Nov 23, 2010

Turkish – Iranian blocs in Kurdistan

Abdulla Hawez Abdulla*

I have always heard about special relations between some Kurdish political parties with Iran, while they were on mountains. But, after the Kurdish uprising in 1991, these rumors have almost vanished.  Before a couple months, I have read a Kurdish wide-spared magazine here in northern Iraq about the two main blocs in here. I was reluctant at first, because I have no prevails to convince me. But what I have heard from Iranian media and PUK's jalal Talabani recently made me believe about the two political blocs that I was envisaging, one is Iran's allay, the other one is Turkey's. The question is emerging here; is northern Iraq's federal region going on "dual track"?
When, first, I heard from an Iranian Satalite channel, sharply condemning Massud Barzani the president of Kurdistan region, I wondered about the real reason behind this worsening in ties between the two sides. The Iranian channel's accusation was that Barzani has strong hazy relations with the "big satans" Israel and United States. But, some sourses told me, Iran's real bummer with Barzani is his Kurdistan Democratic Party or PDK's recently-improved ties with Turkey. In this current year, Nechirvan Barzani dupity president of PDK has visited Turkey three times, that's in spite of, Turkish high ranks one after the one are visiting Arbil. tallies are showing that 10 high meetings took place between Turkish high ranks represented by prime minister Erdogan and foreign and interior ministers, compared to two high ranked meetings between Jalal Talababi's PUK and Turkey. Furthermore, another reason that sustain my opinion is in 90s and early years of this century, PDK took battles against PKK, and became PKK's foe in Tukrey's side.The other important political party that counts in this bloc is Kurdistan Islamic Union or KIU which they also have seen Turkish high ranks more than once, despite, historical relations between Justice and development party or AKP and KIU. 
Iraqi president and PUK leader Jalal Talabani and Turkey always have tried to have good ties,but as we saw from Talabani's most recent interview with a Turkish daily, Iran breakthrough the relations and took back Talabani to his bloc as they have hostoric ties. Indeed, no one can deny what Talabani said about Turkish role in Iraq. "Turkey was trying to takedown me and Almaliki" Talabani said. Actually, Barzani's initiative to get a path for Iraq's deadlock was giving Alawi the chair of presidency, but Iran intervine at the last minute. I think that's obvious reason to say Talabani is in Iran's bloc, while Barzani is in Turkey's side. Even, during the negotiations for forming the Iraqi government, There was closeness between Barzani and Alawi, while Talabani was closer to Almaliki. In northern Iraq, except the two political parties that I named above, all the other parties are iran's ally such as change movement and Islamic group. But, still, Turkish bloc is more powerful, though the two political parties have more votes.
As they are both nighbours of northern Iraq and two biggest regional powers, Turkey and Iran want to have more influnce on the Kurdish region. As the Kurdistan Regional Government or KRG trying to build peaceful and presperet region, it's remarkably lucrative for us two build up better relations with Turkey, because more than half of our economy is based on Turkish inverstments and exports. It's harmful for us to make our region two blocs, one of them become a hurdle to make ties with the other.But we have to be smart enough to pick trump for our region to have closer ties with. What Jalal Talabani said about Turkey is nothing just deepening the discord. I believe president Talabani should re-take steps to make his ties stronger with Turkey, because that's prerequisite to become triumphant in his new term of presidency, because Turkey's influnce inconceivable in iraq, and it grows repiddly as it's economy growing.

* Kurdish Journalist from northern Iraq

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