Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday the referendum for the independence of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq was a "matter of national security" for Turkey, according to a source from the prime minister's office.
"The referendum planned to be held by the [Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government] KRG is a matter of national security for our country," Yildirim was quoted as saying by the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
"No one should have doubt that we will take all the necessary steps in this matter," said Yildirim.
The non-binding referendum is planned to see residents in provinces controlled by the KRG vote on independence from Baghdad on Sept. 25.
Ankara repeatedly rejected it, saying the region’s stability depends on the unity of Iraq and the maintenance of its territorial integrity.
*Reporting by Semra Orkan; Writing by Sorwar Alam
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