Turkey opposes Kurdish independence from Iraq

massud-barzaniTurkish officials say that their government continues to oppose Kurdish independence, and wants a “unity government” in Iraq that would ensure Iraq’s territorial integrity.

Opposition to Kurdish independence anywhere in the world has been a long-standing policy of the Turkish government, but with close ties to Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and some serious business interests behind secession, there was growing speculation that Turkey was warming to the idea.

Iranian Arabic news channel Al Alam’s english website caried this report but no Turkish official has been named in the news. Turkish ruling establishment remains divided. Security Board stresses on need of the territorial integrity of Iraq but some officials of Erdogan government had announced support for self-determination right for Iraqi Kurds notwithstanding the fact that Turkish Kurds are being persecuted.  

It was also believed that endorsing secession from Maliki’s Iraq, with which Turkey doesn’t have very warm ties, would improve the Turkish government’s standing with their own Kurdish minority leading up to elections.

So far Israel is the only regime to formally endorse Kurdish secession, and with the US loudly opposed to the idea there was likely pressure on Turkey to tow the line as a NATO member.


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