SILOPI, Turkey-Kurdistan Region border (Kurdistan 24) – One of the Kurdish parties in Turkey on Saturday sent a group of 50 observers to the Kurdistan Region to monitor the latter’s upcoming referendum on independence from Iraq.
The Rights and Freedoms Party (HAK-PAR) delegation entered the Kurdistan Region via a bus in the early hours of the day.
HAK-PAR declared support for the Sep. 25 referendum back in June when Kurdistan’s President Masoud Barzani announced the decision to go to the ballot box for secession from Iraq.
Speaking to a Kurdistan 24 correspondent in the border town of Silopi, the party’s leader Refik Karakoc said the process was a source of happiness and excitement for them.
“Our party argues that such a historic decision has to be implemented,” Karakoc said about calls for a postponement or cancellation of the referendum from the US, other western countries, and regional powers like Turkey and Iran.
“We the people of northern Kurdistan back the referendum,” he added, echoing statements by other Kurdish factions in Turkey.
Kurdistan Region authorities have called on the international community, states, and world powers to monitor the process on the ground.
All Kurdish parties in Turkey, except the Democratic Regions’ Party (DBP), have expressed support for their brethren in Iraq, despite rejection from Ankara.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Kurdistan Socialist Party (PSK), Kurdistan Democratic Party - North (PDK-Bakur), Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), Freedom and Socialism Party (OSP), Free Cause Party (Huda-Par) and Azadi Movement have all said they back the Erbil government.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Hesen Kako contributed to this report from Silopi, on the border with the Kurdistan Region)