HAMBURG (Sputnik) — Ankara will not allow establishment of a Kurdish state in southern Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday at the final press conference of G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg.
"If a Kurdish state is planned to be created in southern Turkey, we will not allow it," Erdogan said.
Erdogan also expressed hope that the initiators of the referendum on independence of Iraqi Kurdistan would abandon this idea, adding that the territorial integrity of Iraq was very important for Turkey.
On June 7, Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, announced the intention to hold a referendum on independence of the region on September 25.
The Kurds, making up about 20 percent of the Iraqi population, have been seeking self-governance for decades. In 2005, Iraq’s Constitution recognized Kurdistan as an autonomous region, run by the Kurdistan Regional Government, therefore making Iraqi Kurdistan the only autonomous region of the country.