Turkey says Kurdish referendum results 'null and void'

Turkey says Kurdish referendum results
# 25 September 2017 08:10 (UTC +04:00)

The results of referendum which will take place in Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in north of Iraq are "null and void", Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

“We do not recognize this initiative, which lacks legal basis and legitimacy with regard to the international law and the Iraqi constitution,” said the ministry statement. “We are dismayed by this attempt, which is far from commonsense, undertaken by the KRG leadership who insisted on holding the referendum despite all the warnings of Turkey and of the international community and thereby endangered the peace and stability not only of Iraq, but also that of the region.”

Turkey has stressed on every occasion that the grave mistake committed by the KRG will have a price and within this framework has identified the sanctions that will be levied against the KRG in the National Security Council meeting which was held on September 25, 2017 and in the Council of Ministers meeting that followed, according to the statement.

Turkey’s foreign ministry stated that it is important that the international community and particularly the regional countries should maintain the consistent approach they displayed with regard to the referendum and should refrain from recognizing the consequences of this illegitimate endeavor.

“In the subsequent process it is a fundamental necessity that the KRG leadership should restore commonsense and should adopt a policy that serves the long term peace and prosperity of the whole of the Iraqi people, rather than seeking short term political interests and utopian aspirations,” said the statement.

“We stress one more time that we will take every measure that emanates from the international law and from the authority granted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, in the event that some radical elements and terrorists, which may seek to exploit the circumstances that will emerge following the referendum, attempt to carry out acts that target our national security,” the statement said.

Monday’s non-binding referendum will see Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad -- vote whether to secede from Iraq.

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.

Iraq’s central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.

The KRG’s leader, 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.