Turkey Uses Basra as Launchpad for Assault on South

The Turkish ambassador to Iraq, Murat Ozcelik, said Turkey is seeking to strengthen trade relations with Iraq through establishing a large investment base in the oil-rich port city of Basra.

Turkey is eyeing Basra as a launchpad for its investment and trade development in the south of the country, according to Ozcelik .

‘There are attempts by the Turkish side to establish a Turkish investment base in Basra province, in particular in the areas of industry and construction,” Ozcelik told AKnews.

“The relevant Iraqi authorities should visit Turkey to get to know our expertise in investment, and especially in housing projects” Ozcelik said, “Turkey has reached an advanced level in this field.”

Basra Investment Board director, Haidar Ali Fadhil, told AKnews that they were working on attracting the largest Turkish investment companies possible by providing support and facilities.

“The investment board has showcased the most important investment opportunities in housing and agriculture to the Turkish embassy in an attempt to expand Turkish investment in Basra” Fadhil said.

The opening of a new air-route between Istanbul and Basra on June 28 is expected to strengthen ties between Turkish businessmen and the local government in Basra.

Basra governor Khalaf Abdulsamad said Turkey had the best chance of winning investment opportunities in the province.

Turkey is already Iraq’s second largest trading partner after Iran. However, most of their trade and investment in done in the north of Iraq, particularly Kurdistan. These moves to expand in the south will challenge Iran’s dominance there.

(Source: Aswat al-Iraq)


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