If you declare independence, you will starve - Turkey and Iraq warn Kurds

If you declare independence, you will starve - Turkey and Iraq warn Kurds

- As the Kurdish people seek independence, they are being threatened by sanctions from the Turkish government

- Turkey has also accused them of treachery for pursuing a refrendum vote to secede

- The Turkish government threatened to cut off oil pipelines while the Iraqi government threatened to ban flights

Following a referendum vote of independence that took place among the Kurdish people, Turkey and Iraq have begun to blow hot and threaten sanctions.

Turkey has accused the head of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region of "treachery" for pursuing the independence referendum, while the Iraqi government has threatened to ban flights into Kurdish regional airports.

The referendum which took place on September 25 as reported by Kurdish television showed 72 percent of eligible voters had taken part and over 90 percent had said "Yes," although the final results were expected September 27.

However, since about 30 million ethnic Kurds live in Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, the regional governments fear the referendum would push the spread of separatism from northern Iraq to their own Kurdish populations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey might block Kurdish trucks from crossing the border and all options, including economic and military, were on the table.

Speaking on tuesday, September 26, he said: "Until the very last moment, we weren't expecting Barzani to make such a mistake as holding the referendum, apparently we were wrong." He was referring to Kurdistan region President Masud Barzani.

READ ALSO: Biafra referendum and you: 5 things every Nigerian must know

He also threatened to cut off the pipeline that carries oil from northern Iraq to the outside world, saying: "This referendum decision, which has been taken without any consultation, is treachery."

On their part, the Iraqi government also ruled out talks on possible secession for Kurdish-held parts of northern Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said: "We are not ready to discuss or have a dialogue about the results of the referendum because it is unconstitutional."

He also gave the Kurdish authorities until September 29 to hand over control of its airports or face an international air embargo.

Meanwhile, in Tehran, the Iranian parliament announced it would hold a closed-door meeting on the referendum on September 27.

However, in northwestern Iran, thousands of people held demondtrations in support of the referendum in the Kurdish-majority cities of Baneh, Saghez and Sanandaj.

The United Nations, United States and other Western powers are worried that the referendum would pull attention away from the efforts to defeat IS.

READ ALSO: Kurdish to have independence referendum in Iraq

Heather Nauert, the spokeswoman of the US State Department criticized the referendum saying:

"The United States' historic relationship with the people of the Iraqi Kurdistan region will not change in light of today's nonbinding referendum, but we believe this step will increase instability and hardships for the Kurdistan region and its people."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said he was concerned about the "potentially destabilizing effects" of the referendum.

While saying he supported "the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of Iraq," Guterres called for "structured dialogue and constructive compromise" between Baghdad and Kurdish leaders to resolve their differences.

NAIJ.com earlier reported that the government of Spain announced that it will deploy police reinforcements to Catalonia to help maintain order if the proposed independence referendum goes ahead.

According to the press, the extra officers are to back the Catalan regional police, who are under orders to prevent the staging of the referendum.

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In Nigeria, spokesperson for the group, Emma Powerful, stated that IPOB remains the only legitimate voice that understands the plight of the masses.

The group said that only a referendum can resolve the issue of Biafra not restructure. It remains the only way the masses can decide their future in Nigeria.

Watch this video of the military deployed to the southeast and what Nigerians think:

Source: Naija.ng

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