Turkey again warns against holding Iraqi Kurdish referendum
BAGHDAD – Turkey's foreign minister has reiterated his country's demand that the Iraqi Kurds cancel a scheduled referendum for independence.
Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Baghdad that Turkey's expectation from Irbil, the capital of the autonomous northern Iraqi Kurdish region, is "very plain and clear — and that is the annulment of this referendum decision."
Masoud Barzani, the Kurdish region's president, announced the vote on whether to secede from Iraq would be held on Sept. 25.
Cavusoglu says Turkey has been saying all along that "the referendum decision is wrong" and that he would tell the Iraq Kurdish leaders so "once more" when he visits Irbil later on Wednesday.
Turkey — which has a large Kurdish population and is battling Kurdish rebels — is strongly opposed to an independent Kurdish state.