Turkey condemns raising Kurdish flag in Kirkuk

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Kurdish flag. File photo

ARA News

The Turkish authorities on Sunday expressed concerns about the raising of Kurdish flag next to the Iraqi flag on official buildings in Kirkuk city, in northern Iraq.

“The Kirkuk Governorate’s request from the Kirkuk Provincial Council for a motion to raise the flag of KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] beside the Iraqi flag throughout the official buildings is disconcerting,” Spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Hüseyin Müftüoğlu said.

“The process that should be followed with regard to the disputed internal boundaries is set by Iraq’s Constitution. Unilateral acts on the status of Kirkuk that fail to follow this process would jeopardize the reconciliation and stabilization efforts in the country,” Müftüoğlu said.

“Such attempts run the risk of eroding the multicultural identity of Kirkuk, which embodies the social, cultural and economic wealth of Iraq,” he added.

Turkmen officials also condemned raising the Kurdish flag in Kirkuk.

The Governor of the Kirkuk Province Najmaldin Karim on Sunday defended his order for official buildings to raise the flag of Kurdistan.

“The flag of Kurdistan was raised in Istanbul and Ankara. Why shouldn’t it be raised in Kirkuk,” Kirkuk Governor Karim said during a press conference.

In February 2017, the KRG’s flag was raised in Istanbul and Ankara during the Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani’s visit to Turkey.

At that time, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim defended raising the KRG flag, saying that Kurdistan region was internationally recognized and has its own autonomous status within Iraq.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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