World Bulletin / News Desk
As enmity grows between Turkey and Iraq over a wide range of issues, the Turkish prime minister has reportedly sent an official invitation to Ankara to his Iraqi counterpart in a bid to defuse the tension.
In a surprise move, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan invited Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to Turkey to find solutions to halt the increasing animosity in relations between the two countries, which have deteriorated since the withdrawal of US troops at the end of the last year.
Turkey's hosting of Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who was sentenced to death earlier this month in a terror trial on charges of running death squads, is the chief factor that has torn Ankara and Baghdad apart. Among other factors that deepened tensions between Turkey and Iraq is Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's controversial visit to Kirkuk.
Last month, Iraq said Turkey had violated Iraqi sovereignty by sending the Turkish foreign minister without official permission by the central government to visit Kirkuk, a city at the heart of a dispute between Baghdad and the country's autonomous Kurdistan region.
Agence France-Presse reported that an Iraqi official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Turkish prime minister "sent an official invitation” to Maliki a few days ago to visit Ankara. "It is not certain whether he will accept," the official said.
Iraq is Turkey's second biggest export market after Germany, with trade volume reaching nearly $12 billion in 2011, a point Turkey's economy minister emphasized during a visit to northern Iraq early this year.
Maliki and Erdoğan have publicly traded insults several times this year as relations have soured.
Both prime ministers have engaged in tit-for-tat accusations over the past months. Erdoğan accused Maliki of amassing his power in Baghdad at expense of other political groups in the country. Erdoğan also several times blasted his counterpart for hounding political opponents and fomenting sectarian tension in the politically fragile country.
In return Maliki has vehemently criticized the Turkish prime minister for meddling in Iraq's internal affairs.
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.