Turkey has censured as a plan by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region to hold a referendum on breaking away from the mainland.
On Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry warned the decision announced earlier this week to hold the independence vote on September 25 would be a “grave mistake.”
“The maintenance of Iraq’s territorial integrity and political unit is one of the fundamental principles of Turkey’s Iraq policy,” it added.
Turkey is wary of Kurds, especially those in its southeastern regions and others living in Syria and Iraq.
This has been caused by a decades-long and ongoing militancy campaign waged by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) aimed at carving out an independent state in southeastern Turkey.
Turkey has been bombing alleged PKK hideouts in the mountains north of Iraq.
It has also invaded both Syria and Iraq via ground to contain the progress of Kurdish fighters, whom it accuses of links with the PKK.
Turkey fears that the potential of creation of an independent Kurdish state in its backyard could further embolden the militants towards stiffer confrontation with Ankara.
Damascus and Baghdad have, time and again, asked Ankara to end its military presence in the Arab states, which comes without their approval.