After members of the KRG voted for independence, Erdogan proffered a veiled threat that military force could be used to preserve the status quo in the region.
Erdogan said Turkey’s neighbors “should not expect us to turn a blind eye.”
“We will continue to work in accordance with the territorial integrity of Iraq,” he said in a tweet.
Irak ve Suriye konusunda, ülkemiz için tehdit oluşturan konularda, gerektiğinde kullanmaktan çekinmeyeceğimiz tüm seçenekler önümüzdedir.
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) September 25, 2017
He added that with regards to Iraq and Syria “who pose a threat to our country… we use all options in front of us.”
Erdogan’s comments come on the back of a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement, which promised that “we will take every measure that emanates from international law and from the authority granted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.”
Responding to the federated Kurdish region’s attempt at a mandate for independence from Iraq, Erdogan said Turkey could block petrol coming from the region.
The two nations operate the Kirkuk-Ceyhan line, which at 970km long is one of Iraq’s main means to export oil to the west.