Al-Maliki slammed over Turkey, Iraq row

Al-Maliki slammed over Turkey, Iraq row

Those in Iraq who choose tensions over Turkey’s friendship “will always lose,” the Turkish prime minister’s political advisor said in a mounting row between Ankara and Baghdad. 

Turkey-Iraq Parliamentary Friendship Group Chairman Yalçın Akdoğan criticized Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for “presenting Turkey’s friendly advice as a problem, while seeing no problem in the meddling of countries which are thousands of miles away.” In a fluctuant period after U.S. withdrawal, Turkey gave friendly advice for the sake of Iraqi people, and it was unfair to consider it to be an intervention into internal affairs, Akdoğan said in an interview with Anatolia news agency. 

“Our expectation is not remarks that evoke threat and provocation but those that cultivate friendship,” he said. 

Akdoğan said any tension in a regional country would cross its borders and affect all regional countries negatively. The first priority of Iraqi officials was to prevent their lands being used by a terrorist group and support Turkey in its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), he said.

Similar messages were conveyed to the Iraqi ambassador to Ankara when he was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry Jan. 16 in response to al-Maliki’s criticism that Turkey interfered in the internal affairs of his country. It was natural for Turkey to be interested in the stability of its neighbor and its approach does not amount to interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu told the Iraqi Ambassador Abdulemir Kamil Abi-Tabik. Criticisms against Turkey were “unacceptable,” he said.