ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A Turkish diplomat on Wednesday denied rumors of Ankara’s intentions to close a border port with the Kurdistan Region.
Mohammed Akef Inam, the Turkish Consul General in Erbil, told Kurdistan 24 information regarding the Ibrahim Khalil border crossing should only be taken from official Turkish authorities.
“Statements by Turkish officials are the only serious source of information regarding the situation of the border crossing between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region,” Inam said.
During a visit to Zakho, in the Dohuk Province, the Turkish Consul General said relations between Ankara and Erbil were “constantly evolving.”
Rumors which spread through social media about the border closure pointed to Turkey’s disapproval of the Kurdistan Region’s upcoming independence referendum scheduled for Sep. 25.
The Kurds intend to hold a vote for independence as an initial step for the establishment of an independent Kurdish state.
The President of the Kurdistan Region has emphasized the decision to hold the referendum will not be reversed.
A high delegation from the Kurdistan Referendum Committee is expected to visit Baghdad soon to discuss the event with Iraqi officials.
Inam underlined his country’s understanding of the Kurds’ desire for independence from Iraq and said Ankara would continue to grant visas for citizens of Kurdistan wishing to enter Turkey.
The Ibrahim Khalil port, located 60 kilometers (37 miles) northwest of Dohuk, is one of the most important border crossings between Turkey and the Region.
Commercial exchanges worth billions of dollars between Turkey and Kurdistan regularly take place through the border crossing.
Editing by Ava Homa