Posted on September 18, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Kirkuk, PKK, Politics, Politics
Arshad Salihi, head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front. Photo: Aljazeera.com.tr
KIRKUK,— The leader of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF), Arshad Salihi, called on the government in Baghdad to expel Turkey’s Kurdish militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) from Iraq.
“The PKK has opened party buildings in Turkmen-populated areas, in particular Tuz Khurmatu, where they played a big role in creating tensions between the Turkmen and the Kurds by kidnapping some Turkmen personnel and civilians,” Salihi told reporters at a press conference in Kirkuk on Saturday.
He said the PKK also had opened “party buildings” in Daquq and Kirkuk.
ITF is the main Turkmen party in Iraq with MPs in the Iraqi parliament. It also has a strong presence in Turkmen areas, such as Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu.
Salihi did not provide specific details about his accusations against the PKK. There have been no reports kidnappings blamed on the PKK in the areas he mentioned.
Salihi said the PKK should be expelled from Iraq, just as the Iranian opposition Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), whose last members departed their Iraq camp on Friday and were relocated to Albania.
“I call on the Iraqi government to expel every terrorist organization including Daesh (Islamic State) and the Kurdistan Workers Party,” he said.
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population. A large Kurdish community in Turkey and worldwide openly sympathise with PKK rebels.