MHP chair says referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan is reason for war for Turkey

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Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party's leader (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli (Binnur Ege Gurun / Anadolu Agency)

Chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli has said an independence referendum in northern Iraq must be seen as a reason for war for Turkey.

Bahçeli’s remarks came on Thursday during a press conference in Ankara.

“Turkey and Iran’s demands to launch air operations in October in Kandil and Sincan have scared some people. Kandil must be flattened, traitors must be crushed. The fatal blow must be struck immediately. Barzani’s [president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)] referendum including Turkmen cities must be opposed. If necessary, this must be seen as a reason for war. Whoever is thinking about the dynamics of Turkey’s division, his head must be chopped off. Barzani says the referendum will not be postponed, he claims they are founding a multi-religious state. We should show our national power and hang those trying to destroy our country.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also called on the semi-autonomous KRG to review a decision to hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25, warning that it could trigger a civil war in Iraq.

“Holding an independence referendum in a country that has so many problems may cause the current situation to deteriorate. God forbid, that could lead to a civil war,” said Çavuşoğlu in his statement, reminding that the KRG took the decision despite the fact that Turkey has said it is against it.

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