Turkey on Wednesday condemned the attack on its consulate general in Iraq’s Mosul that took place earlier in the day in the strongest terms and emphasized that it is the Iraqi authorities' responsibility to protect diplomatic missions.
In a written statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry indicated that no casualties were reported and said it expected those responsible to be brought to justice as soon as possible.
“We firmly request from the Iraqi authorities to fulfill their responsibilities in protecting diplomatic and consular missions,” it said.
“It is also a grave and noteworthy development that this attack was carried out during the U.N. Security Council meeting, which was held upon the call of the Iraqi authorities and at a time when our country was unfairly accused and targeted,” the ministry said further.
“On this occasion, we once again reiterate our call to the Iraqi authorities to focus on the fight against terrorism and to put an end to the terrorist presence on their territory, which poses a threat to neighboring countries and diplomatic missions.”
“We expect the Iraqi authorities to immediately hold those responsible for the cowardly attack on our Mosul Consulate General,” the defense ministry said similarly in a written statement.
“With the attack on our Mosul Consulate, it was seen once again who attacked civilians and civilian targets. Sooner or later, the terrorists who carried out the attack will be held accountable like other terrorists.”
Speaking on tensions with Iraq, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Wednesday said that provocations in northern Iraq are continuing and reiterated that attacks on Turkey’s presence in the region have happened before.
“We have always warned Iraqi authorities on these harassments. Who has the responsibility to protect our missions? Iraq,” Çavuşoğlu said during a live interview on TV100.
“There are terrorist organizations in your country threatening both you and Turkey from there. They pose threats to our missions in Iraq. The responsibility to clear these terrorists lies on them,” he added, saying that Turkey offered to jointly fight terrorists.
“Unfortunately, terrorist organizations are highly active in Iraq and the Iraqi authorities cannot carry out an effective fight against them.”
On the other hand, the U.N. Security Council said on Tuesday that Turkey and Iraq are ready to launch a joint investigation into the recent deadly attack in northern Iraq’s Duhok province.
The Iraqi government sought the meeting after the July 20 artillery attack that killed nine Iraqi tourists and injured 33 other people. Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein claimed the government has “proof” that Turkish forces were responsible.
Turkey has denied it was behind the attack and said that the PKK terrorist group, which has a strong presence in the region, is responsible for the deaths.