Turkey reshuffles jurisdictions of diplomatic missions in Iraq
ANKARATurkey has rearranged the officials of its diplomatic mission in neighboring Iraq, with authorities describing the move as a bid to offer “better and swifter” service to Turkish citizens and business people living in the region.
The rearrangement went into force after a related Council of Ministers decision by the Foreign Ministry, dated Jan. 29, 2016, was published in the Official Gazette on April 12.
Accordingly, the “Dohuk Consular Agency” will be in charge of consular affairs in Dohuk and affiliated with the Consulate General in Arbil, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Meanwhile, the jurisdiction of the Consulate General in Arbil working under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Embassy is set as Arbil. The consular office of the embassy in Baghdad has become in charge of the entire Iraq, except the jurisdictions of the consulate-generals in Basra, Arbil and Mosul and of the “Suleimaniya and Dohuk Consular Agencies.”
The rearrangement has done due to distance concerns and close relations with the authorities of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Turkish diplomatic sources, speaking under condition of anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
In early April, aircraft from a U.S.-led coalition destroyed the Turkish consulate compound in Mosul, which had been occupied by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since June 2014.
ISIL militants stormed Turkey’s consulate general in Mosul on June 11, 2014, taking hostage then-Consul General Öztürk Yılmaz, now a member of the parliament for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), along with 48 other people. After being held for 101 days, the hostages were finally freed on Sept. 20, 2014, likely as a result of a swap deal that was not denied by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.