Turkish operation into northern Iraq is mere speculation: Deputy PM
Allegations that Turkey would carry out a future operation into northern Iraq are mere speculation, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said, adding that Turkey would only use its forces “with reason.”
“There are allegations that [Turkey will] enter the northern Iraqi region, these are mere speculations. Turkey will act in reason, in coordination with its neighbors,” Bozdağ, who is also a government spokesperson, said on Oct. 2, following a cabinet meeting.
He said the National Security Council (MGK) has discussed on the future steps and possible measures that Ankara would take.
He added that the government will consider the steps to be taken as a priority and Ankara will be in collaboration with the central Iraqi government and Iran, stressing that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is scheduled to visit Iran on Oct. 4.
“All the steps that we will take will be in cooperation,” he said.
“We have taken measures such as bringing forward the MGK meeting, launching military exercises on the Turkey-Iraq border, removing some broadcasters from Turksat [satellite provider] and suspending flights,” he said.
“We will continue [to take measures] until the northern Iraqi regional government will step back,” he added, referring to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Turkey has been calling on the KRG to cancel an independence referendum it held on Sept. 25, stressing that the results, overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Baghdad, was “null” and “void.”