CHP divided over KRG independence referendum

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 07.09.2017 00:18

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is divided over the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) referendum after reports suggested party officials held contradicting ideas regarding the polls likely to be held on Sept. 25.

While CHP's Deputy Chairman Öztürk Yılmaz, who is also responsible for foreign relations, as well as Onur Öymen, a former CHP deputy and retired ambassador, both opposed the referendum decision, CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu backs the idea.

News channel Kurdistan24 reported that Kılıçdaroğlu supported the KRG referendum at a meeting with a Kurdish delegation lobbying in Turkey on Sept. 2.

Kılıçdaroğlu was reported as saying, "Kurds have right to hold a referendum. The south has the right to hold a referendum just as all nations have."

When queried, the CHP didn't deny the Kurdistan24 report.

Despite Kılıçdaroğlu's support, CHP Deputy Chairman Yılmaz recently said that Barzani should cancel the referendum. He added that a referendum would cause more chaos in the Middle East.

"A large-scale war can take place in the region where Turkmens, Arabs, and Kurds live together. This is unfortunately ignored," Öztürk said.

The CHP deputy chair also said that the decision to hold a referendum was against the Iraqi Constitution, adding that the KRG did not have a law on holding a referendum.

Meanwhile, Onur Öymen, a former CHP deputy, has said that the Turkish government and certain political parties have long advocated Iraq's integrity without any reverse.

Öymen said that the referendum will be supported by foreign powers and Israel, and added that even though other countries might support the KRG referendum Turkey should oppose it as it would pose serious threats to Turkey. He warned Kılıçdaroğlu against talking about such delicate issues in haste.

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