Syria, Iraq issues directly affect Turkey: Erdogan

Turkish president says illegitimate referendum in northern Iraq is new attempt to 'strike heart of region with a dagger'

Syria, Iraq issues directly affect Turkey: Erdogan

World Bulletin / News Desk

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that one cannot separate the issues taking place in Syria and Iraq from Turkey since what happens in the neighboring countries makes an impact domestically.

Speaking to his Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group in capital Ankara, Erdogan said: “Any incident taking place in Syria and Iraq is not independent from us, they are linked directly to our domestic affairs.”

He again criticized the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)'s illegitimate referendum in northern Iraq that was recently held on Sep. 25.

"The referendum crisis in northern Iraq is a new attempt to strike the heart of our region with a dagger.

"We hope the northern Iraq administration comes to its senses soon," Erdogan said and urged the KRG President Masoud Barzani to cancel the referendum.

The illegitimate Sept. 25 referendum saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including historical Turkmen city of Kirkuk and Mosul -- vote on whether to declare independence from Iraq's central government.

"Nobody can insult a nation who grew up with the songs of Kirkuk."

According to preliminary poll figures released by the KRG, almost 93 percent of voters had cast ballots in favor of independence from Baghdad.

The illegitimate referendum had been sharply criticized by most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned the poll would further destabilize the Middle East. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ekim 2017, 16:04