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.
Party leaders were skeptical about efforts to support the peshmerga fighting in the Syrian city
Vatican unveils schedule for Pontiff's visit to Ankara and Istanbul as conflict grips the region
Turkish Prime Minister says Turkey plans to build third nuclear power plant as a national project
Repeating his call to avert further bloodshed and keep the peace process on track, Ocalan said his hopes of a solution had been boosted.
Istanbul prosecutor presents indictment to a court over fatal elevator accident in Istanbul.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu calls for support for the Free Syrian Army fighting ISIL
The Minister of Family and Social Policies is working to eliminate obstacles that disabled face in getting a job
Prime Minister Davutoglu explains use of new powers will be monitored by a parliamentary rights watchdog
Doctors are monitoring the condition of those returned from the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this year as respiratory virus claims one life and hospitalizes two more in Turkey
Turkey government budget forecast expects 94.4 billion Turkish lira from the special consumption tax in the coming year
"We are taking the same measures as Europe and the U.S. regarding security," says Erdogan, defending the introduction of a bill to extend police powers.
The natural gas pipeline, which may be used by Bulgaria and Greece, will be built by BOTAS, in the northwestern Turkish city of Corlu
The recent successes of young Turkish women in winning major international science awards has turned the spotlight on technology and education in the country.
Suspects allegedly eavesdropped on politicians, journalists, lawyers and military officers while working for an illegal organization
Turkey's allowing peshmerga to cross into Syria to fight against ISIL militants in Kobani is extensively covered by Turkish dailies Tuesday
EU Commission releases its first report on the progress Turkey has made towards lifting visa obligations for Turkish citizens