Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:19
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Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim speaks to the media in Ankara, Turkey, Friday Sept. 22, 2017. Yildirim said Friday his country will never accept a separate Kurdish state in neighboring Iraq and would not refrain from taking steps to prevent it. Binali Yildirim again called on Iraqi Kurdish leaders to abandon plans for a referendum on independence, saying it was not too late for them to turn away “from this adventure.” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim speaks to the media in Ankara, Turkey, Friday Sept. 22, 2017. Yildirim said Friday his country will never accept a separate Kurdish state in neighboring Iraq and would not refrain from taking steps to prevent it. Binali Yildirim again called on Iraqi Kurdish leaders to abandon plans for a referendum on independence, saying it was not too late for them to turn away “from this adventure.” (Turkish Prime Ministry, pool photo via AP) (Associated Press)

ISTANBUL — Turkish officials are pressing Iraqi Kurdish leaders to call off an upcoming independence referendum as Turkey’s parliament convenes to renew a mandate for the country’s military to intervene in Iraq and Syria.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday called the Monday referendum to create a Kurdish state in neighboring Iraq “a mistake, an adventure.”

Yildirim says Turkey would take diplomatic, political and economic measures according to “developments on the ground.” He added that a cross-border operation also was an option.

The prime minister has said Saturday’s vote would allow the military to get involved in “all kinds of developments” that threatened Turkey’s security.

Meanwhile, the Turkish military said additional units joined exercises near the Iraqi border as the chief of staff welcomed his Iraqi counterpart to the country.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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