Turkmen leader accuses Iraqi PM of 'ignoring' community
Turkic ethnic group 'defending Iraq's territorial integrity'.
Abdullah Doğan - KONYA, Turkey (AA) – A leading Turkmen figure accused Iraqi premier Haydar al-Abadi of ignoring his community in the region on Thursday.
President of the Turkmeneli Associations’ Federation, Aydın Beyatlı, said he had been to Iraq before its army, Kurdish Peshmerga forces and international coalition led by the U.S. launched an operation to liberate the northern city of Mosul from Daesh.
Beyatli met Iraqi lawmakers and NGOs and described his visit as an opportunity to share the opinions of Iraqi Turkmens.
Turkmens are a Turkic ethnic group based largely in Syria and Iraq, where they live alongside large Arab and Kurdish populations.
The greater Turkmen community, which includes both Sunni and Shia Muslims, shares close cultural and linguistic affinities with the Turkish people.
Accusing the Iraqi prime minister of wanting Turkmen communities gone from the region, Beyatli said his people were “defending the country's territorial integrity” and had joined in the operation to re-take Mosul.
"It’s very important that Mosul does not divide, protects its integrity and protects its demographic structure,” Beyatlı added.
Beyatlı also said Turkey’s military presence at the Bashiqa camp near Mosul had prevented “serious confrontation between the Peshmerga forces and Daesh”.
“Kurdish and Arab intellectuals say that Turkey is on the right path. Turkey needs to have the military power in the region in order to control and peacefully be done with the operation in Mosul," he added.
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