Turkey protecting Iraqi ethnic, sectarian status quo
Ankara is very sensitive to "protecting the ethnic and sectarian status quo” in the Iraqi region, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Friday.
"Mosul belongs to the people of Mosul,” he said in an address at the Turkish embassy here where he met with representatives of Turkish organizations. "Tal Afar belongs to the people of Tal Afar and Aleppo belongs to people of Aleppo. We should not leave those cities to other terror organizations or armed terrorists while trying to save them from Daesh terror organization,” he said.
Kurtulmus is on a three-day visit to London and Friday he underlined that Turkey is close to potentially playing a powerful role on the world stage and the country’s importance is rising as the only consistent democratic country in the region.
"Cities such as Mosul, Kirkuk and Tal Afar have various ethnic and sectarian compositions,” he said.
Kurtulmus said Turkey is fighting against Daesh to clean the regions they hold.
"We are putting up a sincere fight, we even lose our soldiers in this fight. They killed our people by striking Turkey’s borders with missiles and rockets,” he said. "But if you look at the international community, they try to spoil the structures of multicultural and multi-ethnical cities.
"Should we send Daesh away and bring Hashdi Shabi, or PYD, or PKK? This can never be accepted.
"As Turkey, we monitor all cities street by street, district by district. We carry on with our preparation for any scenario. We … do our best to prevent any ethnic cleansing action in the region.”
Kurtulmus also addressed the situation in Crimea and said Turkey is opposed to the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
"There is no difference between monitoring the problem of Kirkuk and monitoring the problem of Crimea,” he said. "Although our relations with Russia got better, Turkey is against the annexation of Crimea.”
The deputy prime minister said Turkey would not make compromises in Cyprus and emphasized that Ankara knows where to stop concessions regarding talks.
"I want to say that Turkey will never take a step back from the existence of a bi-communal Cyprus where the sides have equal rights,” he said.
Kurtulmus said the problems can not be solved because of the international system established with the conditions of World War II.
He also reiterated Turkey’s position on the UN: "The world is greater than five” – a critical approach to the locked decision-making mechanism of the Security Council voiced repeatedly by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kurtulmus underlined that Turkey was in close cooperation with European countries in detecting terrorists who try to join organizations such as Daesh and PKK, from Europe.
He said Turkey also expects cooperation on FETO and PKK terrorists who have escaped to European countries.
Kurtulmus also held a meeting at the embassy with London representatives of the Union of European Turkish Democrats.
He wraps up his visit Saturday.
Last Modified: 2016-11-26 11:25:45
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