Kurdish independence now being supported by … Turkey?

posted at 1:31 pm on June 18, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Ace and HuffPo, I’m suspicious that a story potentially this big has been confined so far to a Kurdish news outlet. If you’re looking for signs of an impending partition of Iraq, which all of entire western media is, they don’t come any bigger. Where’s the Drudge siren?

A few days ago, I tweeted that with Iraq in chaos, the Kurds might as well declare independence and upend the regional table entirely, to which maybe 50 people instantly replied, “What about Turkey?” Well, what about them?

The Kurds of Iraq have the right to decide the future of their land, said Huseyin Celik, a spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Friday.

“The Kurds of Iraq can decide for themselves the name and type of the entity they are living in,” Celik told Rudaw in an interview to be published soon…

In case Iraq gets partitioned, said Celik, “the Kurds, like any other nation, will have the right to decide their fate.”

Celik believes that Iraq is already headed towards partition thanks to “Maliki’s sectarian policies.”

Is that diplomatic nonsense being pushed by Turkey to a foreign outlet, obscuring the fact that they’d surely bomb the new Kurdistan to smithereens if it declared independence and gave Turkey’s Kurds a reason to revolt? Or has Turkey come around on the idea of a Kurdish state? Believe it or not, this may be on the level. Moe Lane points to this recent piece at Time mag about the Kurds’ secret weapon as Iraq melts down: Namely, oil. Iraq’s Sunnis and Shia could spend the next 20 years fighting over territory in the west and south; in fact, the country’s biggest refinery was seized by Sunni “militants” just this morning. If you want a steady flow of Iraqi oil, your best hope is for the country’s most stable group to break away, grab the oil assets it can, and keep the tap open. In fact, there’s already a pipeline from Kurdistan to Turkey. Erdogan’s simply protecting his investment.

He’s also worried about Iranian expansionism, first in Syria via Tehran’s Shiite proxy Assad and now in Iraq as Maliki and the Shia gear up to face ISIS. Kurdistan’s peshmerga are an obvious partner for Turkey against Iran on the one hand and Sunni jihadis on the other. In fact, Kurdish troops may be the best military force in Iraq right now. Peter Galbraith:

Kurdistan’s military, called the peshmerga, is ideally situated to combat ISIS. The Iraqi Army—or what is left of it—is hundreds of miles from Mosul; the peshmerga hold the Kurdish eastern half of the city. Although ISIS readily routed the Iraqi Army from the west bank, it chose not to tangle with far more formidable Kurds. President Obama can only order air strikes if he has good intelligence, controllers who can identify targets and troops who can follow up on the ground. Only the Kurds can do this…

Today, Kurdistan and Turkey are the closest of allies. Turkey is Kurdistan’s most important trading partner and Turkish companies are the largest investors in Kurdistan. Turkish intelligence and military officials consult regularly with their Kurdish counterparts. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a close personal relationship with KRG President Massoud Barzani and a poisonous one with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. In advance of Turkish elections, Erdogan and Barzani jointly addressed a large public rally in Diyabakir, the largest city in Turkey’s Kurdish southeast and Kurdistan is playing a constructive role in support of Erdogan’s effort to make peace with Turkish Kurdish rebels.

Credit the Kurds with brilliant strategic thinking in making nice with Turkey after the U.S. invasion in 2003. They’ve wanted a state for 100 years; they knew there’d eventually be an opportunity once the Sunni and Shia started tearing each other’s eyes out; and they knew who the big obstacle in the region was to their ambition. They convinced Turkey to invest in Kurdish independence, economically and militarily, and now it’s going to pay off. Well done.

The obvious play here for the White House, as Galbraith notes, is to back the Kurds in independence, no matter how much crow the U.S. might need to eat for resisting the partition of Iraq until now. Kurdistan is famously pro-American as it is; offer them official diplomatic recognition and that’ll only ripen further, replete with help in stomping out ISIS. If they want to seize an oil field or two or 10 in the process, no one’s going to object, least of all Turkey. We’d finally have a real partner and a strong military ally in the region at a moment when Iraq and Syria look like they’re about to become the most target-rich environment on earth for the U.S. military. It’s a no-brainer.


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It’s a no-brainer.

Obama will figure out a way to screw it up.

WisRich on June 18, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Doesn’t hurt that the Kurds and PKK stopped blowing things up in Turkey and cast their votes in favor of AKP and Erdogan’s dismantling of the Turkish constitution, judiciary independence, and general skimming of money off the top of the Turkish economy for his own personal family gain – in exchange, Erdogan went against the broader Turkish antipathy of Kurds and Kurdistan independence and helped sell it to his own coalition.

So, yes, its about the oil. And the southern border.

But its also about building a winning coalition in Turkey that lines Erdogan’s own pocket personally.

Almost all politicians are self-interested. Forget the “world stage”, this alliance was about domestic power and fatter Swiss bank accounts for the elite in the AKP.

PrincetonAl on June 18, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Turkey needs a buffer to the growing Sunni/Shia War. Everyone knows it’s coming. I don’t want to be the Sunni and I don’t want to be on the Shia. Let them fight it out.

And on domestic oil production. Can I quote Tony Beats?

Drill Holes, Drill Holes, Drill Holes.

Oil Can on June 18, 2014 at 1:43 PM

If we support the moderate Syrians who are already fighting ISIS while Iran rallies the Shia south, ISIS will be in a real two front war. I doubt they would dare start a three front war by attacking the Kurds. Since the Iraqi south is busy with ISIS, that only leaves Iran to take on an independent Kurdistan. Since Iran is tied down in Syria and likely soon will be tied down in Iraq fighting ISIS, they also may be loathe to go after the Kurds as well. A perfect time for Kurdish independence.

KW64 on June 18, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Hey Schad, would this count as a people more free because of obozo if the Kurds get their own country? Even if obozo had no intention of this happening?

Flange on June 18, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Big change for Turkey. Once the Kurds were a thorn in the side of Turkey. Now, there is a bigger problem.

If you can get a buffer zone between you and the disaster that Iraq is becoming, it makes sense to make the change.

Washington under Obama may not back it (or is likely to come in to bless it after it is a ‘fait accompli’) but they don’t really need the US to agree, and even if we objected to it, the Kurds and Turks have a compelling interest in getting it done for the security of both peoples.

s1im on June 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Kurdistan is famously pro-American as it is; offer them official diplomatic recognition and that’ll only ripen further, replete with help in stomping out ISIS. If they want to seize an oil field or two or 10 in the process, no one’s going to object, least of all Turkey.

I wouldn’t be so sure about this. Obama may give the Kurds a hard time or threaten them BECAUSE they are famously pro-American. He is almost uniformly nasty to any serious American ally. Turkey may end up acting as more of a friend to the Kurds than us.

So, yes, its about the oil. And the southern border.

But its also about building a winning coalition in Turkey that lines Erdogan’s own pocket personally.

Almost all politicians are self-interested. Forget the “world stage”, this alliance was about domestic power and fatter Swiss bank accounts for the elite in the AKP.

PrincetonAl on June 18, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Yeah, this sounds about right.

Another thing worth noting is that Kurdistan is definitely going to happen unless Maliki can turn things around very quickly (not likely), and Turkey may simply want to build goodwill with the Kurds by getting out in front of this as soon as possible.

And to expound a bit on AP’s point, Turkey and Iran are rivals and Turkey making nice with the Kurds puts pressure on Iran.

Doomberg on June 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Turkey seems to be Ok with Kurdistan as long as it’s not in Turkish territory. Yeah we will support Kurdistan they say as long as it’s in Iraq. lol

You got to love them Turks.

coolrepublica on June 18, 2014 at 1:48 PM

There is also a lot of pressure on the Turks to make this happen. Like Allahpundit states it is not in Turkish interests to see Iran gain or the ISIS gain. This is a situation where the ethnic divide comes into play along with the religious divide. Remember the Turks don’t get along with Arabs either, and Arabs don’t really want the Ottoman Empire re-established because it was a Turkish run Islamic enterprise, not Arab.

This is why I am for staying out. The ISIS and Iranians are not going to just run wild and take over the entire place, they will meet resistance not just from each other, but from others for various reasons, in this case the Turks and Kurds. By staying out we force the Turks to have to commit to the fight, and not let us do it for them. It has forced them to accept a Kurdish state as long as it does not involve Turkish territory. The Kurds are smart enough to take the deal…also there are Kurds living in Iran and Syria as well…so maybe a greater Kurdish buffer state is a pace where the Kurds in Turkey can go and both the Kurds and Turks win.

William Eaton on June 18, 2014 at 1:50 PM

In fact, Kurdish troops may be the best military force in Iraq right now.

Which leads me to wonder why the Kurds weren’t in charge of military security over a wider swath of the country…

JohnGalt23 on June 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

I’m not so sure about this.

The problem is … people (journalists and pols) are making statements and recommendations without considering all the nuances of Iraq.

Partitioning … I agree that the Kurds would be the most sane partition you could make there. But the fact is … the rest of the country can’t be partitioned. Oh yeah – that’s something else that people would like you to believe is possible – but it’s NOT. You have to look at the uniqueness of IRAQ to see that though. Everyone views Iraq as being a collection of religious enclaves – that’s WAY TOO SIMPLISTIC.

AND – the rest of the country (IRAQ) MAY NOT be able to survive without “Kurdistan”.

It all comes down to oil revenues. The Sunnis in the West – have NONE (that are developed anyway).

Now … IF IRAQ can survive on just the Southern resources that the Shia’s have … then yeah – let’s give the Kurds their own state. That at least whittles down the instability problem as far as shrinking it geographically.

But if the rest of IRAQ is left with too few resources – then “Kurdistan” will be a disaster for us.

Let’s remember here – that partitioning means “ceding” Southern Iraq to the Iranians … and Western Iraq to … ??? ISIS? The West is where the jihadis are coming from – but not all the Sunnis in the west are fanatical jihadis – quite a few of them want to work with the government of Iraq.

You need to look at who will be in control of the various partitions of Iraq – this is a question that must be asked AND ANSWERED before we go down the road of partitioning.

And if the West is left to its own devices – they’re going to starve and become a HAVEN for radical Islam.

HondaV65 on June 18, 2014 at 1:52 PM

In fact, Kurdish troops may be the best military force in Iraq right now.

Which leads me to wonder why the Kurds weren’t in charge of military security over a wider swath of the country…

JohnGalt23 on June 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

These Iraq is being governed by the Iraqi Obama. And I also think they are Sunni, so the Iraqi Obama hates Sunnis.

Oil Can on June 18, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Sooo, help me out here. I was under the impression the Syrian opposition was made of some moderates plus nasty jihadists, the latter of which were ascendent. Now I’m reading that the real nasty ISIS jihadists were working for Assad. It’s a little early for a drink, but man this is head spinning stuff.

WitchDoctor on June 18, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Turkey seems to be Ok with Kurdistan as long as it’s not in Turkish territory. Yeah we will support Kurdistan they say as long as it’s in Iraq. lol

You got to love them Turks.

coolrepublica on June 18, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Yes, can you imagine that? Turkey’s leaders actually looking out for Turkish interests. Bizarre.

Good thing we don’t have any kind of that thinking here in Washington!

fadetogray on June 18, 2014 at 1:57 PM

If we support the moderate Syrians who are already fighting ISIS while Iran rallies the Shia south, ISIS will be in a real two front war. I doubt they would dare start a three front war by attacking the Kurds. Since the Iraqi south is busy with ISIS, that only leaves Iran to take on an independent Kurdistan. Since Iran is tied down in Syria and likely soon will be tied down in Iraq fighting ISIS, they also may be loathe to go after the Kurds as well. A perfect time for Kurdish independence.

KW64 on June 18, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Problem being it’s getting tough to distinguish who those moderates are. I’m getting a little sick of using our borrowed dollars to send equipment to some blurry group who, because of cowardice or malice aforethought, eventually turns it all over to our enemies. The Kurds probably won’t do that so, send it all to them.

butch on June 18, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Sooo, help me out here. I was under the impression the Syrian opposition was made of some moderates plus nasty jihadists, the latter of which were ascendent. Now I’m reading that the real nasty ISIS jihadists were working for Assad. It’s a little early for a drink, but man this is head spinning stuff.

WitchDoctor on June 18, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Need help? John McCain has a real good fix on who the goods guys are in Syria.

/sarc off

WisRich on June 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

By the way … speaking of the “nuances” of the problem in Iraq.

Is everyone aware that Iraq is STILL being forced to pay the Kuwaitis reparations for the first Gulf War? That was an invasion that Sadaam launched – NOT the Iraqi people.

Kuwait is one of the most wealthy nations in the world. Sadaam, the man responsible – “met the rope” years ago. The Iraqis have been struggling to revive their economy and rebuild their nation – but the UN, US, and the Kuwaitis won’t forgive the debt.

Add insult to injury … the KURDS, who are the absolute LEAST to blame for the Kuwait invasion … are being forced to pay reparations too! They fought a running battle with Sadaam for decades … and were bombed and chemically attacked by him. Yet – they are forced to pay for reparations their oppressor was responsible for.

Does this mean – if there is a Kurdistan partition – that the Kurds won’t have to pay these reparations anymore?

I think not.

HondaV65 on June 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

The Kurds are Sunni Muslims, they are trustworthy right?

BL@KBIRD on June 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

US drone strikes on Kurdistan begin in 3…2…

TaraMaclay on June 18, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Sooo, help me out here. I was under the impression the Syrian opposition was made of some moderates plus nasty jihadists, the latter of which were ascendent. Now I’m reading that the real nasty ISIS jihadists were working for Assad. It’s a little early for a drink, but man this is head spinning stuff.

WitchDoctor on June 18, 2014 at 1:56 PM

They aren’t working for Assad. Now … there may some truth that Assad was supporting them – but only because he knew they were the nastiest element of the rebels opposing him.

ISIS is so violent – that they even turn SUNNIS against them. None of the areas under ISIS occupation in Syria are loving life right now and many are wondering if just running back into Assad’s arms might be the better option for them.

Assad knows this. He doesn’t want any “nice” rebels that can gain world sympathy and the support of the Syrian people. If he’s got rebels – he wants them to be complete asses that no one likes.

It will be easier for him to win in the end.

HondaV65 on June 18, 2014 at 2:02 PM

The Kurds are Sunni Muslims, they are trustworthy right?

BL@KBIRD on June 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

They’re majority Sunni … but they include Christians and other religions too. Even a few “pagan” religions.

They are Sunni – but no where near as fanatical as the Salafists.

There is a saying … “Compared to the non-believer, the Kurd is a Muslim”.

Compare them to other Muslims … not so much – and least not with regards to strict fundamentalism.

HondaV65 on June 18, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Words are cheap.

Is Turkey willing to allow the Kurdish-majority areas of Turkey to secede and join a newly created Kurdistan?

I’ll believe that when it happens.

RedPepper on June 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM

It’s a no-brainer.

So…when does Obama start alienating the Kurds? Tomorrow or next week?

AUINSC on June 18, 2014 at 2:09 PM

The most likely scenario now developing is a three way conflict:

Faction 1: Sunni Arab jihadist groups (like ISIS), Sunni Arabs living in Iraq/Syria/Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, etc.

Faction 2: Shia Arabs in Iraq/Syria, Iranians, and Shia jihadist groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Faction 3: Turks and Sunni Kurds who, although are basically Sunnis, will be fighting for ethnic reasons, and self interests (like oil).

Two important caveats: (1) As the war drags on these alliances may change depending on the circumstances. (2) Other nations may become involved, like Pakistan (vs. the Iranians and Shia), the Taliban (vs. the Iranians and Shia), Russia (vs. Arab Sunnis or Turks/Kurds), and China (vs. god only knows)…

William Eaton on June 18, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Is Turkey willing to allow the Kurdish-majority areas of Turkey to secede and join a newly created Kurdistan?

I’ll believe that when it happens.

RedPepper on June 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM

No, that won’t happen.

butch on June 18, 2014 at 2:16 PM

The Kurds are Sunni Muslims, they are trustworthy right?

BL@KBIRD on June 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

No they are not trustworthy (same with the Turks)….but right now their ethnicity is trumping their religion. For example Catholic France many times sided with the Ottoman Turks against the Catholic Habsburgs during the 16th and 17th centuries.

It won’t last forever, but for now they are being driven by good old fashioned nationalism.

William Eaton on June 18, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Is Turkey willing to allow the Kurdish-majority areas of Turkey to secede and join a newly created Kurdistan?

I’ll believe that when it happens.

RedPepper on June 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Of course not, and it is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand.

If this report is correct, Turkey has finally come to realize a Kurdistan in what used to be northern Iraq is in their interests. It will be an ally of theirs against the Sunni radicals and against the Shiite mullahs in Iran, giving the Iranians a headache with their own Kurdish population.

fadetogray on June 18, 2014 at 2:17 PM

A giant radioactive meteorite striking Baghdad looks better by the day.

Rix on June 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

From theotheriraq.com website:

Kurdistan – The Other Iraq
Tell a Friend
Have you seen the Other Iraq?

It’s spectacular.
It’s peaceful.
It’s joyful.
Fewer than two hundred US troops
are stationed here.
Arabs, Kurds and westerners all vacation together.

Welcome to Iraqi-Kurdistan!

The people of Iraqi-Kurdistan invite you to discover their peaceful region, a place that has practiced democracy for over a decade, a place where the universities, markets, cafes and fair grounds buzz with progress and prosperity and where the people are already sowing the seeds of a brighter future.

Adventurous? Vacation in Kurdistan, the “Other Iraq”!

otlset on June 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

If this report is correct, Turkey has finally come to realize a Kurdistan in what used to be northern Iraq is in their interests. It will be an ally of theirs against the Sunni radicals and against the Shiite mullahs in Iran, giving the Iranians a headache with their own Kurdish population.

fadetogray on June 18, 2014 at 2:17 PM

That’s right. This new Kurdish state would also serve as a “buffer” against both Sunni and Shia radical Islam.

I don’t think you’ll see serious fights between the Kurds and Turks … that oil the Kurds are going to try to take with them will win them a few Turkish friends.

HondaV65 on June 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Adventurous? Vacation in Kurdistan, the “Other Iraq”!

otlset on June 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Sounds like a paradise … but I’ll keep my booking for a vacation to Hawaii instead! LOL

HondaV65 on June 18, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Turks and Kurds worked together for generations. Kurds were the Ottoman henchmen.

This is just a return to normalcy in the region. They’re only killing each other because Middle Eastern culture is cut-throat, before you add Islam. I know it quite well.

budfox on June 18, 2014 at 2:24 PM

A Kurdish state would be a real game changer in the region.

Obama probably does’t even know who the Kurds are, or their history.

Smart Power, my arse.

MichaelGabriel on June 18, 2014 at 2:25 PM

If you get the chance Top Gear the good one, The Mideast special they drove through Kurdish part of Iraq. the roads look incredible and it was a beautiful drive, Give it a watch on Netflix.

Patricksp on June 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Kurdistan is famously pro-American as it is; offer them official diplomatic recognition and that’ll only ripen further

Make Kurdistan a US territory and then see what happens. US military bases to watch Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Oil flowing through Turkey straight to the US. It’d be awesome.

Occams Stubble on June 18, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Hey Schad, would this count as a people more free because of obozo if the Kurds get their own country? Even if obozo had no intention of this happening?

Flange on June 18, 2014 at 1:45 PM

I believe Schad would say this happened “in spite” of Obama, not “due” to his policies or effort. Just sayin.

Deano1952 on June 18, 2014 at 3:00 PM

The obvious play here for the White House, as Galbraith notes, is to back the Kurds in independence…

VJ, in trying to decide what to do next, is reading this sentence over and over again trying to decide if it’s a trick.

Tsar of Earth on June 18, 2014 at 3:03 PM

KW64 on June 18, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Screw ISIS, we need to push Iran into a two front war. Iran is the elephant in the room, the real problem. Having them get sucked into supporting their puppets in Iraq and Syria is in our national interest.

Tilting towards the Shia in Iran was our biggest mistake after the invasion. I’ve never understood the logic behind it, if there was one. I suppose the U.S. thought ethnic concerns would trump religious interests, or that the Shia would be grateful, but that has not proved to be the case. Maliki is a corrupt, partisan Iranian puppet. ISIS could never have gained a foothold without popular support; they only gained it because of Maliki’s rapacity and incompetence. Maliki was workable as long as the U.S. was in the country to act as an effective counterweight; when we left, because of a corrupt deal to keep Maliki in power, brokered by the Iranians, he was unleashed.

A three-way partition of Iraq will not work, because the Sunnis possess no oil assets. ISIS will not be content with the resource scant center and west of the country; they will push south, grab the oil fields, and punish the heretical Shia while they are at it. The Kurds will be left alone as a reward for their passivity.

This is our chance to bleed Iran, at very little cost. I think we should take it.

Joseph K on June 18, 2014 at 3:21 PM

A giant radioactive meteorite striking Baghdad looks better by the day.

Rix on June 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

FYI – they are never radioactive. No such animal.

Walter L. Newton on June 18, 2014 at 3:22 PM

I believe Schad would say this happened “in spite” of Obama, not “due” to his policies or effort. Just sayin.

Deano1952 on June 18, 2014 at 3:00 PM

In the time he’s been asking that question, no one was better off, even in spite of him. This might be the first. I’m certainly not giving him credit for doing it intentionally.

Flange on June 18, 2014 at 3:31 PM

If they’re smart, they won’t trust the Choom Gang.

formwiz on June 18, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Sooo, help me out here. I was under the impression the Syrian opposition was made of some moderates plus nasty jihadists, the latter of which were ascendent. Now I’m reading that the real nasty ISIS jihadists were working for Assad. It’s a little early for a drink, but man this is head spinning stuff.

WitchDoctor on June 18, 2014 at 1:56 PM

ISIL went to Syria against the orders of Zawahiri, so al Qaeda formally split with them.

Conquest of territory is what drives ISIL, so they entered the Syrian civil war prepared to murder anyone–SAA or rebel–who opposed them.

Once the rest of the rebels–including al Qaeda–began fighting ISIL, Assad left them alone. Disarray among the rebels was in his best interests. ISIL in turn concentrated on grabbing more of the territory already in the hands of rebels.

ISIL was useful to Assad while it was fighting the rebels. However, Assad’s Iraqi Shi’ite fighters have now left Syria to defend Iraq. Assad is left with his crappy Syrian Arab Army and Hezbullah, which is taking so many casualties that the Lebanese are in near-open revolt.

Assad is therefore beginning to bomb ISIL in Syria and Iraq. A helicopter dropped a barrel bomb in Iraq the other day. That’s a Syrian invention.

Because of its fanaticism and inability to think strategically, ISIL is making everyone in the region unite against them.

Good.

A Chair of Some Kind on June 18, 2014 at 4:01 PM

It’s definitely all about the oil. From the Turkish point of view, Iraq is the only neighbor that can sell them oil. If the ISIS nutcases are invading the Sunni Triangle from the north, the only Iraqi oil that can get through Turkey without crossing ISIS territory is from the Kurdish region of Iraq, since the oil from southern Iraq would be cut off.

From the Kurdish point of view, the other markets for their oil would be cut off if pipelines toward the Persian Gulf are cut off. Turkey would become the Kurds’ only oil export client, but Turkey could help the Kurds sell oil to other nations due to Turkey’s ports along the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

Regarding the partition of the rest of Iraq, it wouldn’t be in either side’s self-interest. If there was a partition, the Sunnis in northwest Iraq would not have access to the Persian Gulf or to the oilfields in the south; the Shia in the south depend on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for agriculture, which the Sunnis could dam up or cut off.

Steve Z on June 18, 2014 at 4:10 PM

I would also not put it past the current Islamist regime in Ankara that a Kurdish state south of Turkey would be a natural place for disaffected Turkish Kurds to go.

J.B. Say on June 18, 2014 at 4:38 PM

I would also not put it past the current Islamist regime in Ankara that a Kurdish state south of Turkey would be a natural place for disaffected Turkish Kurds to go.

J.B. Say on June 18, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Iran too, around 10% of Iran’s population are Kurds.

slickwillie2001 on June 18, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Turkey was a good country to work with until the latest government headed off into the weeds. Maybe the current situation will bring some sanity to Ankara. I would hope even someone as corrupt as Erdogan will see that he is safer with an independent Kurdistan between him and the Iraqi civil war and that having the US military in both Turkey and Kurdistan would be very comforting.

The fly in the ointment are the Kurds in Turkey. Hopefully the Iraqi Kurds will not go down the path of encouraging the Turkish Kurds to start blowing things up again. A little bit of patience is what is needed. The Kurds are on a roll. If they wait and play the good neighbor, things will start going their way.

bartbeast on July 1, 2014 at 7:54 PM