ankara - Turkey seizes military forces in northern Iraq if the Iraqi-Turkish minority is threatened. Here, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevult Cavusoglu, threatened Monday.
Most Iraqi Turks live in and around Kirkuk, nearly 250 kilometers north of Baghdad. Kurdish warriors took the city in 2014. Then the Iraqi troops returned there, during the march of the Sunni extremists of Islamic State.
The Kurdish regional government is holding a referendum on Monday to become independent of Iraqi Kurdistan. It is expected that the 'yes' camp can count on around 90 percent of the votes.
The Turkish government has again made clear in a series of threats these days, finding a separate Kurdish state in northern Iraq unacceptable.
The Iraqi Turks or Turkmen Iraqis constitute almost 10 percent of the population of over 37 million people in Iraq. It is the largest minority in the country after the Kurds (13.5 percent of the population). The Iraqi Turks are descendants of people who came to Kirkuk during the Ottoman Empire from today's Turkey.