November 7, 2007

THE GOLDEN GOOSE:

Turkish-bred prosperity makes war less likely in Iraqi Kurdistan (Richard A. Oppel Jr., November 7, 2007, NY Times)

[W]ander the markets and byways here and a different reality comes into view, helping to explain why, despite bellicose Turkish threats, an all-out armed conflict may be less likely than is widely understood: the growing prosperity of this region is largely Turkish in origin.

In other words, while Turkey has been traditionally wary of the Kurds of Iraq, it is heavily invested here, an offshoot of its own rising wealth. Iraqi Kurdistan is also a robust export market for Turkish farmers and factory owners, who would suffer if that trade were curtailed.

Moreover, the Kurds' longstanding fear of dominance by other powers now seems to be colliding with modest yet growing material comfort for some urban Kurds that was unthinkable not long ago, and has come on the back of Turkish investment, consumer goods and engineering expertise.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 7, 2007 7:07 AM
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