World Bulletin / News Desk
National flag carrier Turkish Airlines said on Monday that all flights to Erbil, Iraq will proceed as scheduled.
In a statement the national carrier said that flights to the city are taking off “uninterrupted” despite an independence referendum in the Kurdish-controlled area.
A Turkish Airlines flight to Erbil from Turkey’s southeastern Gaziantep province was canceled early Monday due to lack of passengers, the statement clarified.
Monday's non-binding referendum will see residents of Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq vote on full independence from Baghdad.
Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have all joined Baghdad in speaking out against the poll planned for the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq, saying the vote would distract from operations against ISIL and lead to greater instability in the region.
The central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote results in violence. Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani has said a “yes” vote would not initiate a declaration of independence but would led to negotiations with Baghdad.