Turkey to reopen consulate in Iraq's Basra

Consulate-general was closed in 2014 after ISIL terrorist group overran vast swathes of country

Turkey to reopen consulate in Iraq's Basra

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkish Consulate-General in Iraq's southern city of Basra, which was closed for security reasons in 2014, will reopen “soon”, according to the Turkish Ambassador in Baghdad Fatih Yildiz.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Friday, Yildiz said: “Turkey is a big country; it can't be limited to only certain parts of Iraq. Her [Turkey's] heart and mind are broad, like her opportunities.”

“Turkey is a doorway to southern Iraq,” he added, noting that Turkey frequently sent humanitarian aid to the country’s southern provinces, including Babil, Najaf, Karbala and Basra.

“This aid is unrelated to political, economic or energy considerations; we only care about the people there,” he said.

Speaking Thursday from the predominantly Shia Babil province, Yildiz asserted: “Turkey isn’t focusing on a single group or ethnicity.”

“When we visit southern Iraq, we notice that people seem happier. They appear to have been less affected by the Daesh invasion [in 2014],” he said.

Nevertheless, Yildiz added, much work still remains to be done.

“The consulate building [in Basra] is still there. We must first evaluate conditions and speak to tribal leaders and local dignitaries. Then we can take the first steps towards reactivating the mission,” he said.

Along with his political and diplomatic responsibilities in Baghdad, Yildiz is also known for developing close working relations with the local community.

For example, he closely oversees the Turkish Aid Agency (TIKA)’s restorations of local structures of historical, religious and social significance.

Yildiz's visits have not been limited to Babil. He also frequently visits Najaf and Karbala, both of which have deep religious significance for Shia Muslims worldwide.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Nisan 2018, 15:59