The Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador in Baghdad on Thursday to hand him a "strongly worded" memo in response to comments from Turkey's President earlier this week.
Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmmed Jamal said that the ambassador has arrived at the ministry building, adding that the memo had to do with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s "provocative statements" as well as Turkey's unwanted military presence in Iraq.
On Tuesday, Erdogan told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in a speech in Istanbul to "know his limits," warning that Ankara will not take instructions from Baghdad on its troop presence near Mosul and escalating a row between the two US allies.
Erdogan said that al-Abadi had himself asked for the military base in Bashiqa, 12 kilometres north-east of the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul.
Ankara sent its forces to the Bashiqa region of northern Iraq last year, saying it was a routine rotation of soldiers engaged in training missions against Islamic State known to the Iraqi government. Yet Baghdad insists this was done without its permission.
Erdogan slammed al-Abadi: "You are not at my level, you do not have my rank, you don't have my caliber, you are not of the same quality as me."
Al-Abadi, who has called for the withdrawal of Turkish troops, was sarcastic in this response.
"Indeed we are not your equals," al-Abadi said. "We will liberate our land with the determination of our men, not via Skype," he said, in an apparent reference to Erdogan's mobile phone call-in to a Turkish television station to rally his supporters during an attempted military coup in July.