Prominent columnist Abdullah Bozkurt revealed in the Turkish pro-government paper Today’s Zaman, how Erdogan managed to ruin the Turkish relationship with Iraq. Erdogan, who supported Maliki’s opponent in elections, was angry that the Iraqi justice system backed by the democratically elected prime minister Maliki opened a terror trial against an Iraqi citizen.
Money quote – about a phone conversation on January 10, 2012:
Erdogan and Maliki had a very tense conversation in the evening with constant yelling on both sides. Erdoğan got angry when Maliki criticized him for meddling in Iraqi affairs and had to slam the phone down on Maliki, whom he accused of being Yazid, a reference to Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph responsible for killing supporters and relatives of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Husain ibn Ali in a battle that took place in what is now Iraq in the year 680. … Erdoğan used the occasion to tell Maliki that Turkey would not accept what he was doing to his coalition partners in the government. … he warned that Iraq might plunge into sectarian civil war in what he described as an “irreversible chaotic path.”
Ali Laridjani flew from Tehran to Ankara and tried to mediate, and he managed to make another phone call between Erdogan and Maliki happen, but to no avail. Abdullah Bozkurt writes:
The level of talks between Erdoğan and Maliki, brokered by Larijani in that meeting, was even worse than the one held two days earlier.
Erdogan was furious. He demanded from Baghdad to have the Iraqi justice system abide by Ankaras orders, but Baghdad’s Maliki just told him, that he should respect the national sovereignty of Iraq. What did that Baghdadi think ho he was that he could defy the orders of the mighty Ottoman ruler? Unbelievable.
So what did the ruler of the mighty Ottoman empire do after these phone conversations with Baghdad? Abdullah Bozkurt writes:
The day after Larijani’s departure, Erdoğan talked to US President Barack Obama over the phone and complained about Maliki …
It’s not clear what Obama answered Erdogan on his complaint about Maliki, because Abdullah Bozkurt did not tell his readers this detail. It might well have been something like „Play your kindergarten games yourself“ or „Did you remark that the US lost the war against Iraq?“ But what is clear is that the Turkish relationship with Iraq were ruined after Erdogan felt insulted and went furious about the Iraqi prime minister claiming sovereignty.
And what’s also clear is what Iraqs reaction during the next months was. Press TV reported on October 9, 2012:
Russia has confirmed signing more than USD 4.2 billion worth arms contracts with Iraq during the second half of 2012 … The two countries also negotiated Iraq’s purchase of 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters and 42 Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems. Maliki said in the Russian Foreign Ministry mansion on Monday that Iraq needs Russia’s help in defense and military areas and needs arms to “defend itself and fight terrorism” in the country.
And Turkish Weekly some days later also revealed where well armed Iraqi troops with capable air defense systems were to be deployed:
Iraq urges the Kurdish autonomy to approve the deployment of troops on the border with Turkey to prevent the Turkish troops‘ entering Iraq, as well as to stop air strikes on the country …
That’s how the mighty Ottoman ruler Erdogan ruined the Turkish relationship with Iraq. He couldn’t accept, that Iraq is a sovereign nation state, got angry and furious, threatened Iraq with a sectarian civil war, and as he called his daddy Obama to help him bickering with the prime minister of the sovereign Iraq the USA couldn’t do anything. And that was it.