Mailki says Turkey treating Iraqi
Kurdistan 'as independent'
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Photo: AP
See Related Links
August 12, 2012
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) and the
governor of Kirkuk Najm al-Din Omar Karim (L), give
a joint press conference following their meeting in
the disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, on
August 2, 2012, during a rare visit by a
high-ranking Turkish official to the city. His visit
comes a day after Davutoglu visited
Kurdistan and met Kurdistan president, Massoud
Barzani, for talks that focused on the conflict in
Syria, and at a time of notably cool relations
between Baghdad and Ankara.
Photo: Getty Images
BAGHDAD,— Turkey has been dealing with Iraq's
autonomous Kurdistan region as though it were an
independent state, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
said in a statement released on Saturday.
Turkey is "dealing with the (Kurdistan) region as an
independent state, and this is rejected by us,"
Maliki said in a soon-to-be broadcast interview with
a Turkish television channel, according to the
statement on his website.
If Turkey "wants to establish good relations, its
relations with the region must be built through the
gate of Iraq," Maliki said.
His remarks come after Turkish Foreign Minister
Kurdistan and made a side
to Kirkuk, a disputed city which Kurdish authorities
want to incorporate into their region over the
federal government's objections, without informing
The visit incensed Iraqi authorities and brought
already-chilly ties between Baghdad and Ankara to a
In July, a Kurdish official said the region had
begun to export oil to Turkey without Baghdad's
permission, a move which the Iraqi central
government termed "illegal."
Baghdad and Erbil are at odds over issues including
Kurdistan's refusal to seek approval from the
central government for oil contracts it has awarded
to foreign firms, and over a swathe of disputed
territory in northern Iraq.
Two-way trade between Turkey and the three-province
Kurdistan region -- which has its own flag,www.ekurd.net
government and security forces but is still a part
of Iraq -- amounts to billions of dollars per year.
Kurdistan region has all the trappings of an
independent state -- its own constitution, its own
parliament, its own flag, its own army, its own
border patrol, its own national anthem, its own
education system, its own International airports,
even its own stamp inked into the passports of
visitors, a large number of foreign consulates and
embassies are located in Kurdistan's capital, Erbil.
So far 24 countries have opened consulates in the
semi-autonomous Kurdistan region
Copyright ©, respective
author or news agency,
AFP | ekurd.net | Agencies
does not take credit for and is not responsible for the
content of news information on this page