World Bulletin / News Desk
Iraq made a formal protest to Turkey's envoy in Baghdad on Friday after the Turkish foreign minister made a visit to an oil-rich Iraqi city claimed by both the central government and the country's autonomous Kurdistan region.
The episode, the latest in a series of diplomatic spats and tit-for-tat summonings of envoys between the neighbouring countries, is likely to worsen already strained relations.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had travelled to Kirkuk on Thursday after visiting the regional president in Arbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
But Iraq's foreign ministry accused Turkey of violating its constitution with the visit, saying that Davutoglu had neither asked for nor obtained permission to enter Kirkuk.
A junior minister at Iraq's foreign ministry had handed Turkey's charge d'affaires a protest letter on Friday, a strongly-worded statement from the foreign ministry said.
"The note also included a demand by the Iraqi government (for an) urgent explanation from the Turkish government," it added.
Relations between Iraq and Sunni Muslim regional power Turkey, were tested after the government immediately tried to arrest one of its Sunni vice presidents.
He fled first to Kurdistan and later to Ankara, where he was given refuge.
Baghdad's Arab-led central government and ethnic Kurdish officials are locked in a protracted dispute over who controls territory and oilfields along their internal border. Kirkuk, which possesses huge crude oil reserves, is one of those areas.
Iraq and Turkey are also at odds over the worsening conflict in Syria. Turkey has become one of the main backers of the rebels, while Baghdad has refused to support calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step aside.
Iraq is Turkey's second largest trading partner after Germany with trade reaching $12 billion last year, more than half of which was with the Kurdish region.
Turkish newspapers on Monday focus on the country’s National Security Council meeting regarding the conflict in Syria
Int'l group looking at ways it can help Turkey's 'solution process' hopes to learn from Philippines peace process
'We wish God’s mercy on those who lost their lives,' Turkish Prime Ministry says
Turkey has sent nearly 2,000 vehicles full of humanitarian aid to Kobani since September 19, 2014
Turkey already had 10km of walls with its border but will be constructing more to crack down on illegal border crossings.
The Eastern Anatolian 6.5 km-long Mount Kop tunnel is being built between the eastern provinces of Bayburt and Erzurum
Turkey has summoned the highest ranking Israeli diplomat in Ankara to demand answers as to why a group of journalists were detained and then deported
Istanbul, Turkey’s largest province, has been unanimously elected the Islamic World Youth Capital by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states.
Turkish leaders dismiss speculation that ISIL entered border town from Turkey
Turkish dailies on Thursday covered possible coalition scenarios after three opposition parties announced their parliament speaker candidates
Nearly 1 million people fly from Ankara to foreign destinations every year using Istanbul's two airports as a transit point
Acting speaker Deniz Baykal, most senior MP in parliament, to run as CHP candidate for parliament speaker on June 30.
Turkish police have detained 10 PKK- linked members and are on hunt for 6 others after group disrupts university classes
The US ambassador to Turkey John Bass has said that he was very "uncomfortable" with claims that the US was seeking to change the demographic of south east of Turkey
Turkish dailies on Thursday cover the first plenary session of the Turkish parliament