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Tue Jan 1, 2013 4:25PM
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)

An Iraqi political movement says it is planning to sue Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over what it calls Ankara’s interference in the Iraq's internal affairs. According to the al-Qanoon News Agency, Ahrar al-Iraq bloc will file charges against the Turkish premier for harboring Iraq’s fugitive vice-president Tariq al-Hashemi, who has received multiple death sentences in absentia over involvement in terrorist activities and running death squads in post-war Iraq. The movement also criticized Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul for calling Shias a minority group in Iraq, saying his remarks aimed at fomenting discord among Iraqis. On Sunday, several Iraqi lawmakers and politicians condemned as "unacceptable" Turkey’s interference in their country's internal affairs after Erdogan accused the Iraqi government of sectarian behavior. Ahmad al-Hosseini, an Iraqi political activist, said the Turkish government’s interference in Iraq is increasing day by day especially after the recent demonstrations in Iraq's western province of Anbar following the arrest of Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi’s bodyguards on terrorism charges. Iraqi lawmaker Yasin Majid demanded the expulsion of Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad in response to anti-Iraq remarks made by Erdogan. Ankara-Baghdad relations turned sour last year after Turkey expressed support for Hashemi and gave him refuge. Turkish air strikes against PKK positions in northern Iraq have also created more tension in the relations. The two countries are also at odds over the Syrian unrest. While Turkey has become one of the main supporters of anti-Damascus militants, Baghdad has refused to join calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step down. HM/PKH/SS
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