TEHRAN – A prominent Turkish opposition lawmaker says his country must “unconditionally” back the Iraqi territorial integrity.
“Turkey must unconditionally support the territorial integrity and unity of Iraq,” Osman Faruk Logoglu tells the Tehran Times.
Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government is pushing for independence as the central government is entangled in a fierce war with terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who have captured a large territory in northern and western Iraq.
Initially Turkey, which has developed extensive energy cooperation with the KRG, signaled it would not oppose independence move by the Iraqi Kurdistan. Later the Turkish government backtracked its position and said it would support a untied Iraq.
“Kurdish Regional Government in the north should not be at the expense of Turkey's relations with the central authority in Baghdad,” says Logoglu from the opposition CHP party.
Logoglu warned that an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq would have “devastating effects” on regional countries with Kurdish population.
“Efforts to divide Iraq would mean long years of strife in the country and would have devastating effects on the neighboring countries.”
Claims of presence of ISIL militants in Turkey
On reports by some Turkish media outlets that ISIL members are present in Sanliurfa, Logoglu said, “Despite denials from the AKP government in Turkey, the reports in the Turkish media about connections between the government and ISIL continue to abound. Indeed, according to court proceedings in Adana in an ongoing case, there is the accusation by the prosecutor that weapons were captured in Adana on its way to terrorist groups in Syria.”
Some Turkish media have also said ISIL militants are treated in Sanliurfa.
“As for ISIL members being treated in Turkish hospitals or ISIL recruiting Turkish citizens to its ranks, the reports in the media are difficult to refute,” the lawmaker said.