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PRESS RELEASE OF THE IRAQ CRISIS DESK, 18 JUNE 2014

PRESS RELEASE OF THE IRAQ CRISIS DESK, 18 JUNE 2014

We have been following with great sorrow the intensification of the security crisis in Iraq and its reaching a critical stage where civilians are being targeted. It appears that Shia militia, mobilized in the southern provinces against the attacks directed at Baghdad by the ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) have been deployed in Baghdad and its vicinity for defensive purposes and that a negative propaganda based on unfounded claims against our country, as well as some other countries, has begun to spread, especially in the southern, heavily Shia-populated provinces.

On the other hand, necessary efforts to ensure the return of our citizens that are being kept in Iraq since 11 June, safely and as soon as possible, are being conducted in a sensitive manner.

It has become necessary to add eight more provinces in the south of Baghdad (Babel, Najaf, Karbala, Wasit, Maysan, Al-Qadisiyah, Musenna and Dhi Qar) to the previous travel warnings that comprised the provinces of Mosul, Kirkuk, Salahaddin, Anbar, Diyala, Baghdad and Basra in light of recent developments in Iraq and the widening of the area affected by security issues. In this context, we strongly recommend our citizens in the abovementioned provinces to be vigilant for their life security and to leave these regions as soon as possible and urge all our citizens to abstain from visiting these regions.

The Turkish Embassy in Baghdad continues its efforts to ensure the return of our citizens to our country safely. In fact, as is known, the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad and the Consulate General of Turkey in Basra had been issuing warnings for a while for our citizens in the risky regions of Iraq and our citizens in these regions had begun to return to Turkey in groups.

On the other hand, our Consulate General in Basra has suspended its activities in Basra as of 17 June 2014 due to the security gap arising from ongoing violence in most of the territory of Iraq, the fact that most of the military troops and other security units in Basra have been moved north and that Iraqi authorities have not been able to meet our constant demands for protection. Our Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate General in Erbil continue to operate and it has been decided that the operations related to the duties of our Consulate General in Basra will be carried out in our Embassy in Baghdad for some time.

Necessary efforts to provide humanitarian assistance from Turkey to the civilians forced to move first from Mosul and then from Tal Afar, which has been the scene of recent conflicts, have been undertaken in coordination with the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Agency. Lastly, on 17 June, food packages for 20,000 people have been delivered in order to be distributed to our brethren who fled from Tal Afar and took refuge in the Sinjar region.

The Crisis Center, which is also staffed with personnel from other relevant institutions continues its work in the Ministry. It answers the questions and meets the demands from our Ministry as to the situation in Iraq and to our citizens in that country based on the currently available information. Calls to our Consular Call Centers are also automatically redirected to the Crisis Center.


PRESS RELEASE OF THE IRAQ CRISIS DESK, 16 JUNE 2014
PRESS RELEASE OF THE IRAQ CRISIS DESK, 17 JUNE 2014