TEHRAN, Sep. 28 (Press Shia Agency) – Criticizing the independence referendum hold by the KRG head, Turkish president said Masoud Barzan threw himself into the fire due to not discussing with Turkey, Iran and Iraqi central government.
Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani threw himself into the fire by not calling off the Sept. 25 independence referendum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, accusing Arbil of “oppressing Turkmens” in northern Iraq and particularly in Kirkuk, reported Hurriyet Daily.
“The Barzani administration has thrown itself into the fire. This fire will only slightly touch us but it will seriously hurt some people,” Erdoğan said in address to Police Academy graduates on Sept. 28.
Turkey opposed the referendum and Erdoğan harshened his language against the Barzani administration after it refused to cancel the vote despite calls from regional and global powers.
“You are leading the Northern Iraq Regional Government. You have got money, oil, everything. So what does he [Barzani] say? He wants to be independent. You have a 350-kilometer border with us. Have you discussed this issue with us?” Erdoğan said.
“Have you discussed it with Iran? No. With the Iraqi federal state? No. Is Syria in agreement with it? No. So why did you take such a step? Ruling a state needs different skills than being a tribal leader,” he said.
Despite the recent nosedive in relations, Barzani was for years the Erdoğan administration’s closest regional ally, at the cost of damaging Ankara’s relations with the central government in Baghdad.
Also according to Anadolu, “New Lawrences [of Arabia] will not succeed this time, I want you all to know this,” Erdogan said referring to British spy T.S. Lawrence who was connected to the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire in First World War.