Premier Yildirim warns 'those who are looking forward to their dreams of having an artificial state in Syria and Iraq'
Turkey will respond to any attempt considered as a threat to its national security from Iraq or Syria, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Monday.
The remarks come just days before a controversial referendum on independence is due to be held in northern Iraq on Sept. 25.
Addressing members of non-governmental organizations and opinion leaders at a hotel in southeastern Sanliurfa province, Yildirim said: “Those who are looking forward to their dreams of having an artificial state in Syria and Iraq should be well aware that any attempt that threatens our national security from inside and outside the country will be responded to immediately.”
The premier warned Turkey would not hesitate in taking steps to ensure its regional security.
“Turkey is determined and has issued the necessary warnings. If this is not responded positively, we will not hesitate to take the needed measures,” he added.
Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have all backed Baghdad in speaking out against the referendum planned for the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq, saying the vote would distract from operations against Daesh and lead to greater instability in the region.
Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani earlier said a Yes vote would not mean a declaration of independence but would lead to negotiations with Baghdad.