Instability in Syria, Iraq affects Turkey most: Turkish PM

Instability in Syria, Iraq affects Turkey most: Turkish PM

Instability in Syria, Iraq affects Turkey most: Turkish PM

AFP photo

Ongoing instability in Iraq and Syria has affected Turkey more than any other country, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Oct. 10. 
“The situation to our south in Iraq and Syria affects our country, Turkey, the most,” said Yıldırım on Oct. 10 during his speech at the opening ceremony of the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul. 

“While many countries that do not have a physical or emotional tie with the region are carrying out works there, governments of the region do not make a sound. But we see that they are disturbed when Turkey, which pays the highest price of this instability and chaos, makes moves on this issue,” he added. 

Apparently referring to Iraq, with which Turkey is embroiled in a row over a training camp in the country’s northern Bashiqa region, Yıldırım said “those who [complain] first need to protect their own country first of all.” 

The presence of Turkish troops at the Bashiqa camp led to diplomatic tension between Iraq and Turkey, with the Iraqi parliament sending a diplomatic note to Turkey’s ambassador on Oct. 4, after which Turkey summoned Iraq’s ambassador in Ankara.

Yıdlrım later vowed on Oct. 6 that Turkish troops in Iraq would remain in the country to continue the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to make sure that no change to the region’s “demographic structure” is imposed. 

“First of all take care of your citizens living inside your country. Stop them from being destroyed, know how to be a state, and then come and talk about Turkey,” Yıldırım said on Oct. 10. 

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had a phone conversation on Oct. 9, which was dominated by the issue of Turkey’s military presence in the Bashiqa camp, diplomatic sources said.  

According to Turkish sources speaking on condition of anonymity, the two ministers also exchanged views on the ongoing Syrian crisis.

Çavuşoğlu and Johnson spoke while the Turkish minister was in Bangkok to attend the Second Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit.