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Rudaw

Turkey

Erdogan sees Israel's hand in Iraqi Kurdistan vote

By AFP 30/9/2017
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AFP file photo
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AFP file photo
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that Israel's intelligence agency played a role in Iraqi Kurdistan's independence vote -- allegedly proved by the waving of Israeli flags during celebrations for the "yes" victory.

Ankara fiercely opposed the referendum and has threatened sanctions against the region, reflecting its worries about its own sizeable Kurdish minority.

In a televised speech, Erdogan said Turkey had been saddened to see some Iraqi Kurds acclaiming the referendum outcome with Israeli flags.

"This shows one thing, that this administration (in northern Iraq) has a history with Mossad, they are hand-in-hand together," Erdogan said in Erzurum, in eastern Turkey.

Iran and Iraq's central government in Baghdad have also have expressed alarm over the referendum and have refused to recognise its validity.

Israel has been the only country to openly support an independent Kurdish state, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backing "the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own."

Erdogan has derided the Israeli support.

"Are you aware of what you are doing?" Erdogan said in an appeal to Iraqi Kurdish leaders. "Only Israel supports you."

- 'Wake up from this dream'-

Ankara has threatened a series of measures to punish Iraqi Kurds, including shutting the land border between Turkey and the region and halting the transit of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan to the southern Turkish port of Ceyhan, an economic lifeline.

On Friday, the Turkish carriers Turkish Airlines, Atlas and Pegasus suspended their flights to Iraqi Kurdistan for an unspecified period of time.

Erdogan on Saturday vowed that Iraqi Kurdistan "will pay a price" for the "unacceptable" referendum, without elaborating.

"An independent state is not being founded in northern Iraq, but on the contrary a continuously bleeding wound is being opened," he said.

"To ignore this reality benefits neither us, nor our Kurdish brothers in Iraq," he said, calling on Iraqi Kurds to "wake up from this dream" of independence.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey was working with Iraq and Iran in order to "thwart the games being played in the region."

Yildirim had previously announced plans to hold a summit with Iranian and Iraqi leaders to coordinate how to respond to last Monday's referendum.

Erdogan is due to visit Tehran on Wednesday.

Ankara had previously refused to engage in official contacts with Iraqi Kurds, fearing any action that could encourage the creation of an independent Kurdish state could embolden its own Kurds.

But as Turkey's economy has boomed, Erdogan has moved to forge trade ties with Iraq's Kurdistan region, helping to make Iraq the second-largest market for Turkish exports last year, after Germany.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani has also become a frequent visitor to Turkey.

Business sources quoted in Turkish media have warned that the closure of the Habur border gate could affect $7 billion (5.9 billion euros) of trade.

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Mohamed | 30/9/2017
This is another sick excuse, how do you call your self a true Muslim while hand in hand with two shiet regimes against the right of the Kurds ( their GOD given right), or this is your true colour, a raisist nationalist none Muslim subhuman.
Tony Montana | 30/9/2017
Comic Ali is back at it again 😂
Tony Motana | 30/9/2017
I give erdogan nickname "Sultan Bob" or Sultan Erdo - revenge of blaming ever one, cuz i am about to lose one part of my country after the kurdish referendum 🤔 hey folks its me Sultan Bob..Lets connect Israel with Kurds and say they are mossad agent. That would work. That way no one want the referendum be legitimit😂
Muraz Adzhoev | 30/9/2017
It is President Erdogan's surprisingly, but obviously very primitive and unreasonable geopolitical view. Is he not willing or/and not able to see and admit the irreversibility of the naturally and legally justified Kurdish national process for freedom and the inevitability of the establishment and the formation of sovereignly independent and territorially reintegrated democratic and most likely secular and federative Southern Kurdistan? Perhaps he is using his so negative anti-Kurdish rhetoric most of all just purposefully for domestic political "consumption" in Turkey, not for his real regional policy and actually not against Southern Kurdistan. Perhaps. We will see it soon.
Kurdo | 30/9/2017
This world is so sick, a world that accept all kinds of crimes against Kurdish people, a world that accept dictators like Erdogan, a world that push back Kurds in to a chaos in Iraq, a world that prefer those so called countries Iran, Syria, Turkey and Iraq... but rejects a Kurdish country. Tell me please, how can you even talk about democracy and human rights but reject a referendum to decide the most basic rights of Kurdish people? This is a shame for democracy, to reject this referendum, to support those countries that are against Kurds. Those borders have not been drawn by God, they have been drawn by dictators like Erdogan, those borders are not sacred, they can be redrawn. Kurds doesn't have to live in those countries. Every single american and europen knows that those countries, all 4, have committed terrible crimes agains Kurds. Yet, they support those countries, they lie to Kurds and threatens us. So a few world to that world, you can go to hell, you can keep your so called democracy for your self. To hell with a world that says Turks and Arabs have right to their countries, but not Kurds. To hell with a world that says Kurds must belong to countries like Turkey and Iran. To hell with a world that tolarates so much crap from a POS like Erdogan, but threatens Mr Barzani. This world is just upside down. To hell with a world that treats my people as second class citizens. We Kurds have not tried to take others land, we take back what have been stolen from us. We will always be here, regardless if you like it or not! We will NEVER give up. To turks, arabs and persian that are occupying our country: Leave our country, you are not welcomed, we don't want you in our country, we don't like you, we hate you all. Just leave and never ever come back! To US and other countries that doesn't accept a free and independent Kurdistan (all 4 parst), shame on you, shame on you, shame on you!

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