Turkey won’t accept ‘fait accompli' after KRG referendum, AK Party Spox Ünal says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 26.09.2017 19:28
Updated 26.09.2017 19:40
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

Ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) spokesman Mahir Ünal said Tuesday that Turkey would not accept a "fait accompli" in the region after the Kurdistan Regional Government's controversial independence referendum.

Speaking to press representatives following the AK Party's central executive board meeting in Ankara, Ünal stressed that Turkey would not recognize the results of the KRG referendum, saying that it would also never allow borders in the region to be changed.

"We have not closed our border gates yet, however the Iraqi central government has taken action to reclaim them," the spokesman said, adding that Turkey would soon announce its decision in line with this new development.

Ünal underlined that Turkey and his party have supported the rights and achievements of Kurds in northern Iraq for years, adding that Turkey's current attitude should not be perceived as against the Kurdish people in the region, but more as an issue of international relations.

The AK Party spokesman reiterated that the issue was being handled within the framework of Turkey's national security, border security, regional stability and peace.

Ünal also reminded that the KRG's latest policy change was only supported by Israel, despite strong opposition from Turkey, Iraq and Iran as well as the United States.

The Turkish parliament voted last Saturday to extend the military mandate for Iraq and Syria for another year.

The mandate was first approved by parliament in October 2014 and has been renewed every year, allowing military action in Turkey's two southern neighbors against Daesh terrorists and other groups deemed by Ankara to be terror organizations.

Meanwhile, Iraq's central government threatened to intervene militarily if the KRG vote leads to violence.

Monday's non-binding referendum will see voters in KRG-held areas, including areas disputed between Irbil and Baghdad such as oil-rich Kirkuk, vote on secession from Iraq.

KRG leader Masoud Barzani has said that a "Yes" win would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.

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