Ovaköy border gate to end Barzani’s lifeline

The Ovaköy border gate, which will pass to Baghdad through Tal Afar and Mosul, will deliver a huge blow to KRG leader Barzani, who is single-handedly benefitting from the extensive trade between Turkey and Iraq

Ersin Çelik
11:57 - 12/10/2017 Thursday
Update: 12:08 - 12/10/2017 Thursday
Yeni Şafak
File photo
File photo

Turkey is working on the Ovaköy border gate, which is due to become an alternative to the Habur border gate, currently the only commercial trade route Ankara shares with Baghdad. The alternative border gate that was proposed by Turkey will deliver a huge blow to the terror corridor in northern Iraq and northern Syria.

The lifeline of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani, who conducted an illegitimate referendum for the formation of a puppet state linked to the U.S. and Israel, will be cut with Ovaköy.

Turkey has a trade volume of $8 billion with Iraq through the Habur border gate. Only $1.5 billion dollars of this figure belongs to northern Iraq. At least $6.5 billion worth of goods being transported to other parts of Iraq have been held by Barzani because they pass through Habur. The Barzani administration, which earns a large income from the transit fee of goods being transported to the whole of Iraq, will be cut from this income once Ovaköy becomes active.

The Ovaköy line, which is the second shield in the terror corridor, will start from the bottom of the Syrian border in the west of Habur, pass near Tel Afar and through Mosul and pass by the Barzani district. The 120-kilometer stabilized road to be used for connection to the main road from Mosul will become an international trade route.

Military operation inevitable

It is stated that a military operation is inevitable to open the way of trade directly with Baghdad instead of Erbil. Just as it is in Habur, the territory opposite Ovaköy is also within the borders of the KRG.

Iraqi and Turkish troops must ensure security, especially on the short route within the KRG region. Peshmerga forces of Barzani are present on the border of Syria in the north of Iraq under the guise of fighting Daesh. It is expected that the Baghdad central government will establish military bases along the line for the security of the trade route.

Much delayed strategic step

Turkey has five gates with Iran and one with Iraq, which is now being regarded as a grave mistake. Ankara is bringing Ovaköy to life by taking a much delayed strategic step.

The Turkish-Iraqi trade route reaches Baghdad from Habur after passing through all the cities of northern Iraq. Therefore, trade assets exceeding $8 billion dollars have left their wealth to northern Iraq to this day.

When the alternative to Habur is made in Ovaköy, Kurds Turkmen, Arab and other groups will feel the prosperity of trade. Direct commercial cooperation between Ovaköy and Turkey-Baghdad will be achieved.

Turkey conducts approximately $6 billion worth of trade with Iran through five border gates, and approximately $8 billion with Iraq through one border gate.

The establishment of alternative border gates has long been on the agenda for trade with Iraq, but the Barzani administration, which did not want to abandon the riches of the Habur gate and the trade bridge between Turkey and the Baghdad administration, responded very slowly.

Ovaköy’s unlimited benefits

Ovaköy will bring important strategic gains for both Iraq and Turkey, as well as neutralizing the role of northern Iraq in Ankara’s trade with Baghdad. Just some of these benefits are as follows:

  • *Direct line of bilateral trade between Ankara and Baghdad
  • *Turkish and Iraqi armed forces enabled to act jointly
  • *The western part of Turkey’s southeastern Dicle is completely under the control of Baghdad The Baghdad government will imprison Barzani in the area outlined by the 2005 constitution
  • *Baghdad’s influence on the KRG will be boosted
  • *Barzani will be surrounded, forcing him to take a step back
  • *A secure environment that will enable all people, especially the Turkmen city of Kirkuk, to live as freely as they used to. The supply flow to Kirkuk will be ensured and it will contribute significantly to boosting the welfare of the regions where the trade route will pass
  • *Through the secured trade route, the link between the PKK in northern Iraq and the terrorists in Sinjar will be completely severed
  • *The road between Syria and Iraq will be cut off. Therefore, the supply line between the PKK terrorist organization and the Syrian extension PYD is also completely cut off.
  • *As a result of the bases that Turkey will establish along the route, a great blow will be dealt to the “Great Israel Project,” which is supposedly meant to ensure an independent “Kurdistan”
  • *The “Dicle Shield” military operation will be given a commercial identity
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