World Bulletin / News Desk
The Iraqi central government on Wednesday denied a request for a visa from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, who was planning to visit Kirkuk during the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr.
The Iraqi government last week announced that it had decided to reconsider ties with Turkey after Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu paid a surprise visit to an oil-rich Iraqi city claimed by both the central government and the country's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) without first consulting central Iraqi authorities.
The control of Kirkuk, a city populated by Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs, has long been a matter of contention between the Iraqi central government and Iraqi Kurds, who hope to annex the city to their autonomous region in the north. Kirkuk is currently under the control of the Iraqi government.
Turkey, too, has long opposed Kurdish rule over Kirkuk, out of concern that this would encourage separatist sentiment among its own Kurdish population.
Iraqi central authorities, in turn, have accused Turkey of violating diplomatic procedures, saying that the foreign minister neither asked for nor obtained permission to enter Kirkuk. The latest move by Iraq to deny Bahçeli's request for a visa is likely to further escalate tensions between Iraq and Turkey.
Turkey has been hosting Tariq al-Hashemi, Iraq's Sunni vice president who faces charges of terrorism in his own country. Also to the chagrin of the Iraqi government, Turkey has recently started importing crude oil from northern Iraq under a deal with the KRG administration. Turkey separately imports oil from Iraq through a twin pipeline that runs from Kirkuk to the Mediterranean oil terminal of Ceyhan.
The Maliki government has slammed Turkey for pursuing “hostile” policies in the region and interfering in Iraqi affairs, while Ankara says Maliki's Shiite-led government is trying to monopolize power by suppressing Sunni Arabs and other groups.
Erdogan said he would ask incoming prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu to form a new government on Thursday and a new cabinet of ministers would be announced the following day.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect on Tuesday, bringing 51 days of relentless Israeli attacks to a halt in the blockaded coastal enclave.
Today’s newspapers cover Turkey’s ruling AK party’s congress to elect a new party chairman, and thousands of Turks forming what is hoped to be the world’s largest portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey.
It is not yet clear who he will be meeting during his stay, but there are believed to be no plans for him to meet Turkish Foreign Minister-turned-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
The nation recorded 162,445 medical tourists by the end of the first half of 2014.
At least 100 people are arriving from Iraq each day, many of them smuggled across the border by locals, sometimes paying up to $1,000 per family.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it is coordinating with Turkish authorities to find the workers, kidnapped by militants on Monday.
Many Yazidis fleeing from the war in Iraq are also waiting for shelter on the border with Turkey, according to some reports.
The advance of ISIL has alarmed Ankara and its Western allies, forcing them to step up intelligence sharing and tighten security cooperation.
Turkish dailies on Tuesday report on outgoing President Gul's farewell to the public and to his counterparts, and the dam river tragedy in Turkey's southeastern province of Siirt.
The firms were asked to extend their bids until the end of the year, the Defence Undersecretariat said in a statement.
Turkish Union of Bars head Metin Feyzioglu said he will attend a new legal year ceremony and speak, after President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would not attend in case of a Feyzioglu address.
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu is to become prime minister after Erdogan is sworn in as president August 28, said Deputy PM Bulent Arinc.
The mission will end in January 2015 and not be renewed after being extended once last year, according to lower house of the Dutch parliament
The authorities are now making efforts to find the missing men.
Security officials say a coal power plant was attacked by Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) members.