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'Know your place,' Turkey's Erdogan tells Iraqi PM

Erdogan criticised al-Abadi's criticism on Tuesday [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 October, 2016

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Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit back at Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi telling the premier to "know your place", in the latest tit-for-tat battle between the two leaders.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan snubbed Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's criticism of the presence of Turkish troops in Iraq on Tuesday telling him to "know your place".

Erdogan blasted the Iraqi leader as anti-Islamic State group forces prepare for a final offensive on the jihadi fighters in Mosul.

"He is insulting me personally. You are not my interlocutor, you are not at my level," Erdogan said in comments addressed to Abadi.

"It's not important at all how you shout from Iraq. You should know that we will do what we want to do.

"Who's that? The Iraqi prime minister. First you know your place!"

Turkey has said its troops would remain in Iraq despite Baghdad's growing anger ahead of the operation against IS.

Turkey has an estimated 2,000 troops in Iraq with around 500 of them based at Camp Bashiqa in the north of the country, according to Turkish media.

The Iraqi parliament last week described Turkish forces there as an "occupying force". It prompted Ankara to summon the Iraqi ambassador in protest, with Baghdad taking similar measure with the Turkish envoy.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday was defiant in the face of Iraqi accusations that Ankara was risking a regional war by moving forces inside Iraq without the government's consent.

"No matter what the Iraqi government in Baghdad says, a Turkish presence will remain there to fight against Daesh (IS), and to avoid any forceful change of the demographic composition in the region," Yildirim said in televised comments.

"It's not the (Iraqi) government's right to speak like that. When troops from 63 countries are present there [the international coalition], it is unreasonable [for the Iraqi government] to focus on Turkey's presence."

Meanwhile, Iraq has requested an emergency UN Security Council meeting over Turkey's troop deployment in northern Iraq.

"The Iraqi foreign ministry has presented a request for an emergency meeting of the Security Council to discuss the Turkish violation of Iraq's territory and interference in its internal affairs," said a statement on the ministry's website

 

 

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