Turkey concerned on Iraqi Turkmens’ status

Photo: Turkey concerned on Iraqi Turkmens’ status  / Turkey

Turkey has expressed sorrow over the bomb attack staged in Tuz Khormato, near Kirkuk, during a meeting with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Massoud Barzani and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu late Jan. 23 in Davos Hurriyetdailynews reported.

Davutoglu told Barzani that Ankara did not pursue a policy based on ethnic and religious bases, adding that Turkey would continue dialogue with Iraqi politicians who have a similar policy as Ankara, diplomatic sources told Hürriyet Daily News.

Turkey attached great importance to the prosperity and stability of Iraq, the minister said, continuing that they would initiate measures to bring injured Turkmens to Turkey for treatment. Barzani also thanked Davutoglu for Turkey's help in treating wounded Turkmens after the previous attack in Kirkuk.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the attack and expressed Turkey's concerns in a written statement on Jan. 23.

Turkmens have become targets in the tension between the central administration and the regional administration in northern Iraq, the leader of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) and Kirkuk Member of Parliament Erşat Salihi told Anatolia news agency.

The suicide blast at a funeral in the Iraqi town of Tuz Khormato on Jan. 23 targeted ITF Turkmen politicians and the entire Turkmen region.

According to Salihi, the central government protects only Arabs, Peshmergas and Kurds, leaving Turkmens to their own fate.

Davutoglu-Barzani discuss PYD

He called on the Turkic world to stand by them, adding that the establishment of a security zone for Turkmens was vital to protecting the future of Turkmens.

Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu joined in condemning the Tuz Khormato bomb attack. He called on all sides to act with restraint for the stability of Iraq so as not to repeat similar massacres.

Cooperation in fighting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was also on the agenda of Davutoğlu and Barzani's meeting, diplomatic sources said, where the two discussed how the Syrian Kurds have developed relations with the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. Turkey has reservations regarding the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian pro-Kurdish party affiliated with the PKK, but would further boost its relations with northern Iraq, Davutoglu said during the meeting.

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