Erdogan: Turkey to close border and air space to Iraq in response to Kurdish referendum

Erdogan: Turkey to close border and air space to Iraq in response to Kurdish referendum
(Image: Screen grab of TRT video, YouTube)

[Ed. – A lot of things getting real.  Turkey could indeed do this, although the economic disruption would be significant.  It’s not clear yet which way this will go; my bet would be on things being held in stasis for the time being, through a set of non-permanent agreements, because no one is ready to make a big move right now.  Russia is in the middle with growing outreach to the Kurds, and both carrots and sticks to wield on Iran and Turkey.  The U.S. is — to all intents and purposes — nowhere to be seen.  The EU is an inert quantity.  Life in the post-Pax world.]

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey would soon close its border with northern Iraq and shut its air space in response to last week’s Kurdish independence referendum.

Erdogan, who held talks in Tehran on Wednesday with Iranian leaders, also said Turkey would decide jointly with Iran and Iraq’s central government in Baghdad whether to cut oil exports from Kurdish northern Iraq.

His comments came 10 days after Kurds in northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly for independence, alarming Baghdad, Iraq’s neighbors and Western powers who fear the vote could trigger further conflict in the Middle East.

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Turkey tightened controls at its main border crossing into Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the vote and suspended flights to northern Iraq. It has also held joint military exercises with Iraqi troops on the border.

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