Turkish nationals in Iraq have been asked to leave the country immediately due to security reasons.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a travel advisory that Turkish citizens are recommended to leave Iraq, bar the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
“The scope of our travel warning to Iraq has expanded to include all provinces except for Dohuk, Arbil and Sulaymaniyah,” all of which are in the northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
Press TV reports:
The ministry also warned Turkish citizens against non-essential trips to Iraq, claiming that the decision was aimed at protecting the Turks against terror attacks and threats.
The decision, however, comes as anti-Turkey sentiments are growing across Iraq over Ankara’s controversial troop deployment to northern Iraq.
On December 4, Turkey deployed some 150 soldiers, equipped with heavy weapons and backed by 20 to 25 tanks, to the outskirts of the city of Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s Nineveh Province.
Ankara claimed the deployment was part of a mission to train and equip Iraqi forces in the fight against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.
Baghdad, however, strongly condemned the deployment of the Turkish battalion on the Iraqi territory, branding the uncoordinated act as a violation of Iraq’s national sovereignty.