The Peshmerga Ministry on Nov. 21 condemned Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar's denial of the existence of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Akar last week surprised a parliamentary meeting when he made the remarks.
Deputies were discussing the defense ministry's 2022 budget when Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Tülay Hatimoğulları Oruç asked Akar whether reports of chemical weapon use in Iraqi Kurdistan are true.
"Turkey signed The Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997 and needs to be sensitive in this issue," Oruç told Akar in relation to Turkey's operations in Iraq against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Akar was unhappy that the HDP deputy said "Kurdistan" and interrupted her.
"I need to say one thing," Akar said, before going on to deny the existence of Kurdistan.
"There is no Kurdistan in Turkey or elsewhere," he said, prompting HDP deputy Garo Paylan to ask whether Iraqi Kurdistan doesn't exist.
"Why are you saying this? Doesn't Iraqi Kurdistan exist?" he asked.
"No," the minister responded.
In response, the Peshmerga Ministry questioned Akar's denial of a demographic and geographic reality.
“The mentality of denying a nation or its geography has always been the source of problems and does not lead to anything good,” Rudaw cited the ministry as saying.
It also urged Akar to look at Ottoman history to know “whether Kurdistan exists or not.”
Despite his strong denial, Akar this year visited Iraqi Kurdistan and met with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials.