Iraqi Turkmen to take ‘unconstitutional’ Kirkuk referendum decision to court

Representatives of Iraqi Turkmen in the Provincial Council of Kirkuk are going to address the state’s Constitutional Court with regard to the council’s decision to hold a referendum on joining the Kurdistan Regional Government, Vice President of Iraqi Turkmen Front and Lawmaker Hasan Turan said Thursday.

The Provincial Council of the predominantly Kurdish-inhabited Kirkuk region on Tuesday decided to conduct a referendum to determine whether or not it would become governed by Iraqi Kurdistan in a vote boycotted by Arab and Turkmen members.

“As representatives of Turkmen in Iraqi Parliament in the Council of Kirkuk province we have initiated the process of filing a complaint on the referendum,” Turan told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

Turan noted that the Turkmen expected Baghdad to make a similar move, as the decision of the local authorities was unconstitutional.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Turkey condemned the Kirkuk authorities’ decision to hold the referendum.

Kirkuk is a Kurdish-majority region that was designated as a disputed area by Iraq’s 2003 constitution. A referendum on whether the Kirkuk province should become part of Iraqi Kurdistan was initially scheduled for November 2007 but has been delayed repeatedly due to the political crisis in Iraq.