October 5, 2017 / 1:27 PM / 17 days ago

Erdogan says Turkey will soon close Iraq border and air space

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey would soon close its border with northern Iraq and shut its air space in response to last week’s Kurdish independence referendum.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends opening ceremony of Recep Tayyip Erdogan Imam Hatip School in Istanbul, Turkey, September 29, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

“Flights to northern Iraq have already been suspended, the air space and borders will also close soon,” Erdogan said in a speech in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

Erdogan said the decision to hold the referendum showed the “perfect ingratitude” of the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq, which had developed close commercial and political ties with Turkey.

“We demand the KRG take the necessary lesson from their mistakes and take steps to compensate for them as soon as possible,” Erdogan said.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by David Dolan

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