World Bulletin/News Desk
Iraqi ambassador in the Turkish capital, Ankara, was summoned Friday to the Turkish Foreign Ministry headquarters over latest remarks by Baghdad on Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's visit in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.
Ambassador Abdulemir Kamil Abi-Tabikh was summoned for a meeting with Under Secretary Feridun Sinirlioglu who reportedly conveyed Turkey's uneasiness over "unacceptable remarks by Iraqi officials."
Turkish diplomatic sources cited Sinirlioglu as telling the Iraqi ambassador that Turkey had no secret agenda in its relations with Iraq.
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.
Davutoglu paid a historic visit in the oil-rich Kirkuk on Thursday, becoming the first senior Turkish statesman ever to visit the city in 75 years.
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.
Davutoglu hints at common masterminds behind recent wave of terrorist attacks by ISIL and PKK
President Tayyip Erdogan tells Turkey-China Business Forum that Turkey needs to tackle enormous trade deficit between two countries
Passenger train en route to Tehran attacked by suspected PKK militants, no casualties reported
Turkish dailies cover the fallout from recent PKK violence in Turkey, plus President Erdogan's official visit to China
Erdogan calls Selahattin Demirtas' comments on bombing that killed 32 'vulgar'
President's plan to meet with representatives from China's Uighur, Hui Muslim communities welcomed by Chinese officials
Ankara officially allows use of air bases after announcing July 24 that U.S.-led coalition can deploy aircraft at bases inside Turkey
HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas says he is ready to 'take responsibility for peace' amid worsening violence
'Although ISIL, PKK and DHKP-C feed from various sources, they are subservient to centers of evil that are united around a shared goal,' says Davutoglu
Volunteers work with children and mothers trying to get over traumatic memories of brutal civil war
Turkey president to meet Chinese counterpart in bid to improve souring ties over Beijing's treatment of Uighur minority
Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline blown up in eastern Sirnak province, says Energy Minister Yildiz
Turkish dailies on Wednesday cover President Erdogan’s comments on the solution process plus ongoing coalition talks
Turkish president Erdogan has said that he will hold talks to further economic and commercial cooperation with China and Indonesia.
Kurdistan Workers' Party is denounced after wave of recent terror attacks
It is believed that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was the intended target