Turkey warns of civil war in Kirkuk

This is another potential trouble spot in Iraq unless there is some agreement between factions in the city and that seems unlikely. The Kurds are no doubt determined to prevail. THe region is rich in oil.

Turkey warns of "very big civil war" in Kirkuk
Jan 27, 2007, 12:55 GMT

Istanbul - Turkey warned Saturday against integrating the multiethnic city of Kirkuk, northern Iraq, into an autonomous Kurdish region.

'I fear that it could come to a very big civil war,' said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan in a television interview.

'Kirkuk belongs to all Iraqis,' he said. 'It would be wrong to give the city to only one ethnic group.'

Turkey fears that Kurdish control of the oil-rich city could lead to the creation of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq and one which is capable of surviving economically.

Erdogan called for Kirkuk to be given a special status, and said the referendum scheduled for late 2007 on the future of the city as foreseen by the Iraqi constitution, was a mistake.

The referendum should at least be postponed, he said. Resolving the problem would be an important step towards peace and for the future of the city.

© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur


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