Turkey to impose further sanctions on KRG over referendum, Erdoğan says


Turkey will impose further sanctions on Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) administration in northern Iraq over the banned independence referendum, President Tayyip Erdoğan said Tuesday.

“We are managing with some embargoes in northern Iraq for now, but if they don’t come to their senses, this will continue increasingly,” Erdoğan said at a parliamentary weekly group meeting with Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lawmakers in Ankara.

“Any incident taking place in Syria and Iraq is not independent from us, they are linked directly to our domestic affairs,” Erdoğan added.

Ankara has strongly opposed the idea of an independent Kurdistan region. Erdoğan previously warned the KRG that the independence ambition may result in large-scale sanctions that would put Irbil in a difficult situation.

The referendum faced widespread opposition from most regional and international actors, many of whom warned it would further destabilize the region and distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh.

The illegitimate Sept. 25 referendum saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas — and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including historical Turkmen city of Kirkuk and Mosul — vote on whether to declare independence from Iraq’s central government.

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