QA-6, 21 April 2022, Statement of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Tanju Bilgiç in Response to a Question Regarding the Statements of the Iraqi Authorities on Operation Claw-Lock

Republic Of Türkiye Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 21.04.2022

Our discomfort with the statements by the Iraqi authorities regarding the Claw-Lock Operation launched by the Turkish Armed Forces against terrorist targets in the north of Iraq on April 18, 2022, and with the unfounded allegations leveled within this framework as well as our expectations from Iraq have been conveyed to the Charge d'affaires of the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara, who was summoned to our Ministry today (April 21) and a Diplomatic Note on our views on this issue has been delivered.

The PKK terrorist organization has been targeting our country from its hideouts in northern Iraq for nearly 40 years. Yet, unfortunately, no response has been received from the Iraqi authorities to our persistent requests to end the existence of this terrorist organization, which also poses a threat to the sovereignty and stability of Iraq.

We prefer the elimination of the presence of PKK -a terrorist organization which is recognized as such by numerous countries and international organizations- in Iraq by the authorities of this country. Furthermore, we are always ready to closely cooperate with Iraq in fighting PKK on the basis of our joint interests.

However, unless concrete and effective steps are taken by the Iraqi authorities to this end and the national security threat against our country directed by the PKK terrorist organization from Iraqi territory continues, we will continue to take the necessary measures on the basis of the right of self-defense emanating from Article 51 of the UN Charter.

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