Ankara: Turkey will gradually close border gates with northern Iraq in coordination with the central Iragi government and Iran, in response to an independence referendum in Iraq’s Kurdish region, Ebrahim Kalin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said on Thursday.

Turkish Prime Minister Bin Ali Yildirim is expected to visit Baghdad on Sunday to meet with Iraqi counterpart Haider Al Abadi.

Erdogan visited Iran earlier this month in a sign of warming ties between the two neighbours who support rival camps in Syria but both strongly oppose the Iraqi Kurdish vote for independence.

The two governments fear the secession of Iraq’s Kurds would stoke separatist sentiment among their own large Kurdish minorities and are eager to work together with the federal government in Baghdad to block it.