President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said Turkey could cut off the pipeline that carries oil from northern Iraq to the outside world, once again warning the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) regarding the non-binding independence referendum.
"After this, let's see through which channels the northern Iraqi regional government will send its oil, or where it will sell it," Erdoğan said in a speech at a forum in Istanbul.
00:59 dk 25 Eylül 2017 Yeni Şafak KRG referendum ‘null and void’ for Turkey: President Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the International Ombudsman conference criticized the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) decision on a non-binding independence referendum. “Regardless of the results, the referendum, which does not conform to the current law in Iraq, is null and void for us. It is illegitimate,” Erdoğan said.
"We have the tap. The moment we close the tap, then it's done."
He stopped short of saying that Turkey had decided to close off the oil flow. Hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day flow through the pipeline in Turkey from the northern Iraq region.
Erdoğan also said that the Habur border gate with Iraq could be closed in both directions in the future.
Turkey sees Baghdad as Iraq's 'legitimate authority'
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Monday insisted the “legitimate authority” for Turkey in Iraq was the central government in Baghdad.Speaking in a live TV interview, Yildirim said the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) independence referendum in northern Iraq was illegitimate and its results would be null and void."From now on, we will directly speak to Iraq's central government and decide accordingly," the Turkish premier added."[The vote] will not contribute to regional peace and stability, but it will increase already-existing tension and problems," he said.Yildirim said the "insistence” on the vote had, in a sense, created an “environment for conflict".He said Turkey would have more dialogue with Baghdad over "all border gates and airports and energy issues".Slated to be held on Monday, the non-binding referendum will see Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad -- vote on whether or not to declare independence.Along with Baghdad, Turkey, the U.S. and Iran, the UN has spoken out against the referendum, saying it will distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.Iraq’s central government has even threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.- 'Pain and tears'The referendum decision "was taken without taking into consideration the future of people from all ethnicities," Turkish premier said."It will not bring a better future for Turks, Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens, but will bring more pain and tears," he insisted.Stressing that Turkey did not regard the referendum issue in a sectarian way, Yildirim said:"No one should ever think that we are against Kurds. We have people from all ethnicities."However, he also said his country would not be indifferent to actions against Turkmens in the region.About threats to Turkey’s national security, the prime minister said "no new entity on Turkey's southern borders is acceptable".However, he also moved to assure the public that Turkey "is not involved in a war," describing recent Turkish military drills near the Iraqi border as a precaution.The prime minister also announced that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would visit Iran on Oct. 4 when the countries will discuss regional matters, including the KRG independence vote.
Turkish president outlines actions against Northern Iraq The President said Turkey will take political, economic, commercial and security steps against northern Iraq’s KRG, as it is holding a referendum for an independent state. Erdoğan said the referendum was null and void to Turkey.
“Regardless of the results, the referendum, which is not in conformity with the current law in Iraq, is null and void for us, we call it illegitimate,” Erdoğan said.
He reiterated Turkey’s support for Iraq’s territorial integrity and social unity. “And we will work to ensure that.”
“We are taking all kind of steps in northern Iraq, particularity on political, economic, commercial and security issues,”
He pointed to the ongoing military drill at the Turkey's border with northern Iraq, adding that more measures would be announced soon.
“At the same time, the [Turkish] Air Force is in the same situation and only permits passage to the Iraqi border," he said.
"We will immediately announce other measures and steps taken this week.”
Former US envoy, French minister push for KRG referendum
The architects of a so-called Kurdistan dependent on Israel met a few days before the referendum in Kirkuk. Top officials attended the meeting held in the house of Hoshyar Zebari, a senior advisor to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani; U.S. author and former envoy Peter Galbraith; French envoy Bernard Kouchner and Iraq’s notorious traitor, former ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.The “secret meeting,” attended by Americans and Europeans alike, was held in Kirkuk only days before the non-binding independence referendum slated for Sept. 25, which is the final step toward a pirate Israel and U.S.-backed Kurdish state.Barzani plans to deliver 'promised land' to IsraelMASTERMINDS OF PROJECTThe delegation included the masterminds of so-called “autonomous Kurdistan” project who gathered at the house of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) Hoshyar Zebari, who was dismissed from his office in the Federal government of Iraq’s Finance Ministry on charges of corruption in September, 2017.KRG Spokesperson Sefin Dizayi, KDP Politburo secretary Fazil Mirani, former KRG Deputy Minister Rowsch Nuri Shaways; Fuad Hussein, the chief of staff of KRG President, and former Kirkuk Governor Najmiddin Karim also attended the meeting.DIVIDED MAPSThe western participants of the Kirkuk meeting are hardline supporters of a “divided Iraq,” a “divided geography” and the “terror corridor” opening to the Mediterranean. Former U.S. “diplomat” Peter Galbraith is the one who prepared the “140th Article,” the first step to divide Iraq. Galbraith is also one of those who took office in establishing an autonomous region in northern Iraq and creating the issue of disputed territories in the country. The fait accompli map that emerged with the 2005 Iraqi Constitution includes the entire area that Barzani is trying to separate from Iraq with his referendum and autonomous state plans.‘US PILLAR OF SUPPORT TO KRG’Peter Galbraith, one of the biggest supporters of the KRG’s project, said a pirate state to be declared in Iraq should be supported. Stating that KRG is a “strategic U.S. ally,” Galbraith noted, “The final destination is clear – it is independence.” He said it was similiar to the Brexit vote to leave the EU, claiming that it will start with a vote followed by negotiations. “At the end, it’s Brexit,” he stated.Former U.S. ambassador also attends Kirkuk meetingAmong those who attended the meeting in Kirkuk is Zalmay Khalilzad, who played an important role in the U.S. occupation of Iraq in 2003. The United States’ former ambassador to Iraq, Khalilzad is still one of the shareholders of the Halliburton Oil Company that operates in the country. He is married to Cherly Benard, a Denmark citizen and Jewish-origin Zionist. Khalilzad is also known for his anti-Palestine studies during his office as a U.N. ambassador.Another guest of the meeting was former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. He urged voters by saying, “This freedom for you and your families.” Kouchner earlier visited the terror camps of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization in Raqqa.
Iran closes border with Iraq’s Kurdish region
Iran closed its border with northern Iraq’s Kurdish region on Monday, the Foreign Ministry said.A day earlier, Tehran ended flights between the territories as the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) prepared to hold a referendum on independence from Baghdad.“At the request of Iraq, we have closed the airspace and ground borders with the Kurdish Regional Government,” ministry spokesman Behram Qasimi said at a news conference in Tehran.Air traffic to Erbil and Sulaimaniya airports in northern Iraq were halted.On Sunday, Iran also launched military exercises close to the border to mark the start of the 1980-88 war with Iraq.Kurdish referendum not legally binding: Iraqi speakerVoters in KRG-held areas, including areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil, began to cast their ballots on Monday in a referendum on secession from Iraq.Baghdad, Turkey, Iran, the U.S., and the UN have all spoken out against the poll, saying it would distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.Turkey on Monday announced it would regard the results of the Kurdish referendum as “null and void” and Iraq’s central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.KRG President Masoud Barzani has said a “Yes” win would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.Rouhani stresses Iran's stance against referendumBaghdad asks Erbil to hand over airports, border postsKRG goes to polls, despite worldwide warningsKurdish referendum results 'null and void': Turkey
Kurdish referendum not legally binding: Iraqi speaker
Results of a Kurdish referendum on the secession of northern Iraq’s Kurdish region will not be legally binding, Iraq’s Parliament Speaker said.Voters in areas under the control of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), including areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil, began to cast ballot on Monday in a controversial referendum on whether to secede from Iraq.“We are keen on keeping the Kurds in our one homeland,” Salim al-Jubouri said in a statement."The unity of Iraq is our main concern and we will not give it up,” he said, going on to blame “wrong policies” for the current state of tension.“The referendum will affect the upcoming election and will drag the country in a new phase,” he said.Baghdad, Turkey, Iran, the U.S., and the UN have all spoken out against the poll, saying it will only distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.Turkey on Monday announced it would regard the results of the Kurdish referendum being held in northern Iraq as “null and void”.Iraq’s central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.KRG President Masoud Barzani has said a “Yes” win would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.KRG goes to polls, despite worldwide warningsTurkey's Habur border with Iraq remains open, minister saysKurdish referendum results 'null and void': Turkey