Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Iraqi Kurds against interfering in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.

Mr. Erdogan said Monday in Ankara that Iraqi Kurds will, in his words, pay a heavy price if they interfere in southeastern Turkey.

The Turkish prime minister was reacting to comments Saturday by Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani.

Barzani said Iraqi Kurds could intervene in Kurdish-majority cities in Turkey if Ankara intervened in mainly-Kurdish northern Iraq.

Mr. Erdogan said Barzani "overstepped the line" and said Iraqi Kurds could be "crushed" under their own words.

Turkey is battling a Kurdish insurgency in the southeastern region. More than 37,000 people have been killed in the fighting since 1984.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.