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Anti-Turkish protests in Iraq escalate

  |   May 20, 2012 at 6:57 PM
BASRA, Iraq, May 20 (UPI) -- Protesters in Basra, Iraq, burned Turkish flags, demanding Turkey hand over fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, officials said.

More than 200 protesters outside the Turkish Consulate General allegedly threatened the nearly 1,600 Turkish firms within the city if Hashemi is not handed over within 15 days, Today's Zaman reported.

A statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the burning of Turkish flags outside the Turkish Consulate General in Basra, Iraq, Saturday.

"Turkey has also reminded Iraq that the safety of diplomatic representatives is the responsibility of the countries which host them," the statement added.

Hashemi, who is receiving medical treatment in Turkey, is wanted for allegedly using assassins to take out his political rivals. Interpol recently issued a red warrant for Hashemi but Turkey has refused to hand him over to Iraqi authorities.

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