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Iraqi Kurds must give up on independence or go hungry: Erdogan

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By NP Newsroom

ANKARA: Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan has said Iraqi Kurds could go hungry as a result of the punitive measures he is considering after Monday’s independence referendum.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of “treachery” for pressing ahead with the vote despite international opposition. Massoud Barzani should now “give up on this adventure”, he said. Iraq’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi meanwhile gave the KRG three days to hand over control of its airports or face an air embargo.

He also demanded that all border posts with Turkey, Syria and Iran be placed under Baghdad’s supervision, according to state television.

Kurdish leaders have said a “yes” vote will not automatically trigger a declaration of independence, but rather give them a mandate to start negotiations on secession with the central government in Baghdad and with neighbouring countries.

Turkey fears that the emergence of an independent Kurdish state on its border will stoke separatist feeling in its own Kurdish minority. Iran, which also has a Kurdish minority, banned direct flights to and from the Kurdistan Region on Sunday.

The US earlier said it was “deeply disappointed” that the Kurdistan Region held the referendum, but stressed that their “historic relationship” would not change.

 

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