Turkey drafts contingency plans for Basra, Baghdad missions, no evacuation decision yet
Sevil Erkuş ANKARA
An image grab taken from a video uploaded on Youtube on June 12, 2014, allegedly shows Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants taking part in a military parade in the northern city of Mosul. AFP PhotoIn the aftermath of the abduction of dozens of Turkish citizens by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Mosul, the Turkish government has drawn contingency plans for the Consulate General in Basra in addition to its embassy in the capital city of Baghdad, a senior Turkish diplomat said on June 16.
“However, no decision for evacuating the two diplomatic missions has been made so far,” the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters, adding that Ankara had also asked the federal Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to tighten security measures around the Turkish missions in both Baghdad and Basra.
“Our officials also reminded the Iraqi government officials of their responsibility with regard to the withdrawal of the Iraqi security forces around the consulate general in Mosul without an earlier notice to the Turkish side,” he also stated, noting that the Turkish side had emphasized that such flaws were in violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
Meanwhile, officials said the families of Turkish staff in Baghdad have gradually begun returning to Turkey of their own will.
As its intense efforts have been underway for the release of 31 Turkish truck drivers being held by ISIL militants in the Geyara district of Mosul, as well as for the abducted Turkish nationals at the Turkish consulate in Mosul, Turkey has also been sending humanitarian aid to the Iraqi Turkmens fleeing from the plight in Tal Afar. The aid has been sent through the Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD), officials stated.