Istanbul, Sep 25

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday announced that his country had closed its shared border with the autonomous region of Iraq Kurdistan, where voters were casting ballots in an independence referendum that has been widely discouraged by regional powers.

Erdogan vowed not to allow a "terror state" to be established along the border with Turkey, Xinhua reported. The President said Turkey will announce measures against the independence vote later this week.

"This is an empty dream for them," Erdogan told an international meeting in Istanbul. "We can suddenly step in one night," he stressed.

The Turkish leader hinted at barring Iraqi Kurds from exporting gas via Turkey, saying "We own the valve."
Oil pipelines would remain in operation, however.

Turkey has been a vociferous opponent of the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, which is deemed a threat to regional stability by Ankara.

 

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