Turkey opposes referendum on Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence

09.06.2017, Turkey.

Turkish authorities consider the Iraqi Kurds’ plan to hold a referendum on independence to be “a terrible mistake”, a Reuters correspondent in Turkey reported on June 9.

Ankara is strongly opposed the referendum on the separation of Kurdish territories from Iraq. “We see … that it will be a grave mistake. Preserving Iraq’s territorial integrity and political unity is one of the fundamental principles of Turkey’s Iraq policy,” stated in the press release of the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Turkey is also concerned about the success of the Syrian Kurdish militia in northern Syria, as it fears the strengthening of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) (banned in Turkey), closely linked with the Syrian Kurds.

Political leaders of the Iraqi autonomous Kurdish region said this week that they will hold a referendum on independence. They noted that they understand that this is unlikely to be welcomed by the central government in Baghdad.

The Kurdish problem is a difficult problem for Turkey. The decision of the Iraqi Kurds can serve as an example to the Turkish Kurds, who have been putting up and armed resistance to Ankara for decades, defending their right to independence.

Of note, the idea of Kurdish independence has been historically opposed by Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria, who are afraid of the spread of separatism in their territories.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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