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From Baghdad to Istanbul: How Iraqi Kurds Could End Up Under De facto Turkish Rule

21st Century Wire says…

After seven years of war in Syria, and three years of ISIS marauding through Iraq, one thing is for sure: Iraqi Kurdistan is not what it was five years ago – when its geopolitical chaperone in Washington was still militarily occupying Iraq, and with oil pegged above $100 per barrel and its capital Erbil was a booming economic powerhouse. Back then, unimpeded progress was the order of the day. Not so today.

Politically and economically, Iraqi Kurdistan is fractured, which opens the door for a number of issues yet to unfold after this week’s historic move for independence.

As writer Adam Garrie points out in this piece below, the referendum is only the first step. Afterwards, some very serious problems are likely to follow.

Adam Garrie
The Duran

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised heavy sanctions against parts of northern Iraq, should Kurdish secessionists go through with their threat to hold a referendum for “independence” in two days time.

With leaders of the separatist movement declaring that they will proceed with the referendum in spite of the US, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Iraq all opposing such a move, Turkey is already working on the details of its contingency plan.

Historically, Turkey’s relations with Iraqi Kurdish groups has been better than its relations with those in Syria, as the latter are openly aligned with the PKK, a Turkish based group classified by most countries as a terrorist organisation. In spite of this, Turkey is steadfastly opposed to Kurdish separatism in all areas, including in Iraq.

The Iraqi Kurds stand in defiance of the international community in holding their referendum which non-Kurds in the area are set to boycott. Turkey’s National Security Council has held meetings in order to develop a response that based on the language used in the Turkish press and by Turkish officials, implies a stronger response than mere economic sanctions or even economic boycott.

One of Turkey’s deputy Prime Ministers, Bekir Bozdag offered the following statement on the situation:

“We have discussed all options in the event of the referendum taking place and if it doesn’t. Turkey takes this matter seriously and will act to protect its national security interests.”

This is similar language to that which Turkey used prior to commencing operation Euphrates Shield and also Turkey’s less talked about military intervention in northern Iraq.

While both Euphrates Shield and Turkish involvement in the Iraqi conflict were opposed by Damscus and Baghdad, the issue of Turkey intervening in a Kurdish separation zone presents more dubious legal realities.

While any country’s intervention in the borders of another state must be done with the consent of the state which is being entered or else be authorised by the United Nations, if the Kurds vote for separation, the area could become a partial no-man’s-land, albeit on legal Iraqi territory, thus making the matter instantly turn from an area of black-and-white to one of grey.

Turkey could then make the argument that a renegade entity which legitimately threatens regional security is operating on Iraq soil and invoke the Caroline Test in order to legally justify a military presence…

Continue this story at The Duran

READ MORE IRAQ NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Iraq Files

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We are a North American and European-based, grass-roots, independent blog offering geopolitical news and media analysis, working with an array of volunteer contributors who write and help to analyse news and opinion from around the world.
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