Skip to main content

Turkey’s FM tackles long-held disputes with Iraq in first official visit

Hakan Fidan chose Iraq for his first official visit as Turkey's new foreign minister, but the visit appeared to yield little progress on long-standing disputes between Ankara and Baghdad.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein (R) poses with Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Baghdad on Aug. 22, 2023.

ANKARA — During his first official visit to Iraq as Turkey’s new foreign minister, Hakan Fidan on Wednesday called on Baghdad to list the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as a terrorist organization.

Speaking alongside his Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein, at a joint press conference in Baghdad, Fidan said his country expected Baghdad to list the PKK as a terrorist organization. “Ignoring borders between Iraq and Syria, the terrorist organization seeks to unite the two regions through a terror corridor it set up,” he told journalists in reference to Syrian Kurdish groups.

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, has been fighting the Turkish state since 1984 for self-rule inside Turkey and is headquartered in mountainous northern Iraq. 

“The PKK is a terrorist organization that has been occupying Sinjar, Mahkmur, Qandil and many other Iraqi regions,” Fidan said. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.