Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday harshly attacked Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi telling him to “know his place,” in a brewing dispute over Turkish military presence in Iraq.
“[He] is now insulting me. Who is this? Iraq’s Prime Minister. We will do what we know,” Erdogan said.
“You first know your place. You are not my interlocutor, you are not of the same quality like me, you are not my equivalent, you are not at my level,” he added in addressing tone to Abadi.
The Turkish President was talking during an opening speech at a meeting of the Eurasian Islamic Council in Istanbul, said Kurdistan24’s bureau there.
Erdogan’s words follow those of PM Binali Yildirim who has in the last few days accused Iraqis of being “provocative,” and called on them “not to talk big.”
The Iraqi PM and his Shia-led Government have been calling for the withdrawal of Turkish forces deployed at a base in the northern Sunni-majority Nineveh Province.
“If Iraq and Syria are in trouble Turkey is the first country that has the right to take responsibility,” Erdogan declared. “We don’t need permission from anyone, nor are we going to ask for it.”
Mentioning an ongoing Turkish incursion into northern Syria, Erdogan vowed to do what his country wanted in the IS-held city of Mosul.
“Now they call on us to withdraw. Turkish Army has not come down to the level of taking orders from you,” continued Erdogan in a defiant response to the Iraqi Parliament’s condemnation of Turkey.
Erdogan also accused the US President Barack Obama of not keeping his promises in regards to the withdrawal of Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the town of Manbij in Syria.
The Turkish President reiterated his claim that 95 percent of Manbij was ethnically Arab and Kurdish forces should have no place there.