January 10, 2013

IF YOU THINK YOU'RE A NATION YOU ARE ONE:

This could be the birth of an independent Kurdish state (David Hirst, 1/10/13, The Guardian)

[S]ince 2008, in a complete reversal of earlier policy, which had once been to boycott Kurdistan altogether, the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been pursuing "full economic integration" with it. Meanwhile its relations with the Iraqi government have been deteriorating, with the two now on opposite sides in the great Middle Eastern power struggle that pits Shia Iran, Maliki's Iraq, Bashar al-Assad's Syria and Hezbollah against the Syrian revolutionaries, most Sunni Arab states and Turkey itself. Turkey's courtship with Iraqi Kurds has moved so far, the Kurds believe, that Turkey might soon break with Maliki's essentially Shia regime and deal separately with the other main components of a fragmenting Iraqi state, its Arab Sunnis and its Kurds.

In return, an independent Kurdistan could be a source of abundant and reliable oil supplies, a stable ally and buffer against a hostile Iraq and Iran, and even, in a policy option as extraordinary as Turkey's own, a collaborator in containing or combating fellow Kurds in the shape of the PKK - who, having established a strong presence in "liberated" Syrian Kurdistan, are seeking to turn it into a platform for a reviving insurgency in Turkey itself.

It is even said that Erdogan has gone so far as to promise Massoud Barazani, the Iraqi Kurd president, that Turkey would protect his would-be state in the event of an Iraqi military onslaught - though presumably that would never come to pass if, adopting plan B, the Maliki regime really is contemplating the seismic step of letting the Kurds go of their own free will.
Posted by at January 10, 2013 8:30 PM
  
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