President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli on Oct. 5, during which they discussed Ankara’s future steps against the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) following its recent independence referendum.
During the 40-minute meeting, which took place at the Presidential Office, the two leaders discussed measures to be taken against the KRG, with Ankara fiercely opposing its bid for independence from Iraq.
No official statement was made after the meeting.
The meeting came after President Erdoğan told reporters that he would meet MHP head Bahçeli regarding the KRG referendum.
“I have a meeting with Bahçeli on Thursday [Oct. 5]. I will also receive the opinions of Kılıçdaroğlu by sending him an invitation if circumstances allow,” he had said on Oct. 1.
Erdoğan said the opinions of the leaders would “enrich the process at this stage” regarding further steps that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will take over the referendum.
The KRG voted on independence from Iraq on Sept. 25 amid disapproval from the neighboring governments of Iran, Turkey, world powers, and the Baghdad government.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Oct. 2 urged KRG officials to pursue talks with Baghdad.
“They should sit down with the Iraqi government and the rights of northern Iraqi government should be secured within the scope of the constitution. We would support this. In this way the issue could be settled amicably, otherwise, it will get more difficult to manage,” Yıldırım said.