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Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan in Iran, Kurdish independence on agenda

Iraq's central government, its neighbors and Western powers fear the vote in favour of secession could spark another, wider conflict in the region to add to the war in Syria, and fear it could derail the fight against Islamic State.

By: Reuters | Ankara | Published: October 4, 2017 3:57 pm
erdogan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, turkey president, Iran visit, Iran turkey relations, turkey news, world news, Inbdian Express Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Source: AP/File)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tehran on Wednesday to discuss a possible joint response against a Kurdish vote in favour of secession in Iraq, a result with both Turkey and Iran fiercely oppose.

Fearing Kurdish separatism within their own borders, Iran and Turkey have threatened to join Baghdad in imposing economic sanctions on Iraqi Kurdistan and launched joint military exercises with Iraqi troops at their borders with the region.

“During the visit, expansion of economic and trade ties will be discussed. Regional issues, including Syria, Iraq and the referendum in Iraq’s Kurdistan will be discussed as well,” Iranian State TV reported. Erdogan will meet Iran’s top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as President Hassan Rouhani during his one-day trip to Tehran.

Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region announced on Tuesday it was calling presidential and parliamentary elections for Nov. 1. Baghdad has responded with further punitive measures, has already slapped sanctions on Kurdish banks and halting foreign currency transfers to the Kurdish region.

Iraq’s central government, its neighbors and Western powers fear the vote in favour of secession could spark another, wider conflict in the region to add to the war in Syria, and fear it could derail the fight against Islamic State. The Kurds are the region’s fourth largest ethnic group, spread across Iran, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, all of which oppose any moves towards sovereignty.

In Turkey, a 30-year insurgency waged by Kurdistan’s Workers’ Party (PKK) militants has recently flared up since a ceasefire broke down almost two years ago.

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  1. A
    Ajay
    Oct 4, 2017 at 4:14 pm
    why not punish Turkey, Iran, Syria and anybody who wages the war against the Kurds... is the UN impotent or only the interest of powerful matters... let Russia and China also fight along with Kurds. in the end if its only about land and territory and not about the people then let there be a full scale war to redraw the map which was faulty drawn by the british with dividing the communities and ethnic groups.. like Punjab in india and pakistan Bengal in india and Bangladesh koreas, the Kurds, and many more.. British empire should have divided the land based on ethnicity... but then they were themselves powerless to dictate....
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