Tag Archives: Kurdistan

Kurdish Referendum: Legitimacy and Policy Implications


On Monday, September 25, 2017 Iraqi Kurds voted on a referendum for independence, and on Wednesday results came in with an overwhelming approval (92.73% as Wikipedia cited a KHEC URL which cannot be accessed from the United States) of an independent Iraqi Kurdistan. While Kurds in Iraq were cheering, the central government in the Iraqi capital Baghdad had already expressed its disapproval of the referendum, mainly on constitutional grounds, while Iraq’s neighbors – Iran and Turkey – who also have Kurdish minorities – over fear that their Kurdish minority populations will demand independence as well, did not approve of the referendum either. Syria, the other country with Kurdish minority in the Middle East, was also opposed to the referendum on the grounds that it is a unilateral action – and understandably so, since Kurdish leaders in Syria were quoted by Reuters as saying that the referendum could “bolster their cause for autonomy in negotiations with the Damascus government”. Continue reading

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