Skip to main content

Turkey's FM repeats toothless warnings against KRG independence vote

On his visit to Baghdad and Erbil, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu brought with him Turkey’s mixed signals about the planned referendum on Iraqi Kurdish independence, asking for its cancellation but naming no consequences from his country.

Turkey continues to send mixed signals about a planned referendum on Kurdish independence in Iraq, saying it will oppose it but doing nothing concrete to prevent it.

The country’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said nothing to clarify Turkey's ambiguous stance during a lightning visit to Baghdad and Erbil yesterday. Speaking to reporters before meeting with Massoud Barzani, the president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, Cavusoglu reiterated Turkey’s opposition to the plebiscite due to be held on Sept. 25. “Our expectation from Erbil is clear: that is the cancellation of the referendum as the interests and future of the Kurds lies in a united Iraq.” But Cavusoglu denied considering potential sanctions such as sealing the border or halting the flow of Iraqi Kurdish crude to export terminals in southern Turkey. After meeting with Barzani, the Turkish diplomat said that flourishing trade ties were unconnected to the referendum.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.