Turkey could close border with Iraqi Kurds 'at any moment' | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Turkey could close border with Iraqi Kurds 'at any moment'

Popular Mobilization Forces take control of a former Kurdish security forces checkpoint outside Bashiqa, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. Kurdish forces pulled out of disputed areas across northern and eastern Iraq a day after handing Kirkuk to federal forces amid a tense standoff following last month's vote for independence. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
October 19, 2017 - 1:09 AM

ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey's president says the country could close its border with Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region "at any moment" as a further reprisal for it holding a non-binding referendum on independence last month.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments were reported in Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday, and come days after Ankara closed its airspace to flights to and from the Iraqi Kurdish region. Turkish airline companies have also suspended flights to Iraqi Kurdish cities.

Erdogan said: "We have not closed our border gates yet, but this can happen at any moment."

Turkey had close ties to the Iraqi Kurdish leadership, but had urged them not to hold the vote.

Iraq's central government and neighbouring Iran were also deeply opposed to the referendum, in which more than 90 per cent voted for independence.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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