TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY: "KIRKUK ISN’T JUST AN INTERNAL IRAQI MATTER"
October 15, 2004
Speaking after Iraqi Kurdish Democratic Party (IKDP) leader Massoud Barzani's departure from Ankara, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials warned yesterday that Kirkuk was not merely an internal matter for Iraq and that neighboring countries also had sensitivities which should be respected. Appearing on television yesterday, Turkey's special envoy to Iraq Osman Koruturk said, "Kirkuk is the place in Iraq carrying the highest risk of ethnic clashes. Ankara is determined not to let any development in Iraq damage us." Claims that "Kirkuk is a Kurdish city," charged Koruturk, violate the principle that its status would be determined according to the Iraqi people's wishes. "Barzani's remarks about Kirkuk concern us greatly," he said, alluding to the IKDP leader's claim that the city is Kurdish. Reiterating that Ankara attached great importance to the security of Turks in Iraq, Koruturk said that some 10,000 of his countrymen were currently doing business there. /Turkiye/
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