Turkey has taken a clear stance before and after the illegitimate referendum held by northern Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the Foreign Ministry said late Thursday in response to recent remarks by the U.S. on the issue.
"The entire International community should present a consistent, unhesitant, and clear stance on protecting Iraq's territorial integrity and political union at the current stage," said Ministry spokesman Hüseyin Müftüoğlu in a written statement.
His remarks were in response to the U.S. State Department spokeswoman, who was asked Tuesday to comment on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saying in the wake of the illegitimate referendum that Turkey could easily make the KRG's revenues dry up, and if Turkish trucks did not go to the KRG, they would not be able to get food or clothes.
Heather Nauert said: "That certainly sounds like a threat on the part of President Erdoğan. But I'm not going to comment on what he's had to say."
Monday's illegitimate referendum saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including ethnically mixed Kirkuk and Mosul -- vote on whether or not to declare independence from Iraq's central government.
Official preliminary results revealed that 93 percent of voters backed Kurdish independence, although the vote was widely criticized by the international community.
Along with Iraq's central government, Turkey, the U.S., Iran, and the UN had spoken out against Monday's illegitimate poll, warning it would distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.