Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
ANKARA - 16 September 2017: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday that the planned independence referendum in northern Iraq is an issue of national security, and Turkey will take any necessary steps.
On Friday, Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said the vote would not be delayed, despite requests from the United States and other Western powers worried that tensions between Baghdad and Erbil would distract from the war on Islamic State militants who continue to occupy parts of Iraq and Syria.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview on Friday that Barzani's decision not to postpone the referendum was "very wrong".