Why Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to strike Kurdistan even before it is born

Why Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to strike Kurdistan even before it is born
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ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned the Iraqi Kurdistan region against pushing for independence after holding a non-binding referendum, saying it risked sparking an "ethnic war" in the region.

In his latest barrage of warnings to Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani, Erdogan even warned that his region risked going short on food and clothing if Turkish sanctions were applied.

"If Barzani and the Kurdish Regional Government do not go back on this mistake as soon as possible, they will go down in history with the shame of having dragged the region into an ethnic and sectarian war," Erdogan said in a televised speech.

Iraq's Kurds on Monday voted in a historic independence referendum despite fierce opposition from Baghdad and neighbours Iran and Turkey.

Results were expected within 24 hours, with an overwhelming "yes" vote not in doubt.

Erdogan described the vote as a "treason to our country" since it had come at a time of good relations between Ankara and the neighbouring KRG.

He urged Barzani to "give up on an adventure which can only have a dark end."

Erdogan reaffirmed that Turkey - which fears the effects of the vote on its own sizeable Kurdish population - would consider all options, from economic sanctions to military measures.

"Airspace and ground (options) are all on the table," he said, in an apparent reference to his past threats to close the border.

"All options are on the table right now and being discussed," he said. "You (the KRG) will be stuck from the moment we start implementing the sanctions."

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