Turkey: Iraq's Kurds will pay 'price' for independence vote

In this Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 photo, an elderly man sits in the center of Irbil near a campaign poster urging people to vote yes in the upcoming poll on independence from Iraq. Despite calls from Baghdad and the United States to postpone the vote, The Associated Press
In this Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 photo, an elderly man sits in the center of Irbil near a campaign poster urging people to vote yes in the upcoming poll on independence from Iraq. Despite calls from Baghdad and the United States to postpone the vote, Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region is pressing ahead with plans to hold a referendum on independence September 25. Some officials within Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government describe the vote as a step in pursuit of self-determination, but the lead up to the planned referendum has highlighted the region’s lingering divisions and economic deficiencies.(AP Photo/Balint Szlanko)

Turkey has warned Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region that "there will most certainly be a price to pay" for its insistence on holding an independence referendum later this month.

A Foreign Ministry statement released Thursday also welcomed an Iraqi parliament vote that rejected the Sept. 25 referendum as unconstitutional.

The statement said: "The (Kurdish region) should be aware that there will most certainly be a price to pay for insisting on its approach for a referendum despite all our friendly recommendations." The statement did not elaborate.

It described the Iraqi Kurdish leadership's "increasingly emotional statements" in favor of independence as "alarming."

Turkey, which has a large Kurdish population and is battling Kurdish insurgents, has forged close ties to Iraq's autonomous region but opposes an independent Kurdish state.