Turkish MoFA urges Iraq to address PKK presence in Kirkuk amid growing concerns


September 3, 2023. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


On Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, addressed concerns about the situation in Kirkuk, Iraq, calling on the Iraqi government to take action regarding the presence of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an organization deemed adversarial by Ankara.

Fidan expressed deep apprehension over the state of affairs in Kirkuk, considering it the ancestral home of the Turkmen people, a significant and integral element of Iraq. He stressed the pivotal role Kirkuk plays in shaping Iraq's overall peace and stability, emphasizing it as a symbol of harmonious coexistence.

 Following his recent visit to Baghdad, Minister Fidan urged Iraqi authorities to address the escalating influence of the PKK in Kirkuk, a matter of growing concern.

Recent days have witnessed demonstrations in Kirkuk, led by participants affiliated with various Arab and Turkmen political groups. These protesters have taken to blocking the primary road connecting the governorate to Erbil, in response to the Kurdistan Democratic Party's (KDP) decision to reopen its offices in Kirkuk. This move is part of a political agreement with the State Administration Coalition, a coalition comprising political forces and parties that form the current federal government, under the leadership of Mohammed Shia Al Sudani.

Saturday evening marked the arrival of Kurdish demonstrators in Kirkuk, primarily in areas inhabited by the Kurdish community. Their demands centered on reopening the road and ending ongoing sit-ins. Unfortunately, these protests escalated into gunfire, leading to casualties and injuries.

In response to the heightened tensions and unrest in Kurdish areas, Iraqi security authorities implemented a curfew in Kirkuk. The situation continues to evolve, raising concerns about the broader implications for stability in the region.

Shafaq News