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.
Humanitarian Relief Foundation has appealed against the International Criminal Court’s decision to not investigate Israel's deadly raid on Mavi Marmara in 2010.
Turkey’s natural gas imports for 2015 are projected to reach 52.2 billion cubic meters.
Sixth World Forum on Energy Regulation to begin in Istanbul on May 25, 2015.
Representatives from Iran and three big European Union countries involved in negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program are set to hold a fresh round of nuclear talks.
Turkey may be a very useful counterpart for Poland's ambitious construction sector, Turkish minister says
Southern Cilvegozu border crossing remained shut since Monday after random gunfire from Syria's Bab al-Hawa border gate.
Turkish dailies on Thursday focused on Wednesday's hearing at the European Court of Human Rights on an Armenian "genocide denial" case plus new labor reforms introduced by the Turkish PM.
Israel says Turkish criticism inappropriate at Holocaust memorial service
Case was referred to European Court of Human Rights last June following Swiss conviction.
Turkish Statistical Institute releases results of 2014 Address-based Population Registration System.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has visited Turkmenistan to boost bilateral cooperation.
Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag calls reports by international organizations regarding Turkish journalists being jailed for journalism "a smear campaign."
Turkey's Foreign Ministry has termed the incident an "unacceptable breach" to press freedom.
Davutoglu's chief advisor sees 2015 as a chance for both peoples to renew ties and look forward.
EU does not have the luxury not to enroll Turkey, says country's EU minister.