Iran summons Turkey’s ambassador over ‘unacceptable’ PKK claim
Iran has summoned Turkey’s Ambassador Derya Ors to protest the Turkish interior minister’s “unacceptable” claim about the presence of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group's members in the Islamic Republic.
The Turkish envoy was called in on Sunday and notified of the protest.
The development came after earlier the same day Turkey summoned Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Farazmand over remarks alleging Ankara had violated Iraq’s sovereignty.
Farazmand was called in to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry after Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi said Tehran opposed Turkish intervention in Iraq and the Kurdistan region.
In an exclusive interview with Rudaw broadcast on Saturday, Masjedi said, “We reject military intervention in Iraq and Turkish forces should not pose a threat or violate Iraqi soil. The security of Iraq's [Kurdistan] region should be maintained by Iraqi forces and the region's forces.”
“It is by all means unacceptable to us, be it Turkey or any other country to intervene in Iraq militarily or advance or have a military presence there,” Masjedi said, adding, “Therefore we believe the Turks must return to their international position and be stationed there, and the security of Iraq be maintained by the Iraqis.”
Summoning the Iranian ambassador to Ankara, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said Ankara rejected comments by the Iranian envoy to Baghdad, insisting that Turkey always informs relevant parties including Baghdad of its plans to target militants.
Turkey regularly targets PKK militants, both in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast and in northern Iraq, where the group is based.
The PKK, designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the decades-long conflict.
A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have increased since then.