Iraqi political activists and politicians have condemned as “unacceptable” Turkey’s interference in the internal affairs of their country. Sharif Saeed, an independent Iraqi politician, told the Lebanese news channel Al-Manar that Iraqi officials will not accept the interference of Turkey in the internal affairs of Iraq. Ahmad al-Hosseini, an Iraqi political activist, also said that the Turkish government’s meddling in Iraq is increasing day by day especially after the recent anti-government demonstrations in Iraq's western province of Anbar following the arrest of Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi’s bodyguards on terrorism charges. Al-Hosseini added that demonstrators carried placards supporting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Earlier this week, Erdogan accused the Iraqi government of sectarian behavior.
Iraqi lawmaker Yasin Majid on Tuesday, demanded the expulsion of Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad in protest against anti-Iraq remarks made by Erdogan.“Erdogan’s statements that target Iraq and the Iraqis are not the first but they are sectarian ones where he wants to set himself as a policeman in the region…” Iraqi News quoted Yasin Majid as saying during a press conference at the parliament building. The two countries’ relations turned sour last year after Turkey expressed support for fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi and gave him refuge. Hashemi has been sentenced to death in Iraq over involvement in terrorist activities. Furthermore, Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) bases have angered Iraqi authorities, prompting them to call on Turkish officials to stop the attacks. The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead. DB/SZH/MA