PKK controls an area of ​​at least 10,000 square kilometers (3,861 square miles) in Iraq.”

“And all these places have become safe havens for terrorists,” he added.

In the past year alone, dozens of civilians and members of the security forces have lost their lives or been injured in terrorist attacks carried out by the PKK in Iraq.

During its more than 35-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.​​​​​

“We strongly reject and condemn the portrayal of the PKK as an innocent group,” Keceli said, adding that “Iraq has so far proven unable or unwilling to fight terrorists.”

The Turkish UN official pointed out that at least 339 attacks were carried out by the terrorist PKK against Turkey in the first six months of this year.

“In the absence of Iraq’s ability and will to deal with the presence of terrorist organizations on its own territory, we are obliged to take appropriate measures,” he said, quoting the Türkiye’s right of self-defence “as set out in Article 51 of the Charter”. of ONU.”

Pledging to continue to be neighbors and friends, Keceli said Turkey “does not want to see an Iraq fragmented along ethnic and sectarian lines.”

“We do not want our bilateral relations to suffer from the domestic political calculations of certain groups in Iraq,” he said, stressing that Turkey’s “unwavering support” to its neighbors “in their quest for stability and security will never fade.”

Meanwhile, Keceli spoke again after hearing about an attack on the Türkiye Consulate General in Mosul, Iraq.

“These attacks are an indicator of the Iraqi authorities’ inability to establish sovereignty over their own lands,” Keceli said, urging “Iraqi authorities to refrain from discriminatory rhetoric and to cooperate, including in the fight against terrorist organizations”.

“According to the first information received, we learned that no one was injured in the incident in Mosul, but we hope that our diplomatic representations in Iraq will be safe, and this is important for establishing peace and better relations. bilateral relations through diplomacy,” he added. added.

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