Turkish Ambassador, in response to assassination accusations: "PKK elements are targets"
Asked by a reporter to comment on accusations that Turkey has been involved in political assassinations in the Kurdistan Region of ıraq (KRI), including one that recently targeted a women's rights activist, Turkey's ambassador to Iraq said that "all elements affiliated and associated with the PKK are targets."
Nagihan Akarsel, a Kurdish journalist and a member of the Jineoloji research academy -founded for empowering women in the KRI- was killed by unidentified assailants in the city of Sulaimani on 4 October.
Turkish Ambassador Ali Riza Guney said on Sunday in response to a question from Rudaw's Payam Sarbast during a press conference in KRI's capital Erbil:
"Iraq's sovereignty is more important for us than it is for some other elements in Iraq, and they'll understand what I mean. Iraq is our old neighbor and friend, our brother. Iraq's security and stability is our primary concern. Our objective is to have relations with each other as two sovereign states in a climate purged of terrorist groups. This is the origin of our sensitivity and expectations in combating terrorism. All elements affiliated and associated with the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] are targets."
Political activists Yasin Bulut, Mehmet Zeki Celebi and Suhail Khurshid Aziz were earlier killed in targeted attacks in and around Sulaimani within a year since September 2021.
Ambassador Guney also accused reporters during the conference of deliberately "distorting" his comments by using selected ones out of context in their reports.
He warned the reporters:
"Don't distort my statements. Reflect as it is. Because you pick up some sentences, paste them, and serve it to the media. Don't do it."