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Kurdistan Kirkuk Governor defends raising Kurdistan flag•The Governor of the Kirkuk Province Najmaddin Karim on Sunday defended his order for official buildings to raise the flag of Kurdistan.•“The flag of Kurdistan was raised in Istanbul and Ankara. Why shouldn’t it be raised in Kirkuk,” asked Governor Karim during a press conference in his city where a reporter was present.•The Governor’s remarks appeared to be directed at Iraqi Turkmen politicians and the Turkish media.•The Kurdistan flag was raised for the first time at two Istanbul and Ankara airports during an official visit to Turkey by the Region’s President Masoud Barzani.•Karim issued an order on Thursday enforcing the use of the Kurdish language alongside Arabic at all official levels, and urged the displaying of the Kurdistan flag next to the Iraqi one.•The Kurdish-majority Kirkuk, with significant Arab and Turkmen minorities, remains contested between the Iraqi federal government in Baghdad and the Erbil-based Kurdistan Region.•“Kirkuk is a disputed area. I understand the sensitivity regarding the flag of Kurdistan. I hope the provincial council soon rules a decision in this regard,” said Karim.•The move led to strong condemnation by the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) whose leader Arshad al-Salihi said the Governor “was playing with fire.”•On his Twitter page, Salihi further called Karim’s yet to be approved decision “illegal and unconstitutional.”•••What is your opinion? Comment, like and share ••• #kurdistanobserver #kurdistan #kurd #iraq #iran #turkey #syria #كوردستان #كورد #kirkuk #krg #puk #pdk #turkmen #itf #arab #oil #barzani #ankara

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