MHP leader urges for solution to determine Kirkuk's status

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 24.10.2017 22:30

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli urged the Iraqi central government yesterday to make a new legal arrangement regarding the status of Kirkuk to ensure peace and security in the disputed province.

Speaking at his party's group meeting in Parliament, Bahçeli said that Baghdad should draw up a plan to start legal arrangement regarding the status of Kirkuk.

"To determine Kirkuk's administrative and political status, a dialogue, meeting and negotiation process should be launched under the leadership of the Iraqi central government," he said. "It is necessary to find a comprehensive solution to Kirkuk's status within the framework of Iraq's independence, [territorial] integrity and national unity."

The party chairman added that during the process to determine Kirkuk's future, parties should factor in Kirkuk's shattered population structure following a normalization process.

"Kirkuk should have a special status independent of any province," he said. "Those who settled in Kirkuk from other regions should be sent back and a date of return should be set for those who had been forced to migrate from their homelands."

He added that Kirkuk's population should be restructured in accordance with its situation before 2003, when the U.S invaded in Iraq. He asserted that Kirkuk should be handed over to its "original" owners, adding that the rights of Turkmens, Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and Chaldeans should be protected. Forewarning all ethnicities and sects not to be deceived, Bahçeli reiterated that a possible ethnic and sectarian conflict could threaten Iraq and Syria. He said that the Iraqi military and police should ensure security in Kirkuk.

"Arrangements to assist the Iraqi military in providing security should be made so as to ensure security of Turkmens and Arabs," he said.

Meanwhile, Bahçeli slammed the U.S for its support to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.

"[The YPG] celebrated their vile taking control over Raqqa, put up posters of [PKK leader Abdullah] Öcalan and made an appearance under the aegis of the U.S.," he said.

Saying that the U.S did not want Turkey to conduct the Raqqa operation on the grounds that the U.S. supports its new "strategic partner" – the YPG – Bahçeli questioned Daesh's resistance against YPG forces in Raqqa.

"Raqqa was handed over to the YPG from Daesh with a put-up job," he said, adding that unlike statements made by the U.S. Embassy, the U.S allowed the YPG to put up posters of Öcalan.

"The U.S should decide on whether Turkey is an ally or an enemy," he said.

Bahçeli lashed out on those who speak out against the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), saying the TSK should not be included in politics.

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