President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday that Turkey considers the independence referendum in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) null and void and illegitimate regardless of its results, adding that there may be economic and military repercussions. Erdoğan warned that Turkey could block the KRG’s oil exports. “We’ll see who KRG will sell its oil to, Turkey is in control of the valve”, he said, referring to the Kirkuk – Ceyhan oil pipeline that connects oil fields in northern Iraq to the oil terminal in the Mediterranean. Erdoğan noted that Turkey would not hesitate to use force if necessary, saying “Just as we’ve liberated Jarablus, al-Rai, and al-Bab from Daesh in Syria, if need be we won’t shy away from such steps in Iraq”. Last week the Turkish Armed Forces began a military drill in the region around the border town of Silopi including 100 military vehicles, which continued with reinforcements this weekend. The Turkish parliament on Saturday approved overwhelmingly a one-year extension of a mandate to use troops abroad in Syria and Iraq.
During a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Turkish Minister of Customs and Trade Bulent