By Merve Yildizalp and Sarp Ozer
The main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) leader urged Turkey, Iran and the central Iraqi government to find a common solution to the problem in northern Iraq following Monday's controversial referendum.
On Monday, Iraqis in areas held by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad -- went to vote to decide 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.
Speaking to media at the Esenboga Airport in Ankara, CHP head Kemal Kilicdaroglu said an important step is needed “to quickly unite the Iraqi central government, Turkey and Iran, and create a common solution to this problem.
"If a common solution can be produced, Turkey can make important progress on this issue."
Kilicdaroglu said Turkey had demonstrated a “national stance” on the controversial referendum and even its parliament was standing behind this stand.
Earlier Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will take political, economic, commercial and security steps against the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
“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,” Erdogan said in Istanbul.
Also, Opposition Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahceli said Monday Turkey must pursue a comprehensive deterrence policy that includes the use of military force following Monday's controversial referendum in northern Iraq.
Iraq’s central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the referendum leads to violence.
KRG’s Masoud Barzani, however, maintains that a Yes vote would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.