A number of Iraqi politicians and lawmakers have reacted to recent interventionist remarks by Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu during his recent visit to the city of Sirnak in southeastern Turkey, vowing strong response to any infringement of the Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity.
According to a report by Rudaw news agency on Thursday, during his visit to Sirnak, the Turkish minister claimed that establishing peace in Muslims countries, including Iraq and Syria, was Turkey’s responsibility.
Soylu’s comment reverberated widely through social media platforms, enraging Iraqi people and politicians.
Ra’ad Hussein, representative of Saairun Alliance affiliated with Iraq's influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said the sovereignty of Iraq is beyond all considerations and the positions of the Sadr movement in this regard are clear.
“The Sadr movement is totally Iraqi and has no links to foreign countries, and it prefers the interests of Iraq over all interests, and to this end, the head of al-Sadr's bloc decided to withdraw from the elections,” Hussein said.
“Our position is firm, which means that we will sever ties with any of the neighboring or regional countries if they do not have a positive attitude towards Iraq,” he added.
Hussein underlined that such statements, whether made by Turkish or other officials, are unacceptable and no one will ever be able to encroach on a single inch of Iraqi soil.
Iraqi Shia cleric Ammar al-Hakim took to Twitter on Wednesday, calling on neighboring countries to respect Iraq’s sovereignty.
تحقيق السلام في المنطقة والعالم يأتي عبر تعامل الدول فيما بينها على وفق المواثيق الدولية والتعاون المبني على أسس العلاقات المتبادلة والمصالح المشتركة، وفيما تملك دول المنطقة وعلى رأسها العراق سيادة كاملة، فإن أي مسعى لفرض سياسة الأمر الواقع عليها مصيره الفشل..— Ammar Al-Hakim | عمار الحكيم (@Ammar_Alhakeem) July 21, 2021
Hakim, who heads Iraq's National Wisdom Movement political bloc, said, “Achieving peace in the region and the world comes through the interaction of states among themselves in accordance with international covenants and cooperation based on the foundations of mutual relations and common interest.”
He added, “It is not allowed to compromise the sovereignty of Iraq and for its land to be infringed,” without making any direct reference to Turkey.
Meanwhile, Iraqi MP and member of the Law Coalition, Kadhem Finjan al-Hamami, reacted to Turkish minister’s remarks, saying that the Turkish provocations were not the first of its kind in clear reference to Turkey’s deforestation of Kurdish areas and the continuous attacks on the Iraqi territory under the pretext of fighting Kurdish separatists.
“There has been no reactions from the Iraqi government or the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) towards all these attacks on Iraqi lands,” he said, adding that the Turkish government believes that “Iraq and the neighboring countries are a subject of the Ottoman Empire.”