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(AFP) Turkey on Wednesday voiced its opposition to a vote in the disputed oil-rich Iraqi city of Kirkuk to fly the Kurdish flag over government buildings, warning against “unilateral steps”.

Provincial councilors in Kirkuk province voted Tuesday to fly the Kurdish regional flag, a move likely to escalate tension between Baghdad and Ankara.

Iraqi Kurds are close to Ankara, but Turkey said it opposed flying the flag because it does not want to encourage any change in the composition of Kirkuk, which is also home to Turkmens.

Kirkuk is at the centre of a long-running dispute over northern territory that Kurdish authorities want to incorporate into their autonomous region, a move the federal government in Baghdad opposes.

“We don’t find correct the vote held by the regional administration”, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the state-run TRT television.

“First of all it would not be correct to change that region’s ethnic composition,” he said, adding that “faits accomplis” or “unilateral steps” would bring no benefit.

“We are supporting Iraq’s and Syria’s territorial integrity.”

The United Nations has also warned that the decision to fly the Kurdish flag over the citadel in Kirkuk could inflame tensions.

Kirkuk is home to various religious and ethnic communities, some of which — notably Arabs and Turkmen — do not want to see the province under permanent Kurdish control.

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Gabriel
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Gabriel

I happen to agree with Turkey on this one, but not for the reasons they stated. As long as the region is within the international boundaries for Iraq, they should be flying the Iraqi National flag.

Just thinks it’s best that everyone consider themselves Iraqi’s for the time being and looking at it from an objective angle, I can see Cavusoglu’s point.

The Kurds have been an extremely valuable part of the war against ISIS, hopefully Baghdad recognizes that and things like this can be easily resolved when this is all over.

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Stern Daler

Barzanistan still belongs to & is within the international boundaries for Iraq!

Ankara and Baghdad try to reap the rewards for their past genocides and ethnic cleasings!

Gabriel
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Gabriel

Don’t understand how Baghdad and Ankara are trying to reap rewards, in what way ?

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For this land and its oil past Turkish and Arab governments murdered and ethnically cleansed the area from the majority of the original inhabitants. Now they claim the area because they say the Turkmen or Arabs are the majority. NOW. They wanted to get rid of the Kurds to grab the land. For this most Assyrians were killed a century ago. Ethnic cleansings and genocides are not just for fun killing but the criminals get the houses and land of the victims. So they (Baghdad and Ankara governments) committed crimes and now they want to reap the reward. Keep the… Read more »

Gabriel
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Gabriel

I have not read anywhere about Baghdad or Ankara pursuing ethnic cleansing in the Kirkuk area or even Iraq for that matter. Saddam ? Yes, but I don’t think he’s a problem anymore. According to the maps I look at, Kirkuk is currently outside of the current Kurdistan region, it is still recognized as an Iraqi city and not part of one of the 3 Kurdistan Governates. Despite the ethnic makeup of the area/city, it is still considered an Iraq city, ( I understand there are disputes over who owns what and where the lines should be drawn and all… Read more »

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I did not attack You but the positions of Erdogan’s enforcer Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu who explicitly said that he does not accept the democratic decision of the local people. Quote: “We don’t find correct the vote held by the regional administration”. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I did not speak about the current governments. The current governments merely want to cash in on their predecessors crimes. According to the current maps it is in Iraq because Arabs were the majority after Saddam send away 500.000 non Arabs. Kurds also pretended to be Arabs so they could stay. Many Kurds returned after… Read more »

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

“As long as the region is within the international boundaries for Iraq, they should be flying the Iraqi National flag”
=< Not after IraqiXit 😀

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Sorry. You are not living in a federal state! So You will not know. No it is the flag of Lower Saxony – not of Germany. That flag is hoisted before public buildings. Maybe together with the Federal Flag. At least it was when I was last told to do. ROFL. Lower Saxony uses the German colors as background for the regional symbol but others provenices do not. Bavaria. p.s. Sorry in France it is legacy of the First Republic. Before that custom the Haute Masif Central would have flown the DB SX banner in front of the provincial Ministère… Read more »

Daeshbags Sux
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Stern : We have exactly the same thing about regions and ‘departemements’ in France, they also have their parliaments, flags, etc… Some Régions : Massif Central is a mountain ensembe, it is Auvergne as a region: http://www.drapeauxunic.fr/315-home_default/drapeaux-auvergne.jpg Here’s Lothringen’s flag, where ancestors moved due to 1789 revolution : http://medias.doublet.pro/medias/images/produits/698a43d11f536a684ffb47abf4783acf.jpg Some other regions? Corsiaca : http://medias.doublet.pro/medias/images/produits/578b4efe0ccb08925d84635341da3a72.jpg Brittany : http://www.drapeauxunic.fr/320-thickbox_default/drapeaux-bretagne.jpg Meurthe et Moselle (département) : Moselle (département) : France is definitively NOT what many people think she is. You can definitively compare German landers to French regions. It’s much more decentralised than you think 😉 Look, here the regional language is Platt,… Read more »

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Stern Daler

Thx for the info. I have know some of the flags.

But then: Why did not You notice that the Kurds in Kirkuk do the same?

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Stern Daler

It will be the provincial Kurdish not the Iraqi flag.
Or both. Depends. Same deal as in other federal states I guess. See Germany.

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Ankara and Baghdad want the oil of the mostly Kurdish Kirkuk region. Their claims are based on past genocides and ethic cleansings. There was a democratic vote that shows the will of the people. And the decision does in no way change the ethnic composition. p.s. Turkmens have been settled in Kirkuk by the Ottoman and Arabs by the Baath regime. Kurds and Assyrians have been the original people. And after the Turks genocide of the Assyrians the Kurds are the majority of rural Kirkuk. The Autonomy Agreement of 11 March 1970 that gave the regions to the Kurds was… Read more »

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

Turkey should better matter about their failed state, they have no say in Iraq’s domestic affairs, so, Mr.Cavusoglu, as Lily Allen so gently sung : “f**k YOU!”

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Stern Daler

That is about changing old borders. He wants a foot in the door.

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

And I’d really like some foot on his b**t

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Stern Daler

I’d rather aim for the face.

Miguel B.
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Miguel B.

Ankara was buying time helping ISIS massacre Syria in 2013-2014, but the Kurd question is there I will always be there. Now the charade it’s over, ISIS activities (let’s call the bombings *presents*) in Europe have caused public outrage in the Western World. Thus causing a pause in the Economic and Arms shipments made from Western Governments & CIA to Sunni Republic or Monarchies, which in turn supplied Salafi Militants aka ISIS in Syria. The Russian intervention helped a lot to counter the Gulf/CIA sponsored oust of Assad. At the geopolitical Level Turkey its the main loser once this war… Read more »

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

Well, EU but UK have suspended sales to KSA but due to Yemen shit. USA is not stopping and BTW, China doesn’t and don’t forget your seat belt, Russia is seriously prospecting markets in the Gulf, i.e. in the UAE while USA refused ballistic missiles to KSA, they bought Dong Fengs from China. Makes no difference if there’s some arms embargo, another will sell, hey, the main Iran’s arms supplier in the 80’s was… Israel! LMAO!!!! “At the geopolitical Level Turkey its the main loser once this war is over” => Will only be if Erdolf has all his s**t… Read more »

Jeddy
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Jeddy

“We are supporting Iraq’s and Syria’s territorial integrity.” Al-Bab. LOL.