Kurdish referendum matter of Turkey's national security, PM Yildirim says

A memorial to killed Peshmerga in Nineveh province

The Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum will have serious consequences and trigger fresh crises in the region, Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın said on September 23, APA reported citing Hurriyet Daily News.

But behind the scenes negotiations are still taking place aimed at persuading him to postpone the poll, according to officials close to the discussions.

Erdogan, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly in NY, told world leaders on Tuesday that the referendum in northern Iraq could lead to fresh conflicts in the Middle East.

Despite global pleas to postpone the vote, Mr Barzani has insisted the poll will be held as planned.

"We have always lived peacefully and don't want problems", said Karima Attiyah, an eldery Arab woman who has spent her whole life in Kirkuk.

Iraqi lawmakers have voted against the independence referendum and called on the Baghdad government to negotiate with the Kurds.

"We will announce our final thoughts on the issue with the cabinet meeting and national security council decision", Erdogan said.

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In New York, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday demanded that Iraqi Kurds call off the referendum, while hinting at consequences if they go ahead.

As the campaign for the historic September 25 Kurdistan Regional Government's independence referendum unfolds, tens of thousands of Kurds in Iraq and in the Kurdish diaspora are taking to the streets in demonstrations and rallies to support their decadeslong fight to establish their own country.

He told his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, that Moscow supported Iraq's territorial integrity and sovereignty. But as The Economist went to press, Mr Barzani remained committed to his referendum.

A regional conflict could threaten oil supply from Kurdish and northern Iraqi fields to world markets, carried through a pipeline to Turkey.

It also said the vote could weaken the military campaign against Islamic State (IS), "in which Kurdish forces have played a critical role".

The UN Security Council expressed concern on Thursday over what it says is "the potentially destabilising impact" of next Monday's vote.

They have established Kurdish-controlled autonomous regions in both Iraq and northern Syria.

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