Erdogan: Turkey, Iran and Iraq Will Decide On Closing Kurdish Oil Taps
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday (October 5) Turkey, Iran and Iraq will jointly decide on closing the flow of oil from the Kurdistan Region, as a retaliatory move after the Kurdish referendum on independence.
Speaking to Turkish media on his return flight from a one-day trip to Iran, Erdogan also criticized the inclusion of Kirkuk in the referendum, saying the Kurds had no “legitimacy” there.
Turkey and Iran have already threatened to join Iraqi government in imposing economic sanctions on the Kurdistan Region. They have also launched joint military drill with Iraqi troops on their borders after the Kurdistan independence referendum held on September 25.
Erdogan said on Monday Turkey would impose further sanctions on the Kurdistan Region over the independence referendum.
Kurds held the vote on the referendum despite threats to block it from Iraq, Iran and Turkey, the region's main link to the outside world. With 30 million ethnic Kurds scattered across the region, mainly in Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, governments fear the spread of separatism to their own Kurdish populations.
Erdogan said following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani that both leaders stressed they don’t recognize the Kurdistan Region’s referendum.
“The referendum was held with the assistance of Israeli Mossad,” Erdogan added. “No other countries other than Israel have supported the referendum. We only know Iraq and we just talk with Iraq.”
He warned on September 26 the people of the Kurdistan Region would starve when Turkey blocked its trucks from crossing the border. Erdogan also threatened to cut off the pipeline that carries oil from northern Iraq to the outside world.