Can northern Iraq be independent? - HASAN ÖZTÜRK

Can northern Iraq be independent?

Turkish brand products represent quality in Irbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The enterprises in shopping malls are Turkish brands. The number of Kurds who speak Turkish is quite high. The people of Irbil who go to their houses in the evening spend time watching Turkish TV series. There are a greater number of flights from Irbil to Istanbul than those from Irbil to Baghdad. And everyone is aware of Turkey as a supplier. Moreover, Masoud Barzani steps back in every crisis with Turkey, and says, "Turkey is our supplier. If it closes doors, we will choke here.”

On the other hand, the answer we can give to the question of who came out better off in the first Gulf War in Iraq in 1990 was of course Kurdish leaders Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani, who even became the president of Iraq after the second Gulf War in 2003.
Let’s continue. 

Is there anyone who does not know the result of the Combined Task Force-Poised Hammer and that the north of the 36th parallel was declared a no-fly zone? An autonomous region in northern Iraq was established by the hand of the U.S? The helicopters of the Combined Task Force-Poised Hammer transferred weapons to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization.

However, the democratic steps Turkey has taken toward its own Kurdish citizens in the last 15 years have also been welcomed in northern Iraq. Despite getting spoiled sometimes, the KRG administration has developed good relations with Turkey. 
As a result of the development of the relations, the Mersin and İskenderun ports became lifeblood for Irbil.
Besides, Turkey is a key country in delivering KRG oil to world markets.

Turkey's position on the status of northern Iraq has been evident for a long time. We are talking about a Turkey that has long achieved a good relationship with all the peoples in the region. Turkey addresses neither Kurds, nor Turkmens or Arabs alone, it develops good relations with all the peoples. Also, it has brought commercial and political relations with the KRG to a top level. It resolved the issue of addressee over time.

We have sometimes experienced crises with the Barzani administration for reasons like the crisis specific to Kirkuk, or the fact that they said nothing about the PKK, the terrorist organization that has recently settled in Sinjar. But as a result, relations between Turkey and the KRG administration were progressing day by day.
We know this. 

We know another thing.

The existence of those who want to establish a Kurdish state, which is considered to be a second Israel in the Middle East.

The effort to open a Democratic Union Party (PYD) / People’s Protection Units (YPG) terror corridor in the north of Syria, which Turkey has rejected since the beginning, is also an effort to establish that second Israel.

You also know there is a big Kurdistan project aimed to be established in lands to be taken from Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. 

Now, let us look at the KRG’s referendum decision on independency.
In other words, Irbil has set a schedule for this issue which it had implicitly voiced previously, announcing that it would hold an independency referendum on Sept. 25, 2017.

While the Syria crisis is going on unabatedly…

While some want to open a new area of conflict in the region through the Qatar crisis…
What is behind Barzani’s out of the blue announcement about a referendum on independency?

Turkey will not allow a fait accompli. Also, the first statements by the U.S. and Germany are interesting and do not give an answer to the question of who backs Barzani. 

The foreign affairs of both countries emphasized the integrity of Iraq.

We will see Iran’s attitude soon, too.
At this point, whether Barzani set a referendum date with the purpose of bargaining comes into question.
If so, Barzani will lose his administration in northern Iraq.

Or, if Barzani decided to hold a referendum on independency for separate reasons, it is certain that the region that has already turned in to a mess will face a much greater crisis.

Of course, Turkey may experience greater trouble in this matter than it had in the Syrian crisis, but its experiences in history will help it resolve the crisis.
We will see whether independency will be ensured by burning the records of the Kirkuk population.

My late grandfather used to ask those who ask for trouble without knowing their place, “Are you stupid enough to throw away an easy life?”

I think this is precisely the case.


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