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Iraq: Turkey

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of Turkish troops entering Kurdish areas of Iraq; what discussions she has had with her (a) Turkish, (b) Iraqi and (c) US counterparts on this issue; and if she will make a statement. (142423)

We are aware of counter-terrorist operations by the Turkish security forces close to Turkey’s border with northern Iraq. This is usual at this time of year when the Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (PKK) steps up its terrorist activities. A series of PKK attacks have struck military and civilian targets in Turkey recently, causing a significant number of fatalities. We utterly condemn the attacks carried out by the PKK, as we do all acts of terrorism.

The Turkish and Iraqi Governments have denied recent media reports of Turkish troops entering northern Iraq. We have no evidence to the contrary.

We encourage Turkey to work with the Iraqi Government and the Kurdish regional government to address the PKK presence in northern Iraq. We welcome the ongoing trilateral co-operation between Turkey, Iraq and the US; with each of whom we discuss this issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received of Turkish troops having undertaken cross-border military operations in Northern Iraq; what representations she has made to her Turkish counterpart on those reports; and if she will make a statement. (142598)

The Turkish and Iraqi governments have confirmed that no incursions into northern Iraq by Turkish security forces have taken place. We continue to follow the situation closely through our Missions in Ankara, Baghdad and Erbil and remain in close touch with the Turkish and Iraqi governments.

We are aware of counter-terrorist operations by the Turkish security forces close to Turkey’s border with northern Iraq. This is usual at this time of year when the Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK) steps up its terrorist activities. A series of PKK attacks have struck military and civilian targets in Turkey recently, causing a significant number of fatalities. We utterly condemn the attacks carried out by the PKK, as we do all acts of terrorism.

We encourage Turkey to work with the Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional government to address the PKK presence in northern Iraq and we welcome the ongoing trilateral co-operation between Turkey, Iraq and the US.