Erdogan: Kurdish independence in Iraq cannot be allowed

ISTANBUL, Ergin Hava (dpa) – An independent state carved out of Iraq cannot be allowed, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, increasing the pressure on the Iraqi region of Kurdistan just days ahead of its planned independence referendum.
The referendum has unnerved the central government in Baghdad and statements from Ankara indicate increasing concern over the vote.

“We are definitely not a party to the announcement of such an independent state in Iraq. This can never happen. It is not possible that such a thing be allowed," Erdogan told a conference in New York, where the UN General Assembly is taking place.
“I hope that Mr Barzani and his team will change this wrong decision as soon as possible," Erdogan added.
Erdogan warned earlier on Tuesday that Turkey will consider imposing sanctions on the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq over the referendum.
Turkey's national security council and cabinet will discuss on Friday "what kind of sanctions we can impose, or if we will," Erdogan told reporters in New York.
Turkey has a large Kurdish minority, and has fought a long-running conflict with Kurdish militants. Iran and Syria also worry that the vote will encourage secessionist ideas among their own Kurdish minorities.
The US and Iraq have recently reiterated their opposition to the referendum.

Thursday, September 21st 2017
Ergin Hava

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