Main opposition CHP says gov’t should be ‘cool-headed’ on KRG referendum
Rifat Başaran - ANKARAThe main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has urged the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to be cool-headed when taking measures against the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over a planned referendum on independence, after the Turkish parliament voted to extend by a year a mandate authorizing the deployment of Turkish troops on foreign soil.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu urged Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to act in a “cool-headed manner” in a meeting also attended by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman and deputy group leaders late Sept. 23.
According to some sources, the topic of the meeting was the KRG’s independence referendum, to be held on Sept. 25, with Yıldırım delivering a brief about the referendum to the attendees.
Yıldırım thanked the two parties’ leaders for their support in the parliament voting on the extension of the mandate permitting Turkish troops to remain deployed on foreign territories.
Yıldırım said the government was expecting the referendum to be postponed or cancelled. But there isn’t a clear move by the KRG indicating the referendum would be called off.
Kılıçdaroğlu added that the steps to be taken against the referendum should be done in a careful manner.
CHP to advice gov’t on KRG referendum
Kılıçdaroğlu, in the meeting, hinted at the CHP’s future plans regarding the referendum, saying that in the event that the referendum goes ahead, the main opposition would continue to give advices to the government.
The CHP’s first advice would be for military intervention to be used as a last resort and believes Turkey should act in a cool-headed manner instead of voicing “futile and empty threats and demagogy.”
According to the CHP, the first step to be taken should be “to close the KRG offices in Ankara and to issue economic and commercial sanctions especially on the shipment of oil.”