Turkey assures Iraqi Turkmens it won’t allow fait accompli on Kirkuk’s status
AA photoTurkey will not accept any attempt to declare independence in northern Iraq and to incorporate Kirkuk into the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, vowing they will continue to stand with Iraqi Turkmen groups.
Yıldırım met with Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Ershad Salihi late April 3 in Ankara amid growing concerns on the future of Kirkuk, while Iraqi Kurdish parties have agreed to establish a mechanism for an independence referendum.
Yıldırım told Salihi that attempts for the referendum will not be approved by Ankara and that Turkey will stand with its kin in Iraq, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
In an interview with state-run TRT late April, Yıldırım reiterated Ankara’s negative stance on KRG’s plans to go to polls for independence this year. “This can’t be acceptable. No fait accompli can be made on such an issue,” he said.
“Changing Kirkuk’s status; incorporating Kirkuk into the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government. These are wrong. These are not moves Turkey can accept. We will never find it right to raise flags through a unilateral decision there either,” Yıldırım said.
He said that he spoke about the issue with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, who shares Turkey’s position on the decision. “Even the Iraqi parliament declared that it does not recognize the decision to raise flags over Kirkuk and that it was not in line with Iraqi constitution. There are not only Kurds in this region; there are Arabs and Turkmen as well. They also have the right to have a say,” he added.