ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Friday for the third time in a month voiced support for an upcoming referendum the Kurdistan Region is to hold on secession from Iraq.
"The decision to go to a referendum is democratic and historically legitimate given peoples' right to self-determination," said HDP's central executive committee in a statement on the party's website.
Early in June, Kurdistan's leading parties following a meeting with President Masoud Barzani announced that the region would hold an independence referendum on September 25.
HDP stated that the main opposition block Goran Party and the minority right-wing Kurdistan Islamic Group were absent at the meeting and called on the region's government to facilitate their participation in the run-up to the referendum.
"For the [referendum] results to be away from any questions of legitimacy, it is of paramount importance that all political parties in the Parliament which should be reactivated join the process," read the press release.
HDP said the Parliament should act as a central decision-maker in the referendum which is to take place also in Kurdish-majority parts of the Kirkuk, Diyala, Nineveh and Saladin provinces outside the legal jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Region.
"We hope [the referendum] leads to a continued peace and a culture of democracy," further said the HDP, adding such a step would prove to be a significant precedent in democratically solving the Kurdish 'question' in neighboring countries.
Last month the HDP whose co-leader Selahattin Demirtas and a dozen other lawmakers remain in Turkish prisons harshly criticized Turkey's "vitriolic" opposition to the referendum.
"The Kurdish people are entitled to whatever rights the Turkish, Persian and Arab peoples have, no more, no less," the party's spokesperson Baydemir said.
Editing by Ava Homa