Qa-78, 15 December 2018, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding Turkish Armed Forces’ Operations Against Pkk Elements In Iraqi Territory And Summoning Of The Turkish Ambassador To The Foreign Ministry Of Iraq

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 15.12.2018

PKK terrorist organisation has been using Iraqi territory for many years as a base for its attacks against our country. Tens of thousands of our citizens lost their lives due to these attacks. PKK’s activities in Iraqi and Syrian territory have become a paramount national security concern for Turkey.

To date, the Iraqi government has been many times called upon to fulfil its responsibility to prevent PKK’s terrorist activities on its soil. As a matter of fact, Article 7 of the Iraqi Constitution mandates the government to deny the use of Iraqi territory as a staging ground for attacks against neighbouring countries by hostile groups.

Within the framework of good neighbourly relations and the general principles of international cooperation in combatting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, Turkey fulfils its responsibilities to counter terrorism in Iraq. Accordingly, Turkey gives all support to Iraq in its struggle against terrorist organisations. The same understanding and cooperation are expected from the Iraqi part.

In cases which, the Iraqi authorities fail to take necessary steps in countering the terrorist threat against Turkey, the Turkish Armed Forces retaliate to PKK’s terrorist attacks against our country from Iraqi soil in exercise of the right to self defence in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter.

Hence, as a result of the operations conducted at Mount Sincar and Mount Karacak on 13th of December 2018, the Turkish Armed Forces inflicted heavy losses to the terrorist organisation PKK. During these operations, all necessary measures were taken to prevent civilian casualties. Operations will continue in line with Turkey’s security requirements as long as terrorist organisation PKK operates on Iraqi soil.

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