Iraq's Foreign Ministry summons Turkish envoy
Iraq on May 3 summoned the top Turkish diplomat in Baghdad to protest the Turkish defense minister’s weekend visit to a military base in northern Iraq.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it handed the Turkish charge d'affaires a protest note over Hulusi Akar's visit to a Turkish base in northern Iraq.
According to the statement, the ministry told the top Turkish Embassy official that Baghdad "categorically rejects the continuing violations of Iraqi sovereignty ... by the Turkish military forces.”
On Saturday, Akar visited a Turkish Armed Forces military base in northern Iraq accompanied by Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler and Turkish Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar to supervise the Turkish Claw-Lightning
and Claw-Thunderbolt military operations against the PKK terrorist group.
Turkey has said that its cross-border operations and bases are not a violation of Iraqi sovereignty but an effort to eradicate a regional terrorist threat. Turkey has stressed its respect for Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU- has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.