President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sept. 19 once again called on the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to cancel its planned independence referendum, warning that such a move could spark new crises in the region.
“There is a need for consensus that would be reached based on the territorial integrity of Iraq and realization of the ideals to build a common future. Steps such as demands for independence that might cause new crises and clashes in the region should be avoided,” Erdo?an said speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
“From here, we are calling on the Iraqi Kurdish Regional administration to give up its attempt initiated in this direction. Ignoring Turkey’s clear and determined stance on this issue can pave the way for a process that would deprive the Iraqi Kurdish regional administration of the opportunities in its hand,” he said, urging cooperation to provide peace and stability in the region.
Residents in provinces controlled by the KRG will vote Sept. 25 on independence from Baghdad.
The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is among the contested areas where the vote is planned.
Last week, Iraqi lawmakers voted against the independence referendum and called on the Baghdad government to negotiate with the Kurdish Regional Government.
The president also said the majority of groups and powers that claimed to have been fighting against ISIL in the region was using the jihadist group as “a tool to realize their own agenda.”
He said efforts by the Syrian Kurdish YPG, such as changing the demographic structure, seizure of properties, killings and exiles, were a crime against humanity, warning that unless the fight against ISIL is conducted on a legitimate ground, it is inevitable for the world to come under threat by “new ISILs.”
Erdo?an also stressed the international community “left the Syrian public alone” while noting Ankara would support any step that will be taken for building a Syria that is based on its territorial integrity, stability and prosperity.
He said Turkey hosts more than three million refugees from the war-torn Middle East nation and has spent upwards of $30 billion to help them, while adding that Ankara has not received sufficient support from the international community for its contributions to the Syrian refugee response.
Erdo?an said the European Union sent 820 million of the six billion euros it promised, while donations through the U.N. remained at $520 million. Nothing goes to the government budget, he said, but is instead directly delivered to those in need.
On the recent Rohingya crisis, the president said the international community failed to pass the test regarding the humanitarian tragedy in Myanmar as it had been in Syria.
“The Muslim community in the Rakhine region of Myanmar is being subjected to almost an ethnic cleansing, with provocative terrorist acts used as a pretext,” Erdo?an said.
“The villages of the Rohingya Muslims, who have already been living in extreme poverty and misery and deprived of their citizenship rights, are burned down as hundreds of thousands of people are forced to migrate from the region and the country,” he added.
He said the history of humanity would be left with “the shame of a new black mark” if the tragedy is not prevented.
Erdo?an also stated that recent developments in the world confirmed Turkey’s rightfulness in its call for the reconstruction of the U.N. Security Council.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News