Turkish prime minister says Iraqi city should be run according to earlier population make-up.
The Iraqi city of Kirkuk should be run in accordance with its “historic depths”, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday.
The demographic make-up of the oil-rich region, which includes Turkmens, Arabs and Kurds, had changed since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, he told a meeting of Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmakers.
“It is a positive development that Kirkuk has been taken under the control of the Iraqi central government,” Yildirim said.
He added: “The points to consider here are that an administrative system that should re-establish a demographic status based on the historical depths of the region should be put in place.”
On Monday, Iraqi forces took over Kirkuk from Peshmerga forces. The operation came weeks after an independence referendum in territory controlled by the Erbil-based Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
Kirkuk was among territory seized by Kurdish forces when the Iraqi military abandoned the city in the face of Daesh advances in 2015 but is not within the borders of the KRG’s autonomous territory.
Backing Baghdad’s decision, Yildirim said Kirkuk had historically been a Turkmen area but “this structure has changed over time.”