Ankara urges action from Iraq after attack

Ankara urges action from Iraq after attack

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Ankara urges action from Iraq after attack

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu hugs Kirkuk Governor Necmeddin Kerim in his visit to the city last month. The visit of Davutoğlu has angered the central government. AA photo

Turkey has harshly condemned an attack that killed three people, including a Turkmen general, on Sept. 4 in Kirkuk and demanded that Baghdad rapidly take the required measures to prevent terrorist activities that target the entire people of Iraq.

In a written statement released Sept. 6, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry expressed its sadness over learning that Maj. Gen. Adnan Abdul Razzaq al-Bayyati, director general of the Interior Ministry’s office at the Governorate of Kirkuk, and two security guards were killed in the armed attack.

Rapid precautions

“We harshly condemn this loathsome terror action, which is aimed at further [causing a deterioration in] the environment of confidence … and creating ethnicity-based conflict, and expect its perpetrators to be captured in the shortest time and be tried,” said the statement, which came in the form of an answer by Foreign Ministry spokesman Selçuk Ünal to a journalist’s question. “We expect Iraqi leaders to rapidly take precautions with a spirit of democracy and reconciliation, which will decrease the ongoing political tension in the country and will prevent terror actions that target the entire Iraqi people,” Ünal said.

Iraq-based news reports quoted a spokesperson for Kirkuk police as saying Sept. 5 that an armed group riding in an SUV opened fire on al-Bayyati with machine guns as his convoy passed along Tisseen Street in southern Kirkuk and that he was killed immediately in the attack.

In early August, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu made a side trip to Kirkuk while visiting northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), whose leader has long been involved in a dispute with Iraq’s premier. The first-ever visit to Kirkuk by a Turkish foreign minister greatly angered Baghdad, leading officials to release a statement saying, “It is not in the interest of Turkey, or any other party, to underestimate national sovereignty and violate the rules of international relations by not complying with the most basic regulations in the relations of states and officials.”