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Erdogan Warns Kurdish President against Going through with Independence Vote | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (AFP)

Ankara – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Friday Kurdish President Masoud Barzani of going ahead with the independence referendum on September 25.

He said in a television interview: “Barzani will clearly see how sensitive we are to the vote after the national security council convenes on September 22.”

The national security council was set to meet on September 27, but Erdogan brought the date to September 22 to precede the Kurdish vote.

Furthermore, the Turkish leader described as a “very erroneous” Barzani’s statements on the vote.

Turkey will announce its next move towards the referendum after the national security council and government meet on September 22, said Erdogan.

He is set to chair both meetings.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that the Iraqi Kurdistan Region was making the “wrong” move with its vote.

He had agreed with his Iraqi counterpart Haidar al-Abadi on completely rejecting the referendum. The two officials had held a telephone conversation on the issue on Friday night.

Yildirim added that the Kurdish government should “as soon as possible” go back on its decision to hold the vote, adding that the referendum will not benefit the region as a whole or the Kurds.

Turkish Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar had telephoned his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Baqeri on Friday to also discuss the referendum.

Ankara had in the past threatened to resort to force should the Iraqi Kurdistan Region fail to go back on its decision to hold the September 25 vote on independence from Iraq.