- As Turkey has found itself entangled in a series of disputes with more than one of its neighbors, a senior Turkish official has argued the country was encountering multiple “wars of propaganda,” with the Islamic State (IS) in the center.
Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın touched upon a wide range of issues including recent problems in bilateral ties with Iran, Iraq and Russia as well as Turkey's commitment to fight against IS, while speaking at a press conference on Dec. 9.
Kalın referred to Russia's charges against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family over involvement in oil trade with IS, charges blasted as “slander” and “immoral” by Erdoğan and Ankara.
“It has clearly turned up that none of these claims have been relevant to reality. Here, unfortunately, we are face-to-face with wars of propaganda, at the center of which there is Daesh” Kalın said, using an Arabic name for IS.
The senior official attempted to downplay the recent tension with the central government of Iraq over the deployment of Turkish troops in Mosul, suggesting the issue was covered “in a little bit of an exaggerated way” by the media.
“This is actually not something new. Since 2014, the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] have been training the Iraqi forces within the content of the fight against Daesh. But some fortification made recently was reflected in the press in a little bit of an exaggerated way, particularly due to security problems concerning Daesh” Kalın said, without making any comment on a deal enabling Turkey to have a permanent military base in the Bashiqa region of Mosul, which was signed between Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani and then-Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu during the latter's visit to northern Iraq on Nov. 4.