Turkey against Iraqi Kurds’ Referendum for Independence

President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani Photo: Wikimedia Commons
President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has confirmed his country’s position on Kurdish referendum planned for September. He has urged the Kurdish authority to cancel the referendum.

“Our expectation from Erbil is clear, that is the cancellation of the referendum, as the interests and future of the Kurds lie in a united Iraq,” Cavusoglu said during talking with the reporters in Iraq.

Turkey regards Kurdish referendum as a mistake and reiterated its commitment to Iraq’s “territorial and political integrity.”

The Iraqi Kurds are seeking for a referendum announced to be held on 25 September 2017 despite the U.S. objection.

A free state for the Kurds has been cemented in the hearts of Kurdish people ever since the defeated Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Sevres promising a free state for the Kurds after the First World War.

The KRG President Massoud Barzani’s close adviser, Hoshyar Zebari told Reuters “The date is standing, Sept 25, no change.”  The U.S. fears that the referendum craze in Erbil could drive the Kurdish attention away from its commitment to fight against terrorism.

The United States also reiterated its support for a “unified, federal, stable and democratic Iraq,” but it doesn’t hesitate to recognize the ‘legitimate aspirations’ of Kurdish people. The U.S. apparently tries to focus on more important issues to get Kurdish power’s attention occupied.

The Kurds are often dubbed “the largest ethnic group without a state”, a statement that has much to debate about its statistical accuracy. But the Kurds are a large group of people who believe that they have been deprived of a state of their own as promised.

In Iraq, the Kurdish people are the majority in at least three provinces. Kurdish people constitute around 17% of the country’s population. The neighboring countries of Iraq have also been dealing issues with their sum of Kurdish people since the Treaty of Sevres failed to give them a state of their own.

There are around 12 to 14 million Kurdish people in Turkey. In Iran, around seven millions Kurdish people live. In Syria, they are the largest minority. All these countries have always been engaged in different sorts of disputes with the Kurdish section of the population over the last century.

The Kurdish timeline of instability could be dated back to the last century when the then Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk refused to comply with the accord to create a Kurdish state in the region. Kurdish people have been living mainly in four different countries ever since, forever demanding a state of their own but never to achieve.


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