Kurds

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Last quote about Kurds

Haider al-Abadi
We will accept nothing but the annulment of the referendum and respect for the constitution.feedback
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Oct 26 2017
Multiple people spoke about Kurds in the news. We gather all their quotes on this page, an easy way to see all views about this topic at a glance. To go deeper, all quotes are redirected to the article from which they come. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the person who had the greatest number of quotes. The most recent one of them is: “What right do you have to lay claim on Kirkuk? What history do you have in Kirkuk? What business do you have in Kirkuk?”.
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All quotes about Kurds

Sajad Jiyad

It means he has a bigger target on this back now that the perception is that he can win in a landslide, and that other Shiite groups will have less of a say in how things are done.feedback

Ján Kubiš

Both sides publicly expressed their willingness to engage in dialogue and negotiations on the basis of the Constitution. The UN is ready to assist, if requested. We are confident that the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, just like they banded together to defeat Daesh (the Islamic State group), can work hand in hand to overcome their differences through dialogue and away from confrontation to resolve all outstanding issues in a manner that is consistent with the constitution.feedback

Saadi Pire

I don't imagine this is the right time to prepare voter lists and pick polling stations.feedback

Karza Nabil

We used to go through 1,000 loaves every day. Now, it's only 200.feedback

Ahmed al-Assadi

This unjustified attack against federal forces will not pass without punishment. There will be a response, and the coming days will reveal it.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

I was surprised they were so proud of killing members of the federal forces by deception and treachery. This is Saddam's method. We will finish this issue soon.feedback

Angie Blannin

I'm completely heartbroken. I can't believe he's gone. I was on the phone to Jac only on Sunday and we talked about how he planned to come home for Christmas now Raqqa is liberated. Jac was the longest-standing foreign volunteer in the YPG as far as I know and, as a mother you get used to pushing your fears to the back of your mind. But the longer he was out there the less I worried. Everyone who knew him said he was good at what he did. His Kurdish is fluent. I think he had a lot of guys had a lot of respect for him – the Kurds, the westerners, everyone.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

We don't want to enter into any battle against any Iraqi component. When we entered Kirkuk we sent a clear message that the citizens of Kirkuk are important to us.feedback

Qais al-Khazali

Your forces should get ready to get out of our country once the excuse of Daesh's presence is over.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

Popular Mobilisation fighters should be encouraged because they will be the hope of country and the region.feedback

Rex W. Tillerson

We are concerned and a bit sad. We have friends in Baghdad and friends in Erbil, and we encourage all parties to enter into discussion ... and all differences can be addressed. Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Daesh and ISIS is coming to a close, those militias need to go home.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

The illegal referendum is over, its results invalid and belongs in the past. We call for dialogue based on Iraq's national constitution.feedback

Heather Nauert

In order to avoid any misunderstandings or further clashes, we urge the central government to calm the situation by limiting federal force movements in disputed areas to only those coordinated with the Kurdistan Regional Government.feedback

Stuart Jones

There is no ambiguity on what the U.S. position was on this issue. The United States has been telling the Kurds and telling [Kurdish President] Masoud [Barzani], and telling Masrour [Barzani, his heir apparent] since last spring not to proceed with this because this would be not good for Kurdistan, not good for Iraq, and would play into the hands of the hardliners and the hands of the Iranians. And I think that's what we're seeing.feedback

Ryan Crocker

Disunity is definitely our Achilles heel. Kurdish disunity is our worst enemy. Whatever we think of our opponents and detractors, our disunity is our worst enemy.feedback

Stuart Jones

A: The KRG is not economically viable. B: The political conditions were simply not prepared. We're seeing that. There's a very sharp reaction from Iran. There's a sharp reaction from Turkey. A sharp reaction from Baghdad. So the neighbors weren't prepared for this. They weren't willing to go along. There were a lot of issues that were not resolved.feedback

Ryan Crocker

I do not think we should have taken a position one way or the other on a Kurdish state in northern Iraq: It's for the Kurds and Iraqis to work out. But by injecting ourselves on one side of this ... [the] concern is that we will no longer be seen as an honest broker as we move ahead.feedback

Stuart Jones

We certainly can counter Iran's influence, but we can't negate it. Iran had influences in these places before and will continue to have influence. It has an 800-kilometer border with Iraq, including with the PUK-controlled portion of the KRG in northern Iraq. Conditions in Iraq are vital to Iranian national security. There's no way that Iran is not going to be a player.feedback

Mahmoud Osman

It's the opposite. He thought about the best possible outcome, but not the worst.feedback

Mahmoud Osman

He was definite that it should be done and could be done and it's good and a new situation would arise and they would deal with it. Maybe he thought America would be different, maybe he thought Iran and Turkey would not be as bad. Maybe he got different reports from his advisers. His evaluation of the situation was different.feedback

Agnes Romatet-Espagne

We ask the federal government to show restraint and fully respect the rights of the Kurds.feedback

Stephane Dujarric - United Nations

The U.N. urges the government of Iraq to take every action to halt any violations and ensure that all civilians are protected and that the perpetrators of acts of violence, intimidation and forced displacement of civilians be brought to justice.feedback

Hamid Rashid

Most of the people were just here to watch. They were seeking problems. Just young men who wanted to make problems.feedback

Michael Pregent

I don't think it cares if ISIS pops up here and there as long as it doesn't threaten non-Kurdish areas.feedback

Michael Pregent

I believe Baghdad thinks it's more important to move on the Kurds than to deal with remaining pockets of ISIS in Iraq.feedback

Mevlut Cavusoglu

They thought they would make further gains – they didn't. They thought they would unite the Kurds. On the contrary it has unfortunately divided Kurds in Iraq. There is huge chaos and confusion.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

What right do you have to lay claim on Kirkuk? What history do you have in Kirkuk? What business do you have in Kirkuk?feedback

Suzanne Moore

Without an analysis of the patriarchy, we will remain powerless to change the abuse of women that is present in varying degrees everywhere. Late at night I gaze upon the faces of the women of the YPJ, the Kurdish all-female military organisation, as they unfurl flags in Raqqa. Isis is not entirely gone. Everything is still complicated. But for a moment these women have won. They vanquished the rapists. They have confronted our worst nightmares. They know what they are doing. In interviews these young women tell us that rape is a planned way to destroy a culture and that this is what Isis fighters were doing to the Yazidis. They tell us they scream with happiness when they go into battle because they know that, according to the Isis interpretation of Islam, to be killed by a woman means a fighter won’t go to heaven.feedback

Jennifer Cafarella

It does also seem likely that he was instrumental in forcing the Kurds to step down.feedback

Donald J. Trump

We don't like the fact that they're clashing. We're not taking sides, but we don't like the fact that they're clashing. Let me tell you, we've had for many years a very good relationship with the Kurds, as you know. And we've also been on the side of Iraq, even though we should have never been in there in the first place. We should never have been there. But we're not taking sides in that battle.feedback

Haider Shesho

Unfortunately, again, the forces that were expected to protect the Yazidis left the Yazidis alone without firing a single bullet.feedback

Haider Shesho

We have no problem with the Yazidi force. We would like international intervention. The Yazidis have suffered a lot.feedback

Robert Manning

I'm not going to speculate on that but I will tell you that we're looking at all options for planning considerations ... We encourage dialogue.feedback

Anthony Headrick - CHS Hedging

The supportive Chinese import data from Friday generated a spark in energy markets that continued today.feedback

Anthony Headrick - CHS Hedging

We're seeing increased geopolitical tension in the Middle East providing support in the market today, namely in Iraqi Kurdistan, and some uncertainty around Iran.feedback

Brett McGurk

This is to make sure that after ISIS is cleared, we have conditions in place for people to return to their homes.feedback

Noah Bonsey - International Crisis Group

The (RCC) is still closely linked with YPG/PYD power structures, but they have put more time and effort into emphasising inclusivity than we have seen in some other areas.feedback

Donald J. Trump

With every step (Washington) emboldened Baghdad, Iran and Turkey … each one of them thinking: 'Well, so the Kurds are on their own, we can do whatever we like.feedback

Adil Jaifar
Rebecca Yeo

The world has lost a gentle, kind-hearted and modest man. He will not, and must not, be forgotten.feedback

Ahmad Ali

My name is Kamil Ahmad. I have painted this picture. This is a house, a window … I have always opened this window, looked outside and shut it again. I shut the window and now everywhere is closed for me. It looks like I am in one room and I can't go out.feedback

Ahmad Ali

This is my heart that has been stabbed with a dagger. This is my blood coming down. Someone [at] the Home Office did to me this. And I am bleeding still and no one can stop it. That is all.feedback

Ahmad Ali

Kamil was a much-loved brother, uncle and cousin. If he had been protected by the authorities, he would be alive today. Why was he not protected? We must have an answer to that question.feedback

Alex Raikes

Barry clearly had mental health issues and was racist. Kamil was scared of him. But measures weren't put in place to safeguard him. It's clear there was a real lack of coordination between the main agencies in this case. As in the Bijan Ebrahimi case the agencies did not listen to Kamil's voice and nor did they take race hate seriously enough.feedback

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman

How can you not take sides? This is Iranian-backed militia, using American weapons, to attack an ally of the United States. I'm bewildered by the U.S. government position. Not just President Trump's statement, but statements from the [Defense Department] and others, trying to downplay what's been happening in Kirkuk.feedback

David Ignatius

In this week’s crisis over Kirkuk, Iraqi Kurds are experiencing a painful version of Newton’s Third Law: In Middle East politics, as in physics, every action creates an equal and opposite reaction.feedback

Renad Mansour - Chatham House

But what's happened recently is the U.S. has decided that they want to play with [Iraqi Prime Minister] Haider al-Abadi instead–and that he is their number-one guy–because he presents himself as ... being willing or wanting to minimize Iranian influence, as well as to build up the Iraqi state. The problem for the Kurds is that they need diplomacy. Without any sort of diplomatic lifeline, without any sort of ally, they can only lose. It's a matter of their survival.feedback

Haider al Abadi

We assure our people in Kurdistan and in Kirkuk in particular that we are keen on their safety and best interest. We have only acted to fulfill our constitutional duty to extend the federal authority and impose security and protect the national wealth in this city, which we want to remain a city of peaceful coexistence for all Iraqis.feedback

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon - NATO

The greatest evil everywhere is Isil and the greatest threat to the UK is Isil. It's the defeat of Islamic State that is key and the trouble is people in Iraq believe that the fight against Isil is over and it's focused in Raqqa and Syria. But there are still pockets in Iraq and anything that deflects from that could have a global impact.feedback

Kawa Mustafa Mohamed

I don't know where I'm going now but my father was killed by the Iraqis and I don't want that to happen to my family. I want to keep my daughters and wife safe.feedback

Baran Abdullah

I'm going to stay to the end. Our leaders sold us out, they sold Kirkuk and they sold the martyrs.feedback

John Kilduff - Again Capital

It's an unfortunate turn of events. It seems that now that the Islamic State has been vanquished – their common enemy – [Iraq and the Kurds are] turning their sights back on each other in what is really a historic battle or standoff.feedback

Stephen Brennock

The return of a geopolitical risk premium could usher in a sustained bout of price strength just as OPEC dithers over whether to prolong supply cuts.feedback

John Kilduff - Again Capital

Just as the battle against ISIS seems to be finally ending, there is a new theater of battle emerging in Northern Iraq.feedback

John Kilduff - Again Capital

Oil prices could spike a lot higher on this development because this time is different, after years of war in the region. The battle, finally, is for the oil, and no other reason. In other words, here we go.feedback

Carsten Fritsch - Commerzbank

The escalation in Northern Iraq is the main driver. Oil supply from this region is at risk.feedback

Mohammad Tofiq Rahim

Tonight at 12 o'clock if they don't reach an agreement between Peshmerga and the Hashed (PMF) it will be very disastrous.feedback

Abdullah al-Salihy

Everybody here carries their weapons home with them at night.feedback

Kamal Karkokly

This is a very dangerous situation. If they try to attack, the result will be bad for them and for us, and for the whole region.feedback

Hatim al-Asi

We prefer to solve this by negotiations, but if we are forced to fight, we will.feedback

Ibrahim al Idlibi - Free Syrian Army

Nearly 200 troops are now stationed in areas that separate territory under control of Kurdish groups and opposition groups.feedback

Rex W. Tillerson

The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq.feedback

Bassam Mahmoud

In every scenario, we are the ones who will be suffering. People built entire lives here over generations and overnight lost everything. It's back to zero, and we expect this will happen again.feedback

Ivan Abdulla

It was such a miserable moment. We left loved ones not knowing if we'll ever see them again.feedback

Bassam Mahmoud

This is my home. This is the home of my grandfathers and their grandfathers. We are Iraqis, but we belong only here. It doesn't matter whether you vote yes or no. No one knows where these ballot boxes are going.feedback

Ivan Abdulla

You can't think long-term in this country. Whatever plans you set, something happens. Things get ruined.feedback

Akram Mansour

Our future is a mystery. We're between the hammer of the Kurdish government and the hammer of the federal government.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

We don't want any aggression or confrontations but the federal authority must be imposed in the disputed areas. I call on the peshmerga to remain an integral part of the Iraqi forces under the authority of the federal authorities, to guarantee the security of citizens so that we can rebuild these zones. We respect the aspirations of all citizens, including the Kurds, I respect those aspirations, but we must work together. We are in one country.feedback

Emmanuel Macron

We plead for the recognition of the Kurds' rights within the constitution. There is a way, a way of respecting peoples' rights, political inclusion but also that allows the preservation of the established constitutional frame, stability and the territorial integrity of Iraq.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

This constitution brings together all Iraqis. Our fellow citizens who are Kurds also voted for this constitution. Separatism does not figure in this constitution and it is not acceptable.feedback

Ayatollah Khamenei

The Iraqi Kurdish secession vote is an act of betrayal toward the entire region and a threat to its future.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

There is not a single country that recognises them aside from Israel and any decision taken with MOSSAD sitting by them at a table can not be legitimate and this is illegitimate. Turkey, Iran and Iraq have no choice but to take serious and necessary measures to protect their strategic goals in the region.feedback

Hassan Rouhani

People of Iraqi Kurdistan are our good neighbors and we do not want to put pressure on them. However, the secession leaders of Kurdistan need to reconsider their decisions.feedback

Hassan Rouhani

During our meeting today, we agreed to widen our economic ties ...Turkey will import more gas from Iran ...meetings will be held next week to discuss the details.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

We have already said we don't recognise the referendum in northern Iraq... We have taken some measures already with Iran and the Iraqi central government, but stronger steps will be taken. There is no country other than Israel that recognises it. A referendum which was conducted by sitting side by side with Mossad has no legitimacy.feedback

Ayatollah Khamenei

America and Israel benefit from the vote ... America and foreign powers are unreliable and seek to create a new Israel in the region.feedback

Ryan Crocker

And you can be sure that if Kurdistan declares independence Iran will attack, Turkey will attack, Syria will attack–and Iraq will not accept it. We cannot resist all these countries. He was keenly aware that while there could be some debate on what the worst of times was in the modern period–because there Kurds in Iraq had an awful lot of bad times–there was no question in his mind that the post-'03 situation was the best of times for the Kurds–and he wouldn't take action that would jeopardize it.feedback

Ben Van Heuvelen

Talabani had such a larger than life persona, both privately, among other members of the political class, and publicly, beloved in Kurdistan, that he was in some ways immune to those concerns. In a situation like this, when you have Kurdish nationalism and Arab nationalism clashing ... he's a figure who would have been able to moderate the tense climate without sacrificing his own political stance.feedback

Katy Collin

As unlikely as it as that Catalonia could get concessions from Madrid that it's looking for–or that it did look for in 2012 and 2010 and 2006–it's better to negotiate, which is what the Kurds are doing in Iraq. But the Catalans have said the opposite, that 'We tried to negotiate and got shut down and now we're going to declare our independence.feedback

Hoshyar Zebari

So far it's within the limits of what we predicted. It is not risk-free but we are prepared for the consequences.feedback

Hoshyar Zebari

We held this vote because we lost faith, we were fighting a rear-guard position for a lost country. But it doesn't follow automatically that we will declare a state the day after. The conditions and requirements of state-building are much harder than having a vote on the 25th of September. It will not happen overnight.feedback

Nihat Zeybekci

We're talking about a $8-9 billion trade and the interests of Turkey.feedback

Randa Slim

While Sistani has made it politically safe for Abadi to engage in a dialogue with Erbil, he has also set the secession of Iraqi Kurdistan as a red line that Baghdad cannot cross.feedback

Ali al-Alaq

This is a long-term strategy. In the end, the revenues will come and Mr. Barzani will be left with nothing and his dreams will collapse.feedback

Asli Aydintasbas

A forever fight with Kurds everywhere all the time will rattle Turkey in more ways than one.feedback

James Williams

The big short-term risk is obviously the pipeline. So far Turkey hasn't closed the Kurdish pipeline.feedback

Vahal Ali

We are hopeful that these are all temporary measures. We want this to be a peaceful transition, but if Baghdad decides not, there is a lot we can also do. President Barzani was obligated to conduct the referendum and now is obligated to respond to that result. We've repeatedly said we can negotiate, but that has to be on the question of independence.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

They are not forming an independent state, they are opening a wound in the region to twist the knife in. To ignore this reality benefits neither us, nor our Kurdish brothers in Iraq. We don't regret what we did in the past. But since the conditions are changed and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), to which we provided all support, took steps against us, it would pay the price.feedback

Bin Yildirim

From now on, our relationships with the region will be conducted with the central government, Baghdad. As Iran, Iraq and Turkey, we work to ensure the games being played in the region will fail.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The [Iraqi Kurdish independence] referendum has no legitimacy in terms of Iraqi constitution and international laws. Unfortunately the regional government made a big mistake by holding the referendum. It's very important that the international community takes a stance supporting Iraqi territorial integrity and political unity.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

With its independence initiative, the northern Iraq regional government has thrown itself into the fire.feedback

Jeffrey Halley

(There is) an increasingly positive view from the supply side, with potential Kurdish production disruption, and a plethora of energy agencies suggesting global demand is increasing. The technical picture still looks positive for both contracts with the consolidation and gentle pull-backs thus far suggesting oil is pausing for breath at these levels.feedback

Amjed Rasheed

This week’s overwhelming referendum result shows that it’s time to end this forced marriage to post-Saddam Iraq. Despite the huge international pressure to postpone or cancel the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, it went ahead and 92% voted yes, with a 72% turnout. We Kurds are the largest “nationality” in the world without our own nation – and we were not going to be deterred from having our say.feedback

Ali al Sistani

Any individual steps toward division and separation and the attempt of making this thing reality will lead to internal and external reaction and bad consequences that would damage our dear Kurdish citizens in the first place and maybe lead to what is more dangerous than that, God forbid, and will give way for many regional and international sides to intervene in Iraqi affairs. The list is very long. There's a lot we can do, if we're talking about that. We could cut off communications. We can also close the Erbil International Airport to domestic flights, to Baghdad and Najaf.feedback

Isidoro Junior

We were supposed to go back to Brazil next Saturday but we rescheduled our flight because of the border closing. We are a group of 16 people, so it was quite difficult to find enough seats. One of us came here at 2 am to make sure... we would be able to fly out.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

We are not ready to discuss or have a dialogue about the results of the referendum, because it is unconstitutional.feedback

Khaled Salih

It would be much safer for Kurdistan to have recognition of Iraq first, which would also make becoming part of the international community much easier. Without that we have to fight first to separate, and then to fight again to get recognition. Just look at Kosovo.feedback

Maria Fantappie - The International Crisis Group

The referendum has developed into something that truly united the Kurdish people. This was unexpected even for those who had called for it because of domestic political considerations. Kurdistan will suffer the consequences of the referendum, but the leaders who called for it will be able to leverage these challenges…They can use this to refresh their political legitimacy.feedback

Tamas Varga

Profit taking and the fact that Kurdish oil exports seem unaffected by the referendum pushed crude lower. But I think the market will strengthen again. Kurdistan and Northern Iraq now export 500,000-550,000 barrels per day (bpd). That would be a big loss to the market.feedback

Sarah Sanders

We hope for a unified Iraq to annihilate ISIS (Islamic State) and certainly a unified Iraq to push back on Iran.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

[They] will be left in the lurch when we start imposing our sanctions. It will be over when we close the oil taps, all [their] revenues will vanish, and they will not be able to find food when our trucks stop going to northern Iraq.feedback

Ahmed al-Asadi

We will not allow the division of Iraq. Those who held the referendum and divided Iraq, those are our targets.feedback

Fawza Youssef

The reality in Syria and Iraq is not the same. If there will be exclusion of the Kurdish people, stripping them of political and cultural rights...of course with time this would lead to secession.feedback

Can Atas

Mehmet grew up with stories about revolutionary Kurds. His uncle was a big inspiration to him.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

If Israel does not reconsider its support for Kurdish independence, Turkey could not take any steps. Those trying to establish new states in Iraq and Syria should not be surprised when they are tossed aside by those who use them. This referendum decision, which has been taken without any consultation, is treachery.feedback

Koon Chow

Even if they do deliver on the threat to blockade oil exports from the Kurdish region that will have more of an impact on the Kurdish region and Iraq than on the Turkish economy. Turkey can always get their oil elsewhere.feedback

Shakil Begg - Thomson Reuters

According to our trade flows research, exports of Kurdish crude have ramped up in the last few months, reaching multi-year highs of 520,000 bpd in August.feedback

Bilal Wahab

Oil is the main source of revenue in the region and all of that falls into the government's coffers. So that's it–the KRG's economy depends on one pipeline that sells oil to international markets and the pipeline goes through Turkey. You shut down that pipeline, you choke the Kurdish economy.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

If [KRG President Masoud] Barzani and the Kurdish Regional Government do not go back on this mistake as soon as possible, they will go down in history with the shame of having dragged the region into an ethnic and sectarian war.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Until the very last moment, we weren't expecting Barzani to make such a mistake as holding the referendum; apparently we were wrong. This referendum decision, which has been taken without any consultation, is treachery.feedback

Amer Abdullah

Everything is imported. If the borders are closed, in one month everything would be finished.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The moment that [Turkish] trucks do not work in northern Iraq, they [Kurds] will not be able to find food and clothes.feedback

Shukr Ali

We are worried. You don't know what will happen tomorrow.feedback

Boris Johnson

The priority must remain the defeat of Daesh and returning stability to liberated areas.feedback

Bayan Sami Adbul Rahman - Kurdistan Regional Government

Changes happened also about 100 years ago, and the Kurds were bystanders. We are not going to be bystanders again.feedback

Michael Stephens

Democratic Western states would hardly want to be seen as standing against the collective will of millions of people who had voted for separation from Iraq. But neither do they wish to be the main architects of a permanent rupture in a fragmented region.feedback

David Pollock

Outsiders will have little choice but to deal with the aftermath in a pragmatic fashion. As one senior Kurdish official put it privately... this week, We hope that wisdom will prevail.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Our military is not (at the border) for nothing. We could arrive suddenly one night. After this, let's see through which channels the northern Iraqi regional government will send its oil, or where it will sell it. We have the tap. The moment we close the tap, then it's done.feedback

Hashim al-Mouasawi

We as Popular Mobilisation would be fully prepared to carry out orders from Abadi if he asks to liberate Kirkuk and the oilfields from the separatist militias.feedback

Ali Ozcan

Closing the border gate, cancelling international flights and, at the final step, cutting the pipeline can be discussed. Military pressure can be used directly or indirectly.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

We will continue to take determined steps and the Kurdistan Regional Government must take a step back. It is an absolute must.feedback

Binali Yildirim

Our energy, interior and customs ministries are working on [measures]. We are evaluating steps regarding border gates and air space. We will take these steps quickly.feedback

Maruf Ari

If the border is closed it will harm all of us. I'm doing this job for 20 years. I'm not making a lot of money. Around 1,000 lira ($285) a month. But if the gate is closed, we will go hungry.feedback

Nechirvan Barzani

The referendum does not mean independence will happen tomorrow, nor are we redrawing borders. If the 'Yes' vote wins, we will resolve our issues with Baghdad peacefully.feedback

Sammi Hawrani

This is a political vote, not a popular vote. Holding it now, when things are so unsettled, is only asking for trouble.feedback

Khalil Hassan

I voted for Kurdistan because the Shiites, the Iraqi government, destroyed our homes and had no mercy for anyone. No one has ever insulted me here. We support Masoud Barzani with our voices and our blood.feedback

Bashar Warda

Voting is such a peaceful event. In the Middle East, usually when a group wants to gain something, it is through violence. As a church, we will support a peaceful, mutual dialogue.feedback

Suad Pirot

I feel so great and happy, I feel we'll be free. Nobody will rule us, we will be independent.feedback

Tahsin Karim

Today we came here to vote in the referendum for the independence of Kurdistan. We hope that we can achieve independence.feedback

Tariq al-Zubaydi

The country is going through a difficult period, this requires a coming together of our efforts, he said.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

After this let's see through which channels they will send their oil through... and who they will sell to. The valve is with us. It's finished the moment we close it. In Iraq, when necessary, we will not shy away from taking these types of steps. We are taking and will take all the steps on political, economic, trade and security fronts. The armed forces did not take necessary steps in Silopi for no reason. There is no compromise.feedback

Saleh Mohammed

We have a language. We have a history. We have a geography. And we have suffered. For 100 years since [the] Sykes-Picot [agreement], successive [Iraqi] governments have hit us. There have been wars and uprisings, and after every uprising, negotiations and agreements that were never implemented.feedback

Kaldo Oghanna

The Kurdistan Regional Government's anthem and the flag are Kurdish at the expense of others. It fails to reflect all ethnic groups.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

The referendum is unconstitutional. It threatens Iraq, peaceful coexistence among Iraqis and is a danger to the region … We will take measures to safeguard the nation's unity and protect all Iraqis.feedback

Nora Burke

Carrick-on-Shannon was not prepared. They just arrived and some in Carrick thought: 'God, who are these people? Where did they come from? What are they here for?feedback

Jabar Azizi

My age group, it was really, really difficult for us. Even though I was in Ireland, my mind was somewhere else.feedback

Jabar Azizi

They respected us and our religion. They respected the way we wanted to live.feedback

Conor McGregor

I am happy with this small business. I feel like home here.feedback

Massoud Barzani

From now on, Kurdistan will be a neighbor of Iraq, but not part of it.feedback

Rashid Ali

When I voted, I didn't think for one second of Turkey or Iran and their threats – I'm not worried about them.feedback

Nuri Kaka Khan

That's the problem with our people. Their mind is in their eyes. They think what they see. They think this is a project made by Barzani. But it is not the Barzani family's fault. It is not a political project. It is bigger than that.feedback

Nuri Kaka Khan

It's the first time in history that the Kurds are determining their own fate. This has to be based on more than personalities. What's important is that we put all our differences aside and offer our votes for the support of the nation.feedback

Nuri Kaka Khan

It has been more than a century that we have been oppressed on our own lands, as have our people elsewhere in the region.feedback

Jalal Talabani

It's the first time in our history that the Kurds have decided on something of their own. We are like the Scottish people. The people in Sulaimaniya are more cultured and intellectual. They are more tribal in Erbil. They are taking it easy here. My personal opinion is that I don't feel comfortable with one family leading the Kurds. I would like someone different, like a professor. Gorran was a really good model. But it needs more time to develop. It is too early.feedback

Zeynep Kaya

So pushing for independence and this idea of national unity helps Barzani gain some credibility because he has always been at the forefront of Kurdish independence – his family has been fighting for it for more than a century.feedback

Zeynep Kaya

Kurds believe they are worse off as part of Iraq because the Iraqi army has not been able to protect the Kurds and the Yazidis.feedback

Massoud Barzani

We had a hope our relationship with Baghdad would improve, based on pluralism and democracy. But it didn't take us long to realise that while the faces of the politicians changed, their mentality was the same. We cannot wait another year, they will not change their mind, it will only strengthen their position.feedback

Ahmed Rasol

Our course we want our own country, to stand on our own, but I am scared about how our neighbours will respond.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

New crises in the region, such as bids for independence, could spark new conflicts and must therefore be avoided at all costs ... We urge Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government to abort the steps they have taken in that direction.feedback

Sinan Ülgen

Turkey can, in the long run, position itself as a major beneficiary of this situation.feedback

Shaswar Qadir

This unrecognized and untrusted referendum will not help us.feedback

Shaswar Qadir

I don't want to die as a businessman. I want to leave something that stays for a long time for my people. I have a cause and I am fighting for it.feedback

Mahmoud Othman

The circumstances are not ready for us to have independence, internally or internationally. This is a gamble.feedback

Mohammed Mahdi al-Bayati

We will not let them approach the Turkmen areas. They want to seize the disputed territories, but we will not let them.feedback

Mahdi Ahmed Hamza

It's like you are a bird in a cage that has food brought to it. But only when you are able to fly away do you discover that you are able to feed yourself.feedback

Heather Nauert

The United States strongly opposes the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government's referendum on independence. The costs of proceeding with the referendum are high for all Iraqis, including Kurds. Already the referendum has negatively affected ... coordination to dislodge ISIS from its remaining areas of control in Iraq.feedback

Abdulrazaq Khudur

People in Kurdistan struggled with the kingdom of Iraq, the Ba'ath regime and now with this government in Baghdad. It is the right time for the referendum now, because the international community and the west now know about Kurdistan, whereas before no one knew how to find it on a map. We can't have another Sykes-Picot to promise us something and do a different thing next morning.feedback

Ayad Jibrael

Kirkuk is the city of Kurds and Turkmens and Mulla Mustafa Barzani had to go to war in 1974. People in Erbil have lived together. People in Kurdistan don't differentiate between Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs. We have lived in peace together since I remember. Now it is our natural right to ask for independent Kurdistan.feedback

Mohammed Hassan

We were very surprised by this. Everyone was. We never thought that the US and Britain would be so hostile.feedback

Marc Pierini

They consider the coalition led by the United States, and which includes almost the whole of Europe, has a debt with them.feedback

Marc Pierini

I don't believe that this translates into explicit support for independence, but rather diplomatic support for finding a solution.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Without any further delay, we are going to discuss in detail what kind of sanctions should be imposed. It is not right for me to unveil them right now but at National Security Council and cabinet meetings we will discuss when these sanctions will be imposed and what the road map will be.feedback

Karima Attiyah

We have always lived peacefully and don't want problems. I don't support the referendum.feedback

Zamir Shemtov

The young man answered, I am Masoud Barzani, son of Mullah Barzani, and if Mullah would hear that I took a watch, he would hang me! Instead, all I ask as thanks is that you remember us well in the future.feedback

Tzuri Sagi

Sometimes I would tease the Kurds, and say negative things about Israel. It always made them angry. They'd say that Israelis and the Jews are the best in the region.feedback

Massoud Barzani

From world war one until now, we are not a part of Iraq. In 2015 I told President [Barack] Obama ... that the partnership with Iraq had failed. At the time we agreed to concentrate on the fight against Isis, so we left it at that.feedback

Massoud Barzani

Baghdad must come forward with a concept on how we can negotiate, being two good neighbours, within a timeframe.feedback

Massoud Barzani

There are so many of us who have fallen and given their souls for this fight.feedback

Massoud Barzani

Why would we enter into an open agenda, not knowing the alternative? We are not going to do that. It would need a real agenda, with a specific timeframe and the supervision of Unami [UN assistance mission in Iraq].feedback

Massoud Barzani

This would be a nation state, not built on one ethnic group. It would be based on citizenship.feedback

Massoud Barzani

Is it a crime to ask our people to express themselves over what they want for the future? It was surprising to see the reaction from the international community. Where is your democracy now? Where are the UN charters? Where is the respect for freedom of expression? After the big sacrifice of the Peshmerga and breaking the myth of Isis, we thought they would respect this right.feedback

Alan M. Noory

This is not a real referendum. It's an insult to the democracy we deserve.feedback

Rabbon Marof

We're not a democratic state – we're a tribal state, and we're not ready for independence.feedback

Sergey Lavrov

We are interested that the Kurdish people like any other nation on the planet can fulfill its hopes and aspirations. We start from the fact that the legitimate aspirations of the Kurds, like other peoples, need to be fulfilled within the framework of existing international legal norms. This time, he said that Russia understands the ambitions of Kurdish people for independence. And even though he added that it needed to be done carefully, it was a big signal.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Steps such as demands for independence that can cause new crises and conflicts in the region must be avoided. We hereby call on the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government to abort the initiative they have launched in that direction. Ignoring the clear and determined stance of Turkey on this matter may lead to a process that shall deprive the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government of even the opportunities it currently enjoys.feedback

Jason Maloni

If his work requires registration with FARA, Mr. Manafort will comply with the law.feedback

Mikhail Leontev - Rosneft

Holding the referendum will not affect our work. We are doing business in an autonomous region in Iraq that has been recognised by law. This place is run by Iraqi Kurdistan's nation and it is the people of Iraqi Kurdistan who live there. That is why we don't think we are embarking on an adventure.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

If you challenge the constitution and if you challenge the borders of Iraq and the borders of the region, this is a public invitation to the countries in the region to violate Iraqi borders as well, which is a very dangerous escalation.feedback

Haider al-Sufi

In case Kurdistan's authorities do not respond to the court decision, the Iraqi government and Prime Minister Abadi have wider authorities to deal with the situation. And the prime minister will be able to adopt any decision he sees suitable as prime minister and as commander-in-chief.feedback

Ali Shamkhani

Any damage to this strategic principle (of Iraq's unity) would lead to the revision of and serious alteration in the existing cooperation between Iran and Iraq's Kurdistan region.feedback

Michael Fallon

I will be this afternoon in Erbil to tell Massoud Barzani that we do not support the Kurdish referendum. We are committed to the integrity of Iraq. We are working with the UN on alternatives to this referendum.feedback

Binali Yildirim

Those who are looking forward to their dreams of having an artificial state in Syria and Iraq should be well aware that any attempt that threatens our national security from inside and outside the country will be responded to immediately.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

If [Iraq's Kurds] want to go along that road, they should work toward amending the constitution. In that case we have to go all the way through Parliament and a referendum to the whole Iraqi people. For them to call for only the Kurds to vote, I think this is a hostile move toward the whole of the Iraqi population.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

If they are threatened by the use of force outside the law, then we will intervene militarily.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

We are going to discuss it during the (UN) National Security council meeting which we moved forward from (September) 27th to the 22nd. We are going to hold a cabinet meeting on the same day. Our stance will be discussed and the decision will be made. Thus Turkey will announce its ultimate position (on the referendum). This will also be an item on the agenda during my meeting with (US President) Trump.feedback

Haider al-Abadi

It will make it harder and more difficult. I will never close the door to negotiations. Negotiations are always possible.feedback

Benjamin Netanyahu

While Israel opposes terrorism as a whole, it supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve their own state.feedback

Muna Qahwachi

We refuse to accept the Iraqi Parliament's decision, which was unlawful.feedback

Omed Khoshnaw

We've been waiting more than 100 years for this. There is no other way to guarantee that genocide will never be repeated.feedback

Renad Mansour - Chatham House

The relationship between Baghdad and Erbil is the biggest challenge to oil, with the Kurds using this upcoming referendum as a bargaining chip. Do I foresee all out conflict? Probably not. The referendum is a bit of a bluff in that sense because the Kurds need the U.S. and the U.K. and a conflict would mean losing this lifeline. I wouldn't rule out skirmishes but an all-out war is in no-ones best interests.feedback

Saddam Hussein

I cannot talk in front of the Kurds. They are my brothers, but they will be upset. To be honest, we cannot talk about politics.feedback

Peter W. Galbraith

The final destination is clear – it is independence. By announcing the date of the referendum, it can't be pulled back.feedback

Rakan Saeed al-Jibouri

For the Kurds to decide on their own the fate of the city is a mistake.feedback

Kamal Chomani

There are so many political, social, economic and legal issues in Kurdistan that we must solve. The Kurds don't want to see a short-lived Kurdistan.feedback

Tim Ramadan

They took several families today, we do not know if they have killed them yet. They set up checkpoints in the al-Murour neighbourhood in the south of Raqqa and were waving Kurdish flags. The families thought they had reached safety but then realised they had been fooled.feedback

Joe Dunford

We have done everything we can to address Turkish concerns, and I personally have made on the order of nine visits to Turkey to speak with my counterpart there. The Turks have indicated publicly that they don't like the fact that we armed the [largely Kurdish] Syrian Democratic Forces, so this issue has been a challenge and an irritant in U.S.-Turkish relations, there is no doubt about that.feedback

Asli Aydintasbas

There's no great wall between Kurds in Syria and Kurds in Turkey. They are part of the same problem for Turkey and need to be dealt with accordingly.feedback

James Mattis - US Marine Corps

Our point right now is to stay focused like a laser beam on the defeat of ISIS and to let nothing distract us.feedback

Rex W. Tillerson

ISIS (Daesh) has and continues to target members of multiple religions and ethnicities for rape, kidnapping, enslavement and death. ISIS is clearly responsible for genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims in areas it controlled. ISIS is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups, and in some cases against Sunni Muslims, Kurds and other minorities. The protection of these groups – and others who are targets of violent extremism – remains a human-rights priority for the Trump administration.feedback

Abi Hewitt

And they were all like, Yes, I'm in.' The Kurdish women said their grandmothers were weavers, and they were proud to learn. These are capable people. These are people who had worked before, they want to work.feedback

Faisal Mekdad

We believe that in the north of Syria we have Syrian citizens who will not endanger the situation in the country or move ahead to any manifestation of dividing Syria. Those who will move in those directions know what price they have to pay.feedback

Faisal Mekdad

[The elections] will be a joke. Syria will never ever allow any part of its territory to be separated.feedback

Mira Rojkan

It was just awful. They said someone had sent them an email saying we were terrorists about to do something in Turkey. They wouldn't say who it was from. It is absolute nonsense. They arrested us on the beach while we were vacationing with my mother.feedback

Osman Baydemir

Fascism can only be stopped through a democratic battle. This is what we're saying. We will be here for seven days, 24 hours a day. No violence, no animosity, we are just shouting that we have not given in to fascism.feedback

Osman Baydemir

The blockade at this park is a sign of the real situation in Turkey... A political party that got 70 percent of votes (in Diyarbakir) cannot carry out its group meeting in the park.feedback

Robert Grodt

My reason for joining the Y.P.G. was to help the Kurdish people in their struggle for autonomy.feedback

Mahir Zeynalov

Beating up protesters in Washington, his position on the Qatar crisis, reluctance to work with Syrian Kurds in the fight against ISIS only pushed for his isolation in the world. Turkey is not an international pariah yet, but it sure is on its way to be.feedback

Numan Kurtulmus

These (Turkish) preparations have reached level of a declaration of war and could lead to the outbreak of actual clashes in the coming days. We will not stand idly by against this potential aggression. This is not a declaration of war. We are making preparations against potential threats. Their (YPG) primary goal is a threat to Turkey, and if Turkey sees a YPG movement in northern Syria that is a threat to it, it will retaliate in kind.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

I want the entire world to know that in northern Syria, on our border, we are never going to allow a terrorist state to be established. If there is a threat against us, our troops will conduct any operations with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on the ground.feedback

Galip Ensarioglu

It was the P.K.K. that said they were done with the peace process.feedback

Galip Ensarioglu

There might be some people who were purged because they were considered dangerous – or people who were doing political activities under the name of cultural activities – but never, ever have cultural activities been stopped.feedback

Huseyin Aksoy

When's it's finished, the old atmosphere of Sur will return again.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Those so-called friends don't see any issue walking along with terror organisations who want to divide Turkey.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Those who think that they can fool Turkey by saying that they will get those weapons back will eventually understand the vital mistake they made, but it will be too late.feedback

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

All of these moves are against Nato. In this case, the Nato treaty should be revised. We will call to account the real owners of those weapons for every drop of blood they shed with those weapons.feedback

Talal Selo

They were bombing our positions. They attacked us three times very deliberately. They think that advancing against Isis from the south of the city should be their role.feedback

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