President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey did not need to become a member of the European Union on Sunday.
“We no longer need the membership of the European Union, but if the European Union wanted to make a breakthrough today, that would be by enabling Turkey’s accession. If the European Union does this, we are here,” Erdoğan said during the Turkish parliament’s third legislative session. The parliament has been in recess since July 27.
“We would be happy to contribute to the future of Europe. If this [accession] does not happen, it does not matter for us. We will continue to advance on our own path,” he added.
Turkish parliament to convene Sunday
The Turkish parliament will begin its third legislative session on Sunday with the speech of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The parliament will open at 02.00 p.m. (1100GMT) under the presidency of Speaker Ismail Kahraman.After Kahraman's featured address, Erdogan will deliver an opening speech.The General Assembly is set to reconvene on Tuesday to continue its legislative work after political parties' parliamentary group meetings.The parliament has been in recess since July 27.
Turkey’s accession talks began in 2005. Negotiations hit a stalemate in 2007 because of Turkey’s position on the Cyprus issue. German and French governments had also opposed the country’s full EU membership.
To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU over 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.
“To attempt indolence in a chaotic period when even long-established civilizations are experiencing difficulties is nothing but a gamble of foreign powers. We cannot simply watch as unrest is instigated,” said Erdoğan.
“Northern Iraq, which has opposed its neighbor Turkey while awaiting the support of foreign powers, is bound to be disappointed,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan said that Turkey would never allow any threat against the historical Turkmen city of Kirkuk, which is one of the territories disputed between the central Iraqi government and Kurdish Regional Government.
Turkey, Iraq, Iran to take over KRG borders
Military responses in reaction to the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) refusal to hand over border crossings to the Iraqi government.The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has refused to hand over control of its border crossings to the Iraqi government, as demanded by Iraq, Iran and Turkey in retaliation for the independence referendum.The Iraqi Defense Ministry has said it planned to take control of the borders "in coordination" with Iran and Turkey, without indicating whether Iraqi forces were to move toward the external border posts controlled by the KRG from the Iranian and Turkish side.US deploys troops, arms near Turkish border to protect BarzaniFollowing Iraqi Chief of General Staff Osman Ganimi’s visit, it was decided to hold a joint military drill with Special Forces officers.After Ganimi’s visit to Iran, a similar decision was reached. Iran and Iraq will conduct joint border drills within days. Top military commanders "agreed on measures to establish border security and receive Iraqi forces that are to be stationed at border posts."The control of four border gates, which provide Erbil with significant revenue, will soon change ownership as a result of the military operations. President Erdoğan says KRG will ‘pay the price’HABUR ROUTE TO CHANGEThe operations near the border gates by Iraq, Turkey and Iran span across four border gates. Iraqi soldiers will take over the Habur border gate with the support of Turkish troops. KRG normally uses the Habur border gate for trade, and altering this route is on the agenda.Among the planned routes, there is a plan to connect Mosul via Zaho, Zumar and Bashika. After the commissioning of the road, it is stated that the Turkish soldiers in Bashika may secure the trade route.SOURCE OF REVENUE TO BE CUTIn Iran, three border gates are under the control of the KRG: Hacı Omeran-Temerçin Border Gate in Çoman county bounded to Erbil in the north, Başmak Border Gate in the south of Suleymaniye in the east and Peravizhan Border Gate in the town of Kelar.KRG is ‘solely responsible’ for what’s to come: PM YıldırımWith the operations to begin soon, the control will be taken over by the central government with Iraqi military support. While it is expected that the security of the trade routes will be ensured by Iraqi troops, it is stated that Turkey and Iran will take charge if necessary.Together with the control of border gates to Baghdad, Erbil will be deprived of a major source of income.Turkey, which has already threatened economic sanctions and a military response to any security challenges posed by the referendum result in neighboring northern Iraq, has threatened to cut off the Kurds' oil export lifeline - a pipeline that runs through Turkish territory.Iranian, Iraqi government forces to hold joint border drillsBacked by Ankara and Tehran, the Iraqi government has demanded that the KRG cancels the result of the referendum or face sanctions, international isolation and possibly a military intervention.Monday's illegitimate referendum saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including ethnically mixed Kirkuk and Mosul -- vote on whether or not to declare independence from Iraq's central government.Kurdish region urges Iraq, UN to lift air embargoMacron's invitation to visit France not related to Kurdish referendum: Iraqi PMFlight ban enters effect in Iraq’s Erbil, SulaymaniyahUS opens new military base in Iraq’s Nineveh provinceUS does not recognize KRG's independence poll
Monday's illegitimate poll saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including ethnically mixed Kirkuk and Mosul -- vote on whether or not to declare independence from Iraq's central government.
The illegitimate referendum in northern Iraq had faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned that the poll would further destabilize the Middle East.
Iraq’s central government threatened to intervene militarily if the vote resulted in violence.
US deploys troops, arms near Turkish border to protect Barzani
The Pentagon, having raised U.S. flags to protect the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) terrorists from Turkish troops advancing toward Manbij during the Euphrates Shield Operation, is now preparing for a similar project of protection for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani.The United States intensified its preparation against a possible Turkey-Iraq joint military operation targeting the area occupied by Barzani, who held an illegitimate referendum on Sept. 25.The Pentagon, dispatching troops, ammunition and armored vehicles to the towns of Makhmur, Zakho, Zummar and Kirkuk, has sent containers including missiles, helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to the Harir and Hewler air bases.UAVs fly over regionThe U.S. army is deploying trucks of ammunition to Hewler and Harir near Erbil and Soran. Among the weapons being sent are missiles and helicopters, as well as anti-tanks and anti-aircrafts. The Pentagon also dispatched a great number of unmanned “Predator” vehicles, which can carry rockets, to the region. The UAVs belonging to the U.S. are conducting observation flights in case of an operation to Northern Iraq.Preparation for regional warAn Iraqi retired general, evaluating the U.S. build-up in Northern Iraq, said such a large shipment could only be interpreted as the preparation for a regional war. “The United States, having armed the PYD in Syria for two and a half years, will deploy its own troops near the Turkish and Iranian borders in Iraq,” he said, adding that the U.S. attributes special importance to Kirkuk. Noting that the United States sent troops to Iraq in 2014 under the pretext of fighting Daesh although it had decided to withdraw in 2011, the general stated the number of U.S. soldiers, which was around 3,700 in February, is now more than 10,000 following the recent shipments.President Erdoğan says KRG will ‘pay the price’KRG is ‘solely responsible’ for what’s to come: PM Yıldırım
President Erdoğan says KRG will ‘pay the price’
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) will be held to account for holding a referendum on whether to secede from Iraq at a consultation meeting on Saturday in Turkey’s eastern province Erzurum.“We have never regretted what we have done in the past. We have provided all kinds of support for an extended period of time,” said Erdoğan.“But now that the circumstances have changed, the northern Iraqi local government has taken a step in spite of my country, and will pay the price,” he continued.KRG is ‘solely responsible’ for what’s to come: PM YıldırımTurkey has said that it could cut off the KRG’s oil export pipeline, which runs through Turkish territory. Iran has banned the transportation of refined crude oil products by Iranian companies to and from the KRG.“Our only expectation was that they respect our territorial lines and not take steps despite us. They did not do this. Kirkuk is a controversial area, and they are claiming to own Kirkuk. You are not a part of Kirkuk’s history,” Erdoğan said. Oil-rich Kirkuk is ethnically mixed.The United States, major European countries and nearby Turkey and Iran opposed the referendum as destabilizing at a time when all sides are still fighting Daesh.Iranian, Iraqi government forces to hold joint border drillsFlight ban enters effect in Iraq’s Erbil, SulaymaniyahUS opens new military base in Iraq’s Nineveh provinceUS does not recognize KRG's independence poll