IRAQI KURD ALLIES BUILD TURKISH POLITICAL PARTY BEFORE INDEPENDENCE VOTE

IRAQ-TURKEY-KURDS-DIPLOMACY

The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet is reporting that supporters of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are organizing a political party to challenge the pro-Syrian Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), whose leadership is largely in prison.

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stripped the nation’s legislators of parliamentary immunity before arresting dozens of HDP officials, including co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş.

While the HDP openly supported the Syrian Kurdish People’s Democratic Union (PYD), the KRG has distanced itself from both the PYD and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which both the KRG and the Turkish government consider the same organization.

The KRG will hold a referendum in its territory to split from Iraq and create a sovereign Kurdistan, with its government based in Erbil, Iraq.

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