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.
Move could signal thaw in relations, frozen since Israel’s deadly 2010 raid on Gaza-bound aid flotilla
Senior AKP official says lawmakers need to discuss the parliamentary motion of extending Turkish military's mandate to take action in Iraq and Syria
Decision comes after a surge in violence in the southeast between Turkish security forces and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Monday dailies cover Victory Day celebrations and reported PKK attacks in southeastern Turkey
A roadside bomb planted by the PKK has claimed the life of a thirteen year old boy
Leaders say government to take measures to bar any fraud or public disturbance on Nov. 1 when Turkey heads back to polls in renewed general election
Three guards injured as freight wagons roll down embankment in powerful blast
Turkish jets have joined in coalition strikes against ISIL
No information regarding the identity of 14 ISIL supporters who have been arrested in the south of Turkey has been given provided
A deputy from the ruling AK party bFirst headscarf-wearing woman named minister in Turkeyecomes the first minister wearing a headscarf in the history of Turkey.
Having cancelled visa-free entry for Libyan nationals, Turkey now looks to introduce electronic visas
Two police officers amongst a group were targeted by PKK members as they left hospital in Sanliurfa, south east Turkey
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the new cabinet 'represents every color of Turkey'
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has approved the interim Cabinet list
Two Britons detained by Turkish security forces for working without government accreditation