What is Turkey’s position on Iraq’s developments?


KRG PM, Nechirvan Barzani (L) and Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R). File photo

ARA News

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – The Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nechirvan Barzani, held a meeting on Thursday with Turkish officials in Istanbul, during which the ongoing developments in Iraq were discussed, beside the relationship between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey.

According to a statement posted on the official website of the KRG, the visit came in response to an official invitation from the Turkish government. Meanwhile, Sevin Dezyi, the spokesman of the KRG delegation to Turkey, said that the delegation also met the Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Talking to ARA News, Ali Muslim, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (KDP-S), who is based in Turkey, said: “The relationship between Turkey and KRG cannot be affected by the current crisis in Iraq, because the foundations of this relationship were built on solid economic stilts.”

“The relationship between both governments has turned from extreme hostility to a strategic partnership based on economic bases, as there are no permanent enemies in politics,” Muslim said.

“Turkey is not against Iraqi Kurdistan’s ambition of independence, especially by leadership of Massoud Barzani, as this step will have a positive impact on the situation of Turkmen in the Kurdistani areas such as Kirkuk, Tuz Khormato and other areas, and Turkey does not oppose the political presence of the Sunni (component) in Iraq’s future,” Muslim told ARA News.  “This will strategically prevent accomplishment of the alleged Iran-led Shiite crescent (an ambitious project by Iran to broaden control over Iraq, Syria and south Lebanon).”

According to Muslim, the Turkish position towards the Iraqi crisis is different from that of Syria and the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ countries.

“In those countries (Arab Spring countries), the Turkish diplomatic tone was considerably high despite the internal diplomatic criticism the Erdogan government faced in Turkey,” Muslim argued.

Turkey took silence as a strategy towards the ongoing development in Iraq, where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took over several Iraqi cities.

Turkey’s position is justified because of two reasons according to Muslim.

“Firstly, Turkey is cautious after the ISIL militants stormed into the Turkish consulate in Mosul and arrested the Consul Ozturk Yilmaz with 49 employees and nearly 30 Turkish truck drivers who were present there. Secondly, Turkish silence has to do with the accurate Turkish reading to the current scene in Iraq and the Middle East, especially that Turkey is on the verge of presidential elections on the tenth of next August,” Muslim argued.

“Any reckless Turkish position or action in this period may have a negative impact on the results of the forthcoming Turkish elections,” Muslim stated in an interview with ARA News.

Al-Qaeda splinter group of ISIL backed by gunmen from the Sunni tribes in Iraq has dominated in the beginning of June large areas in central and western Iraq, including provinces of Nineveh and Salahuddin, which includes the Baiji refinery and other main oil refineries in the country.


Reporting by: Azad Jamkari

Source: ARA News

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