ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s military presence in Iraq is intended for stability at a time when the country is deeply divided and Turkey does not aim to become an occupying force, Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Wednesday.
Turkish forces are at Iraq’s Bashiqa camp, at the request of Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, to train the local forces, Kurtulmus said. “Turkey will not allow this to become a matter of debate,” he told reporters.
Turkey and Iraq have summoned one other’s ambassadors in a mounting diplomatic stand-off after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned Turkey that it risked triggering a “regional war” by keeping troops in Iraqi territory.
Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Luke baker