Turkey on Sunday emphasized that planned referendum in northern Iraq should be cancelled and not postponed.
“We demand cancellation of the referendum so that it will not be held at a later date,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said during the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s district congress in central Yozgat province.
Bozdag also warned that the poll would cause catastrophe in the region.
Iraqi Kurds in provinces controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq are set to head to polls on Monday to vote in a controversial referendum on whether to secede from Iraq.
Along with Baghdad, Turkey, the U.S., Iran 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.
Iraq’s central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.
KRG’s leader, Masoud Barzani, has said a “Yes” vote would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.
By Ramazan Kaya