Turkey will impose further sanctions on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over its illegitimate independence referendum, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday.
"We are managing with some embargoes in northern Iraq for now, but if they don't come to their senses, this will continue increasingly," Erdoğan told lawmakers from his ruling AK Party.
“Any incident taking place in Syria and Iraq is not independent from us, they are linked directly to our domestic affairs," Erdoğan added.
Iraq's territorial integrity 'indispensable for Turkey'
The leader of opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has said the territorial integrity of Iraq is "indispensable" for Turkey, calling on northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) president to give up his "ambition for independence".In his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Devlet Bahçeli slammed Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) illegitimate referendum that was held in northern Iraq recently on Sept. 25."The territorial integrity of Iraq is indispensable for us," Bahçeli said."The authority of central [Iraqi] government should not be discussed."Barzani engaging in ‘open provocation’Bahçeli said Turkey would definitely take a stand against any threat to Iraqi Turkmen in the historical city of Kirkuk and other cities of northern Iraq."In this regard, I would like to extend my thanks to Mr. President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] who said Kirkuk is a Turkmen city."Historically, Kirkuk was Turkish, it remains Turkish even now and will become one of the most glorious Turkish cities in the future."The illegitimate Sept. 25 referendum saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including historical Turkmen city of Kirkuk and Mosul -- vote on whether to declare independence from Iraq's central government.Turkish FM says 'not too late' for KRG to 'step back'Bahçeli called on KRG President Masoud Barzani to give up his "ambition for independence"."Barzani should come to his senses. He should completely cancel the referendum."According to preliminary poll figures released by the KRG, almost 93 percent of voters had cast ballots in favor of independence from Baghdad.The illegitimate referendum had been sharply criticized by most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned the poll would further destabilize the Middle East.About claims his party was an "enemy of the Kurdish people", Bahçeli said: "Nationalist Movement Party is aware of the different people living in Iraq. We pay tribute to every people of any ethnicity, religion and origin."He blamed “agents” for portraying his party as enemy of Kurds.“Our brothers of Kurdish origin are very important for us."
The illegitimate Sept. 25 referendum saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including historical Turkmen city of Kirkuk and Mosul -- vote on whether to declare independence from Iraq's central government.
The referendum had been sharply criticized by most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned the poll would further destabilize the Middle East.
Barzani engaging in ‘open provocation’
Masoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), met with the so-called force commanders in Kirkuk after the illegitimate referendum held on Sept. 25 in northern Iraq. Barzani visited the Peshmerga headquarters in Kirkuk on Monday and the former governor Najmiddin Karim, who is occupying his office despite being discharged by the Iraqi central government. Sources in the region who evaluated the closed-door meeting said he was insinuating that he was ready for war.ERDOĞAN SAID ‘YOU ARE NOT A PART OF KIRKUK’S HISTORY’Kirkuk is a controversial area, and they are claiming to own Kirkuk. You are not a part of Kirkuk’s history,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday at a party consultation meeting in Turkey’s eastern province Erzurum. Oil-rich Kirkuk is ethnically mixed.“An independent state is not being established in northern Iraq. On the contrary, it is a bleeding wound that is always going to be prodded by foreign forces," he continued.As a response to joint military exercises of Turkey and Iran, the Barzani administration deployed Peshmerga forces to the border.Iraqi-Kurd opposition in N. Iraq defies ruling partiesBARZANI’S KIRKUK VISIT AN OPEN PROVOCATIONKirkuk deputy Hasan Turan said, "Barzani is provoking all sides. The visit to Kirkuk while Iraqi Federal Forces are fighting against Daesh in Hawija is an open provocation.”"The exhibited provocation further strengthens the situation in the region," said Turan, adding that in the coming days, anything could happen.OCCUPATION ATTEMPTThe first provocative visit to Kirkuk, which is not affiliated to the Erbil-based KRG, was made by the so-called minister of education in the early hours of the morning.A delegation from Erbil, accompanied by Pashtivan Sadiq and dismissed governor Najmiddin Karim, spoke about the new education-training period that began on Monday.Iran deploys tanks at border with KRG"Kirkuk is now linked to Kurdistan," Najmiddin Karim said.Masoud Barzani arrived in Kirkuk at noon, and held a closed-door security meeting with so-called force commanders in which the joint military exercises on the Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish borders that sources in the region have evaluated as a message declaring that they “are ready for war.” The sources also said that it was significant for Kirkuk to be selected as the location of the meeting.SUPPORT OF FOREIGN FORCESSources informing Yeni Şafak about the provocative trip made by Barzani to Kirkuk argue that the U.S. and Israel supported Barzani in taking these steps. On the other hand, the U.S. supports all border lines in the possible interventions against Barzani with arms and ammunition.Iraq urges KRG to cancel referendum resultsErdoğan to meet opposition leaders over Northern IraqTurkish military deployments to Syrian border continueTurkey, Iraq, Iran to take over KRG borders
Decline in interest rates
Erdoğan also evaluated Turkey's recent economic indicators, calling for a further decline in interest rates and attractive market rates for investors.
“Decline of interest rate is still not at desired point. If we cannot have the rates drop further then many troubles await us,” he said.
He added that investment and employment would not increase if interest rates hover at around 20 percent.
According to Undersecretariat of Treasury, annual simple and compound interest rates were 10.56 and 10.84 percent, respectively.
Turkey's consumer prices went up by 11.20 percent in September compared with the same month last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
In September, the monthly rate of change in the consumer price index was 0.65 percent, up from 0.52 percent in August.
The annual increase in consumer prices was 10.68 percent in August, which increased by 7.29 percent since December 2016.
Since the beginning of this year, the annual inflation saw the lowest level in January -- 9.22 percent -- and hit the highest level at 11.87 in April.
The government aims to reach 5 percent inflation in 2020, down from 8.5 percent in 2016, and is predicted to be at 9.5 percent by the end of 2017, in accordance with the country's medium-term program announced on Sept. 27.
Turkish FM says 'not too late' for KRG to 'step back'
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu regarding the illegitimate referendum held by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Sept. 25 stated that it is “still not too late for KRG President Masoud Barzani’s government to take a step back.”The KRG referendum held last week in northern Iraq faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned that the poll would further destabilize the Middle East.“If they correct this mistake, we will maintain our relations and act in the same way as we did in the past,” Çavuşoğlu said.Noting that the border gates on the Iraqi side should be under the control of the Baghdad government, Çavuşoğlu said, “Although the Ovacık gate (on the Turkey-Iraq border) can technically be opened, the Iraqi government should establish a corridor on the other side of the border and provide security there.”Regarding the presence of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)-affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG) terrorist organization in Syria’s Afrin, the Foreign Minister pointed out that Turkey will not allow a terror canton in Syria and that a terror corridor on the other side of its border would pose a risk for Turkey.Barzani engaging in ‘open provocation’Iraqi-Kurd opposition in N. Iraq defies ruling parties
Iraqi-Kurd opposition in N. Iraq defies ruling parties
Two opposition parties in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region -- Komel and Gorran -- have chosen to boycott a “political leadership” initiative unveiled Sunday by Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani. According to a Monday statement released by the Kurdistan Islamic Society Party (Komel), the decision to boycott the initiative was taken in order “to deliver a warning” to the region’s ruling parties. The KRG is currently led by a governing coalition consisting of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. On Sunday, the KRG’s High Referendum Council, which had been mandated with overseeing last week’s illegitimate poll on regional independence, was officially replaced by a new committee dubbed the “Political Leadership of Kurdistan-Iraq”. The new committee is reportedly tasked with following up on the results of last week’s unconstitutional referendum on regional independence. “President Barzani on Sunday convened a meeting of political parties to announce the launch of the new committee, which is supposed to replace the referendum council,” Komel said in its Monday statement. “The meeting, however, was not attended by either Komel or the Kurdish Movement for Change (Gorran) party,” it added. On Monday, Gorran went so far as to formally request the dissolution of the newly-established committee. While the exact reasons for the move remain unclear, Gorran, in its Monday statement, asserted that KRG institutions had to be “depoliticized and improved”. The latest developments come in the wake of last week’s illegitimate regional poll in which Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in certain areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil -- voted on whether or not to declare independence from Iraq. According to poll results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of registered voters cast ballots in favor of independence. The referendum had faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned that the poll would only serve to distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the already-volatile region.