Ankara not to leave Iraqi Turkmens alone: MHP leader

ÖZGENUR SEVINÇ
ANKARA
Published 08.10.2017 23:52

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said that Turkmens would not be left to an unfortunate fate in Iraq, adding that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) referendum on Sept. 25 is considered null and void.

Pointing out that Kirkuk province was included in the referendum via a fait accompli, Bahçeli said, "We unconditionally stand with our Turkmen brothers," speaking at a meeting held yesterday by the MHP to bring attention to the province of Kirkuk.

The MHP leader said that Kurdish people should reject the referendum, as it will not have beneficial results for them. An independent state in Northern Iraq would mean a state that has high debt, no economic means and enmities with its neighbors, Bahçeli added.

Bahçeli warned of the referendum's repercussions, saying that Turkmens would lose their identity and history if Iraq's territorial integrity dissolves. He also called for the continuation of dialogue with the Iraqi central government.

As the KRG announced the referendum results, Ankara, Tehran and the Iraqi central government called for the results to be cancelled. Ankara has strongly opposed the participation of Kirkuk in the independence referendum, warning the KRG of possible sanctions. Turkey has reiterated that the KRG should not insist on the mistake, as Ankara is resolute in taking all necessary steps, which could include the closing of the Habur border gate and a blockade of KRG oil exports.

Sharing borders with both Syria and Iraq, Turkey's recent steps in Idlib were welcomed by Bahçeli, who said that terrorists should be cleared from the borders.

Bahçeli voiced his support for the policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 7 regarding the recent deployment of Turkish commando units to the Syrian border for the Idlib operation.

Stressing the consistent steps taken by Ankara, Bahçeli said, "Turkey has taken all measures necessary for the security of our own people and those who live there via our security forces."

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