Turkish consulate in Basra, Iraq to be reopened

Published 07.04.2018 00:00

The Turkish Consulate-General in Iraq's southern city of Basra, which was closed for security reasons in 2014, will reopen "soon," according to Turkish Ambassador in Baghdad Fatih Yıldız.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) on Friday, Yıldız said: "Turkey is a big country; it can't be limited to only certain parts of Iraq. Her [Turkey's] heart and mind are broad, like her opportunities."

"Turkey is a doorway to southern Iraq," he added, noting that Turkey frequently sent humanitarian aid to the country's southern provinces, including Babil, Najaf, Karbala and Basra. "This aid is unrelated to political, economic or energy considerations; we only care about the people there," he said. Speaking Thursday from the predominantly Shia Babil province, Yıldız asserted: "Turkey isn't focusing on a single group or ethnicity."

"When we visit southern Iraq, we notice that people seem happier. They appear to have been less affected by the Daesh invasion [in 2014]," he said. Nevertheless, Yıldız added, much work still remains to be done.

"The consulate building [in Basra] is still there. We must first evaluate conditions and speak to tribal leaders and local dignitaries. Then we can take the first steps towards reactivating the mission," he said.

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