Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkçi said on Thursday that Turkey had reached an agreement with Iraq on opening a second border gate.
“Most of our trade is with the central government of Baghdad, not with northern Iraq, and there is consensus on the opening of a second border gate with the central Iraqi government. After the necessary steps are taken, the Ovaköy border gate can be opened,” said Tüfenkci.
The Ovaköy border gate, an alternative to the Habur border crossing located between Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, will bypass the Masoud Barzani administration.
Iraqi forces clearing way for Ovaköy border gate
Iraqi forces which captured Sinjar through Khanaqin and Diyala after taking full control of Kirkuk are clearing the route of the Ovaköy border gate. Ovaköy is an alternative to the Habur border gate, which is currently the only gate between Turkey and Iraq.A joint force consisting of the Iraqi army, federal police and allied fighters from the Hashd al-Shaabi militia are advancing to the north by following the pipelines from Kirkuk to Turkey. The Iraqi forces are clearing the route of the Ovaköy border gate of the Peshmerga, which were present from Kirkuk and Mosul to the Turkey-Iraq border.US prevented alternative border gate between Turkey, IraqBarzani to be trappedIraqi forces have driven the Peshmerga out of disputed areas in response to Masoud Barzani’s puppet state initiative. When the operation targeting the north is completed, Barzani will only be in control of a small area just beyond Habur.Also on the agenda is to open a route for trade, a pipeline and if necessary, push Barzani out of the remaining zone too. The steps taken within the operation have been conducted under the strategic cooperation of Turkey, Iran and Iraq.Pipeline route“The Iraqi army will travel from Sinjar to Tal Afar, and then to Silopi and Ovaköy. They will secure the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Turkish soldiers have been conducting military drills in Silopi, which is where the pipeline is on Turkish territory. The current operation aims to push Barzani back to his 1970 territory and ensure the security of the oil pipeline route in the short run,” said strategy expert Dr. Abdullah Manaz.Turkey’s next step to foil Barzani’s plans: Ovaköy border gateTurkish military ready to provide support“The steps taken by the Iraqi army with Hashd al-Shaabi are not steps taken despite Turkey. On the contrary, these moves came as a result of an agreement with Turkey. If the local forces struggled and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) launched attacks, the Turkish Armed Forces would provide support. A month ago our energy minister made an announcement. He said that Turkey would sell all of Iraq’s oil. This announcement shows the results of the steps taken today and the final direction. They are going to head from Sinjar, to Silopi to Ovaköy. They will secure the oil pipeline and therefore the new trade route,” Dr. Manaz added.Turkey as a pioneer “The only viable route for Kirkuk’s petrol is the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline. When this line is secured, Turkey will open the new border gate, Ovaköy. The agreement with Turkey foresees this. When we look here, we see that the leading country is Turkey. The steps taken by Turkey and its pioneering position have shaped this region. In both Syria and Iraq, games have been spoiled and new balances are being established. The main target in these balances is territorial integrity,” Dr. Manaz said.Turkish troops in Bashiqa to guard Ovaköy border gateOvaköy border gate to end Barzani’s lifelineOvaköy: The border gate that will bypass northern Iraq
The construction of the planned gate, which would be near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, will begin once the necessary security measures are taken.
"Once steps are taken to secure the path, there is no other obstacle for us," the minister said.
Tüfenkçi also discussed trade ties between Turkey and the U.S. “Turkey is not a country that can be forsaken in terms of trade. The U.S. is aware of this,” he said.
Turkey’s next step to foil Barzani’s plans: Ovaköy border gate
Turkey’s sanction options on northern Iraq following the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani’s illegitimate referendum have started to gain more prominence on the agenda.Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdağ announced on Monday that Ankara was working with Baghdad to ensure the control of the Iraqi government on Ibrahim Khalil border crossing, also known as Habur. The Ovaköy border gate, an alternative to the Ibrahim Khalil border crossing located between Turkey and the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, will bypass the Barzani administration.Iraqi government forces captured the oil city of Kirkuk on Monday amid clashes with the Peshmerga. The aim of the operation launched by the Iraqi army to capture military bases and oil fields in Kirkuk city is to drive Barzani out of Kirkuk, where he allowed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) terrorists to enter.In response to these developments, Turkey said it was ready to cooperate with the Iraqi government to end the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group’s presence across Iraqi territories.Turkey closes airspace to KRGSupply line to be haltedTurkey is pointing to the importance of putting sanctions into action soon. If Turkey closes the Habur gate to the Barzani administration, the KRG supply line will draw to a close.All trade that keeps the state afloat will be halted, and Habur will be limited to humanitarian aid and the shipment of materials needed by Turkish troops in Iraq.Customs officers are the first stepIn order to take over the Habur border gate from the Barzani administration, 40 customs officers appointed by the Iraqi central government must be deployed to the gate with Turkey’s help and military assistance.Iraqi forces take over Sinjar after Peshmerga retreatBarzani to be backed into a corner After this sanction on Habur, it is expected that trade with Baghdad will be rapidly boosted and the Ovaköy border gate will be opened. The Ovaköy gate is of great importance both as an alternative to disrupt the plans of Barzani who wants to destroy the territorial integrity of the region. Military sources point to the importance of sanctions for the region to remain stable and prevent it from experiencing new conflicts.Iraqi forces take over Sinjar after Peshmerga retreatOvaköy border gate to end Barzani’s lifelineOvaköy: The border gate that will bypass northern IraqTurkey to close Iraq border, airspace, will open new gate with Baghdad
EU sanction claims
“The EU was founded on commercial interests. If they want fair competition, they should not resort to economic blackmail. The EU’s sanction claims that transformed into political blackmail are immoral,” Tüfenkci said.
Turkish troops in Bashiqa to guard Ovaköy border gate
The plans for the Ovaköy border gate that will extend through Tal-Afar and Mosul and trap Masoud Barzani in Erbil are becoming clearer. The Ovaköy line, which will take a short time to complete, will deal a blow to Barzani, who held an illegitimate referendum in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Sept. 25.The Turkish military, which will organize a large movement beyond the border, will clear a wide area from Zakho to Faysh Khabur, and from there they will clear a wide area from the Mosul Dam’s west of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) and Peshmerga forces.Ovaköy border gate to end Barzani’s lifelineBashiqa camp to become a hubAnkara will cut the lifeline of Barzani with the closure of the Habur gate and the establishment of the Ovaköy line. Ankara will turn the Bashiqa Military Camp near Mosul into a hub in order to protect the border gates by gearing up military cooperation with the central administration of Baghdad.After clearing the region from the Peshmerga and the PKK, the 120-kilometer road from Ovaköy's Iraqi entrance to nearby Mosul will be completed within a few months. Within the same project, a bridge will be built in Dicle.Five separate military camps in Iraq will be directly connected to Bashiqa. The training of Iraqi troops will be conducted there. If necessary, a new base connected to Bashiqa will be established near Tal Afar that will be on the Ovaköy route.Ovaköy: The border gate that will bypass northern IraqThird route through AzazDuring President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s return flight from Serbia, he mentioned two other routes aside from Ovaköy. One of these is the border gate that connects to Iran, most probably the Esendere border gate. If Esendere is actualized in addition to Ovaköy, the capacity of the line will be increased.The second location Erdoğan drew attention to was Syria’s Azaz, which is a part of the Euphrates Shield region. From here, the line of the border gate will open toward the southeast and reach Deir ez-Zor, and then extend to Baghdad. The plans that will completely bypass Barzani will be finalized during Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s visit to Baghdad.Ankara is expected to administer the merging of the small camps that serve against the PKK in northern Iraq and join them with the Bashiqa camp. The joint plans of Baghdad and Ankara are considered to be a major strategic move against the plans of Zionist Israel.Six camps in the northTurkey has two battalion camps in Zaho in the north of Iraq named Bamerni and Bativa. Apart from these, there is a battalion in Suri, a battalion in Kanimasi, and troops stationed in the Akıncilar region. The Turkish military’s largest presence is in Bashiqa.Security of the new gateThe military cooperation between Turkey and Iraq is seen as a guarantee of the trade route from Tel Afar to Ovaköy. Currently, the route is riddled with the Daesh and PKK terrorist organizations as well as the Peshmerga.Turkey has conveyed to the Iraqi central government that it is ready to construct a 120-kilometer-long stable route to Mosul and a bridge in Dicle. Evaluations of the security of the trade route and the status of Bashiqa have become a prominent topic in the discussions of Yıldırım and his Iraqi counterpart.Agreement with Tehran“Now Turkey must set a strategy for the camps in the northern Iraq region, and set new targets. This move should be done in coordination with Baghdad to cut off Barzani and rebuke him with redeployments. These camps and the Bashiqa camp can be amalgamated and transformed into a guarantee for the territorial integrity of the region. This is a serious strategic contribution. The security of new trade routes will be ensured; the terrorist formation in the Sinjar region will be annihilated; the PKK-affiliated PYD will be blocked and the terror corridor will be deterred. Therefore, the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq, Bashiqa and the Tal Afar region simultaneously is strategic in every respect,” said military sources commenting on the Bashiqa camp restructuring in the Mosul-Tal Afar region.
Ovaköy border gate to end Barzani’s lifeline
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.Ovaköy: The border gate that will bypass northern IraqThe 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 inevitableIt 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.KRG says willing to discuss row over airports, banks with IraqMuch delayed strategic stepTurkey 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.KRG referendum’s enactment ‘hinges on dialogue’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 benefitsOvaköy 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
Ovaköy: The border gate that will bypass northern Iraq
Preliminary preparations for the opening of the new border gate in Ovaköy, located in the Silopi district of the Şırnak province in southeastern Turkey as an alternative to the Habur border gate, have been completed. Turkey and the central government of Iraq have begun work to ensure the security and operations of the region are fully established.The new border gate in Ovaköy will take its final shape when Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım visits Baghdad this weekend. A great volume of trade will be shifted from Habur to Ovaköy, and this will contribute to the prosperity of the Turkmen region.From foes to friends: Northern Iraq's possible futuresBarzani refused to hand over Habur to BaghdadAs the greatest economic strike against Barzani, the Iraqi central government has started to conduct investigations in its own territory for Ovaköy, the new border gate.Parking areas for commercial trucks are being constructed on both sides of the gate. Security forces launched simultaneous moves on both sides of the border. Both the entrances and exits of Ovaköy are controlled by soldiers.Turkey has referred to the Ovaköy border gate as a new trade hub with the Baghdad government, which received a negative response from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) when asked to transfer the Habur border gate to the central administration’s jurisdiction.Baghdad responsible for ‘disputed’ parts of Iraq: PMInvestments required to form a commercial routeThere is not enough infrastructure at Ovaköy yet to enable it becoming a commercial route. However, it is stated that if the negotiations with the Baghdad government go well, the border gate can be developed rapidly with mutual investments.Ankara and Baghdad conducted inspections in the areaInspections were conducted by Ankara and Baghdad in order to determine how long it would take to make Ovaköy active. Last week, the Iraqi Central Government examined the Iraqi side of Ovaköy. Following Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s visit, the matter will gain clarity.Alternative border gates must be establishedThe possible intervention of Iraqi troops was among the possibilities for the capture of the Habur gate from the northern Iraqi administration. Such tensions also affect trade negatively. Turkey is engaged in more trade with Iraq at the Habur border gate than it is with Iran across five border gates.Kurdish party to boycott Baghdad until sanctions liftedBaghdad to make final decisionAside from the KRG tension, Ovaköy is another border gate with Iraq that was long discussed in order to balance trade flow. The final details of the new border gate will be concluded during Yıldırım’s Baghdad visit.The aim is not to punish the publicThe closure of the Habur border gate came on the agenda following the illegitimate referendum held in northern Iraq on Sept. 25.It was realized that if the only functioning border gate to Iraq was closed, the people living in the region and the Baghdad government would be punished and even Turkey's military troops in northern Iraq would suffer.Following this, Turkey started to work on alternatives. The Ovaköy and Aktepe border gates that were discussed in 2013 resurfaced, and Turkey presented the Ovaköy gate possibility to the Baghdad administration.Iraq bans gold imports via airports in KRGPM Yıldırım to visit BaghdadKRG's oil transfer via Turkey under spotlight