Turkey: An independent Kurdistan? What a FINE idea!

Apparently the rules of the game have changed:

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—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.

The AKP is the party of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan under whom Ankara and Erbil have built strong economic and diplomatic relations.

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

To answer Ace of Spades’s question of why Turkey is doing this now: it’s because the Kurds are happy to sell things to Turks, like access to vacation facilities… and more importantly, oil. Lots and lots of oil.  Under circumstances like that, arrangements can, as they say, be made.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: You may be asking yourself, If Turkey really is fine with an independent Kurdistan now, what’s going to stop the Kurds from taking away, say, Mosul from ISIS? That’s… an interesting question.


  • Luke says:

    Strictly doing the armchair general thing here…
    There doesn’t appear to be much opposition politically.
    Looking at the topo map, it looks like it would be a challenge to defend (the areas to the South and West look to be better suited for offensive operations than defensive ones) and a challenge to reinforce (there appears to be only one road between Erbil and Mosul, and movement from any of the other Kurdish areas involves moving through mountainous terrain).
    I believe they’ll do it. And when they make their move, it’ll be quick and decisive.
    But in this case, there doesn’t seem to be a large benefit to acting quickly. The more atrocities committed by ISIS, the happier most Mosul residents will be to be conquered by the Kurds. Letting the Shi’a and Sunni really get into it makes opportunistically picking off Mosul easier. Waiting gives more chance to gauge the likelihood of being stabbed in the back when you make your move.

  • Herp McDerp says:

    Then, too, it may suddenly have dawned on the Turks that if there’s an independent Kurdistan on their eastern border, then there might be an easy answer to the problem of their own ethnic Kurds agitating for more freedom: push their Kurds over the border and get rid of them. The world looks more kindly on ethnic cleansing if you don’t kill the people you want to get rid of, but instead give them the independent “homeland” that they say they want.

    • acat says:

      This, with the added note that this gets the Kurds as .. “enemy of my enemy” I suppose .. toward Erdogan.
      Kurds may feel less like allying with secular Turks in toppling Erdogan if they don’t think they can get as good a shake on an independent Kurdistan from the next guy…

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