Kurds rallied in support of the independence referendum Wednesday evening at Erbil’s Shanidar Park. Photo: Hezhar Jawhar/Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Region will pay a “price” if it persists in holding the referendum on independence, Turkey’s foreign ministry warned in a statement on Thursday.
“There will most certainly be a price to pay” if Kurdistan insists on going ahead with the September 25 vote, read the statement, without elaborating.
The ministry welcomed the Iraqi parliament decision on Tuesday to reject the referendum as unconstitutional and supports the clear statement for Iraqi political unity and territorial integrity.
Turkey is alarmed by the “increasingly emotional statements” from the Kurdish leadership and insistence on holding the vote, despite international objections, the statement read.
The ministry asked the Kurdistan government to act wisely and give up its wrong approach and offered its support to strengthen relations between Erbil and Baghdad.
Turkey is a key trade partner for the Kurdistan Region, importantly providing an outlet for the Region’s oil via a pipeline to its Ceyhan port. Ankara has strongly opposed the independence referendum and urged Iraqi unity.