Mosul part of national pact, but we don’t claim the territory, says Kurtulmuş

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus. / AFP PHOTO / ELVIS BARUKCIC

As is offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is continuing, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said Mosul is part of Turkey’s “Misak-ı Milli” (National Pact), a 1920 set of decisions made by the last Ottoman Parliament that included Mosul within Ottoman territory, but added that Ankara has no designs on anyone’s land.

“Turkomans, Arabs, Yazidis and Kurds live in Mosul together and will live there forever. While you say we are clearing ISIL from Mosul, do not bring Hashdi Shabi [Shiite militias] and the PKK/PYD [Kurdistan Workers’ Party/Kurdish Democratic Union Party] into the city,” said Kurtulmuş on Thursday during an inauguration ceremony in Burdur.

Accusing Westerners of seeking further divisions in the region, Kurtulmuş said: “The game is clear. A century ago the powers that became the victors of World War I created a new order in this region by dividing up the Ottoman Empire. … They divided the region with borders a hundred years ago, and now they want to divide the minds and hearts of the people of the region.”

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