No: 31, 5 February 2013, Press Release Regarding Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Interview to a TV Channel

In an interview given by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to a Lebanese TV channel on 2 February, imaginary claims have been made about Turkey’s policies towards Iraq and other countries in the region. Although the claims in question do not deserve to be taken seriously, the fact that these have been uttered by the Prime Minister of a country deemed as a friend and a neighbor by Turkey is, to say the least, saddening.

On this occasion, it is considered useful to remind once again the essence of the policy pursued by Turkey. Preservation of the territorial integrity and political unity of other countries, non-interference in their internal affairs and maintaining bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect constitute the basic parameters of Turkey’s foreign policy. Turkey opposes any kind of discrimination on ethnic, sectarian or religious grounds, and it believes that such discriminatory practices pose the most significant threat for our region. In addition, Turkey has adopted as a principle the existence of human-oriented, free and prosperous societies, where each citizen enjoys the fundamental rights and liberties equally, in all countries of the region. Besides, Turkey has always advocated that crises in our region should be settled though peaceful means and political dialogue. In accordance with these objectives, Turkey has always maintained a constructive and sincere cooperation with the countries in the region in a spirit of solidarity.

In this framework, such baseless claims against our country, whose sincere efforts for the unity, integrity, stability and solidarity of Iraq have been abundantly present, is no more than an attempt by the Iraqi Prime Minister to project his unfavorable personal features and attitudes to the others. Furthermore, the fact that the Iraqi Prime Minister has drawn parallels between the situation in Turkey and the situation of the brotherly people of Iraq who have patiently endured great pain and hardship for years demonstrates just how much his mindset is out of touch with the sense of reality. In this regard, it is extremely revealing that the Iraqi Prime Minister, who has been in office for seven years, has not been able to promote social peace and serenity in his country during such a long period of time and he has in fact worsened it and that his people still continue having serious difficulties in meeting even their most basic daily needs in Iraq which possesses the richest natural resources of the world.

We hope that the Iraqi Prime Minister, instead of seeking the reasons of his country’s existing problems abroad and making baseless accusations against friendly and neighborly countries, will undertake the necessary measures to fulfill the Iraqi peoples’ legitimate and democratic demands that have reached such a magnitude that their solution can no longer be delayed; to respect the Constitution and democratic institutions of Iraq; and to put an end to his policies that escalate tension and polarization in his country and our region.