Iraq warns Turkey against violating
airspace of Kurdistan
Turkey warened by Iraq
against violating airspace of Kurdistan
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al- Dabbagh. Photo:
Ali Abbas/EPA/Getty Images.
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July 17, 2012
BAGHDAD, — Iraq warned Turkey against
violating its airspace and territory and said on
Tuesday it planned to protest to the U.N. Security
Council after its radars had repeatedly detected
Turkish warplanes, in a deepening a rift with its
Over the past four weeks, Turkish warplanes and
attack helicopters have carried out repeated strikes
on suspected Kurdish PKK militant targets in
Kurdistan region in Iraq's north, according to
Turkish military command, after clashes on the Iraqi
side of the border.
The Turkish military says it is targeting hideouts
of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants after
some of the most intense battles this year of the
"The Iraqi government condemns these violations to
Iraq's airspace and sovereignty and warns Turkey
against any violations of Iraq's airspace and
territory," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said
in statement after a cabinet meeting.
Dabbagh said the cabinet asked the Foreign Ministry
to protest to the Security Council over the
"Iraq will retain its right in taking all the
measures to prevent these oversteps against its
sovereignty," Dabbagh said.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry was not immediately
available for comment.
The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
Ankara has increasingly courted Iraqi Kurds as its
relations with the Shi'ite-led central government in
Baghdad have soured. Turkey is a major investment
and trading partner for Iraq,www.ekurd.net
especially for Kurdistan.
Turkish officials have been waging a war of words
with Baghdad since December Iraqi Shi'ite Prime
Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the arrest of Sunni
Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, based on
allegations that he ran death squads.
The two countries have also clashed over energy
policy. The airspace warning comes two days after
Baghdad condemned Turkey for receiving Kurdish oil
exports by truck, saying it would damage ties with
the central Iraqi government.
Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, which borders
Turkey, is locked in a dispute with the central
Iraqi government over oil exports and energy policy
has become a very sensitive topic.
Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state,
which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish
state in the south east of the country.
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous region and more cultural rights
for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more
than 20 million.
A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK
The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional
self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in
Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey,
reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action
against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
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