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.
Turkish PM Erdogan called the upcoming local elections the most significant in Turkey's history and accused opposition parties and the Gulen movement of encouraging violence on streets.
Top diplomats of the three countries will exchange views on enhancing regional cooperation on the issues of common interest to all three countries.
Elvan, then aged 14, got caught up in street battles in Istanbul between police and protesters on June 16
Turkish dailies on Wednesday mainly cover the death of Gezi protests victim after 269 days in coma, the release of the detained suspects in Ergenekon case and the killings in courthouses.
Plans to reconstruct the military barracks in its former spot in Taksim's Gezi Park caused much controversy last year, when activists occupied the park to prevent building work from being commenced.
More detainees in "Ergenekon" coup trial have been released as the maximum detention period is reduced.
Turkey and Niger signed agreements for cooperation in energy, infrastructure, health
Elvan was the sixth person to die in violence during nationwide protests in late May and June over Erdogan's plans to rebuild an Istanbul park
Israel's Netanyahu said he is hopeful for the restoration of diplomatic ties with Turkey.
Turkish parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek said “The biggest insult and the biggest disrespect that can be done to a society is accusing them of committing genocide, though it is not real.”
Muhammad Salih claims that followers of Fethullah Gulen are pushing to deport him from Turkey in return for a lift of restrictions on their activities in Uzbekistan.
Most Turkish dailies on Tuesday dedicated their front pages to the releases of detainees connected with Ergenekon case – an alleged coup plot – plus a Turkish Super League football match between Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce which was abandonded after fans threw flares and objects on to the pitch before clashing with police.
A court in Istanbul frees two more detainess of Ergenekon alleged coup attempt case, but one will still be detained pending his second case.
Two people, one man and one woman, have been shot in an attack at a courthouse in Istanbul's Caglayan district.
Bulgaria plans a gas pipeline connection to Turkey in order to diversify its natural gas resources.