Turkmens call for cooperation between Turkey, Iraq to prevent PKK threat

KUTAYHAN YILDIRIM
ANKARA
Published 17.10.2017 23:31

The Federation of Turkmen Associations in Turkey issued a statement yesterday saying that Turkey and the Iraqi central government should increase cooperative efforts and take precautions for the prevention of possible threats from the PKK terrorist organization, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Daesh, following the Iraqi army's retake of Kirkuk.

While delivering a speech to Turkish press members, the president of the Turkmen federation, Aydın Beyatlı, read the statement suggesting that Turkey should be in cooperation with the Iraqi central government to prevent possible terror attacks by the PKK/PYD.

Beyatlı said that the PKK, which still has offices and buildings in Kirkuk and Salahaddin provinces, would attack Turkmens in the future in an effort to take revenge.

"Turkey should establish a buffer zone between Turkmens and terrorist organizations such as the PKK, the PYD and Daesh," he said in the statement, adding that Turkey and Iraq should increase their level of cooperation to render the environment in Kirkuk safer.

"It is essential to initiate cooperation between Turkey and Iraq to ensure stability and security in the region, in the sense that Kirkuk and its environment should be guaranteed," he said.

In the statement that was issued on the occasion of the launching of a military operation by the Iraqi Army against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Beyatlı also stressed that Turkey and the Iraqi central government should cooperate regarding several fields to establish peace in the region.

He added that Turkey should help Turkmens to form an armed force with the permission of the Iraqi central government. The statement also expressed that Turkmens demand that Turkey and Iraq should open the Ovaköy Border Gate as soon as possible to disable the Habur Border Gate.

The statement touched upon the fact that ex-Kirkuk Gov. Necmettin Kerim, who fled after the Iraqi central government dismissed him from his position, cut off the electricity and water supply to create chaos in the region, suggesting that Turkey should lend a helping hand to Kirkuk's Turkmens, especially those in the Tuz Khurmatu district of northeast Iraq.

The Federation of Turkmen Associations president stressed that Turkmens are supporting the integrity of Iraq, saying, "Turkmen units have shown that Turkmens have a bond with Iraq and [are committed to] its integrity, as they flew the Iraqi flag on governmental buildings after retaking them, rather than flying the Turkmen flag."

At the end of the statement, Beyatlı extended his thanks on behalf of all Turkmens to Turkey, Iran, the Iraqi central government, Turkmen units and the Hashd al-Shaabi militia for supporting Iraq's integrity.

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