Turkey supports Iraq's moves to restore peace, order in Kirkuk, MFA says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
Turkey supports Iraq's moves to restore peace, order in Kirkuk, MFA says

Turkey supports the Iraqi government's moves to restore peace and stability in the country, including Kirkuk and warns the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that it would be held responsible for allowing PKK to penetrate the city, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday.

In the statement, the ministry said that Turkey closely monitors Iraq's steps to restore its constitutional sovereignty over Kirkuk, a homeland for Turkmens for centuries, after the illegitimate referendum conducted by the KRG.

Turkey welcomes the Iraqi government statement saying that they would not tolerate the presence of PKK in Kirkuk and their deployment in the city will be treated as a declaration of war, the statement added.

Turkey warns KRG to not add another calamitous mistake to the ones it had made in recent times by allowing the PKK, which could try to disrupt calm and peace in Kirkuk, to penetrate the area, the statement said, noting that KRG will be held responsible for such actions.

It underlined that Turkey highly values Iraq's political unity and territorial integrity and is ready to cooperate with the Iraqi government to eradicate PKK presence in Iraq.

The PKK is classified as a terrorist group by Turkey, the UN, and EU, among others.

For more than 30 years, the PKK has waged a terror campaign against Turkey leading to the deaths of more than 40,000 people -- security forces and civilians alike -- including more than 1,200 since July 2015 alone.

The Turkish military carries out air raids against the terrorist group's hideouts and camps in northern Iraq and destroys thousands of shelters, ammunition and other supplies used by the PKK.

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