“Negotiations have been carried out for a while now to hand over responsibility for Kirkuk’s external security to KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) forces. Why is Iraq doing this? What are the role of other powers in this?” writes Nurettin Demirtaş for Yeni Özgür Politika.
First of all, this is Kirkuk, and not a random place where a few powers can decide the future of among themselves. What is in Kirkuk? It is known as one of the most historical cities where a diverse range of peoples and faiths have been living together. In terms of its other richnesses, Kirkuk has the oil for more than a hundred years that has been appetizing for many power elites. (…)
Neither the US, the UK, nor Turkey wants to walk away from such a resource. Neither does Iraq. They are obviously looking for formulas to include the KDP in the security [of Kirkuk].
The last time the peshmerga of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) were hit by ISIS near that area. But what does it mean for the KDP to enter Kirkuk under the pretext of security? (…)
The role of Turkey in this is not only determined by its relations with the KDP. They have the potential to create conflict in Kirkuk with the “Iraqi Turkmen Front,” (al-Jabha al-Turkmāniya al-Irāqiya; also know as ITF) which they use as a paramilitary counter-force.
However, in the present scenario, it appears that they are trying to be more effective in Kirkuk through their relationship with the KDP. However, some critical circles believe that this relationship is turning against Turkey on a strategic level.
So much so that former Admiral Cihat Yaycı, known for his “Blue Homeland” project targeting the Mediterranean, said, “Kirkuk is going under our hands. Losing Kirkuk means losing Turkey.”
Although some find this statement a little bit over dramatic, it is a significant statement, because it emphasises how serious this whole Kirkuk debate is. From that moment on, they intervened in this process.
Especially at such a time period when Hulusi Akar claims that there is no “Kurdistan,” the invasion of Kirkuk by a force in the name of Kurdistan seems to have increased their fear of Kurdistan – even though this force is their collaborator-.
The point here is that they will not get their share of this oil and all their enthusiasm for the “Nationaal Pact” (known as Misaki Milli) will go down the drain. For this reason, it is seen that they immediately intervened and interfered in this process with Kirkuk. Because although it was claimed that there was an agreement that allowed the KDP to enter the area on 25 November, this has not happened so. (…)
In the current equation, the following question arises: Is it possible for the KDP to both enter Kirkuk and take the presidency as a result of a possible election? Can Kirkuk be given to the KDP and the presidency to the PUK instead of giving both to the KDP?
With the support of the West, despite the fact that it wants more, the KDP can leave the presidency to the PUK and enter Kirkuk, This situation will be better understood in the days to come, because, due to the interventions of the Turkish state, Iraq may face more turmoil, including the elections. (…)
The thing is that the KDP cannot act simply the way it wants to. Even if they want to weaken the PUK, the centres of balance will not let them to do so. For instance, it is also known that Iran plays an important role in this regard.
It is not only Iran, the Western friends of the KDP too, do not aim to empower the KDP in all possible areas, they also want the PUK nearby.
The present situation objectively interferes with the disposition of Iran. So whatever position the KDP achieves, it does not have the luxury to run its horses around the way it wishes to.
Especially with the level of relations with Turkey that has turned the KDP into a tool for chaos, the KDP is not able to do what it wishes to do anywhere.
The KDP may act as a counterbalancing factor in the parliament, but, given its current situation, it cannot be an agent for stabilisation.
On the contrary, it is a force that will cause more chaos with every step it takes. The reason for this is it’s relations with the Turkish state.
The road on which the KDP has embarked upon has become dangerous for the whole of Kurdistan.