Residents of Erbil condemning Iraq's sectarian policies, April, 2014. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—The Kurds of Iraq have the right to decide the future of their land, said Huseyin Celik, a spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Friday.
“The Kurds of Iraq can decide for themselves the name and type of the entity they are living in,” Celik told Rudaw in an interview to be published soon.
The AKP is the party of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan under whom Ankara and Erbil have built strong economic and diplomatic relations.
In case Iraq gets partitioned, said Celik, “the Kurds, like any other nation, will have the right to decide their fate.”
Celik believes that Iraq is already headed towards partition thanks to “Maliki’s sectarian policies.”
In the past several days fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have occupied most of Iraq’s Sunni areas in the center of the country.
They have declared war on Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite government whom they accuse of persecuting the Sunni population.
“Turkey has been supporting the Kurdistan Region till now and will continue this support,” said Celik.
Turkey and Kurdistan have signed a 50-year energy deal and Kurdish oil is exported via a pipeline that connects the autonomous region to the port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean.