Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed Saturday that Israel's Mossad intelligence agency played a role in Iraqi Kurdistan's independence vote—allegedly proved by the waving of Israeli flags during celebrations for the "yes" victory.
Ankara fiercely opposed the referendum and has threatened sanctions against the region, reflecting its worries about its own sizeable Kurdish minority.
In a televised speech, Erdogan said Turkey had been saddened to see some Iraqi Kurds acclaiming the referendum outcome with Israeli flags.
"This shows one thing, that this administration (in northern Iraq) has a history with Mossad, they are hand-in-hand together," Erdogan said in Erzurum, in eastern Turkey.
Iran and Iraq's central government in Baghdad have also have expressed alarm over the referendum and have refused to recognize its validity.
Israel has been the only country to openly support an independent Kurdish state, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backing "the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own."
Erdogan has derided the Israeli support.
"Are you aware of what you are doing?" Erdogan said in an appeal to Iraqi Kurdish leaders. "Only Israel supports you."