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Iraq elections: Will Sadr seek a new beginning with Turkey?

Ankara is welcoming Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s stand against foreign intervention and military presence — as long as it doesn't apply to Turkey.
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Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s coalition scored major points in the recent parliamentary elections with Sadr’s positions against virulent influence peddling and the presence of foreign military forces in the country. His growing power seems to worry the United States and Iran. Turkey's not sure what to think.

As Sadr didn't actually run in the elections, he can't become prime minister, but his already substantial influence is expanding because of his coalition's victory. If Sadr structures a balance between Sunnis-Shiites and Arabs-Turkmens while pushing Iran back, the outcome might well be a promising beginning for Turkey. But there is also tension because Sadr's definition of "foreign military presence" includes Turkey. Sadr's not saying, “Americans should leave, but Turkish troops at Bashiqa military base can stay.” And one should not forget how in 2016, nationalist Iraqis laid siege on the Turkish Embassy in Iraq with a simple hand signal by Sadr.

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