Relations Improving Between Kurdistan and Turkey

"If we look at the big picture, we see the situation is more in the interest of Turkey than Kurdistan Region," Muhammad concluded, suggesting a reason for why relations have imrproved.

While the relations between Turkey and Kurdistan Region are advancing very rapidly, the Turkish military continues a near constant bombardment of their border with Kurdistan, accusing members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) of hiding in the mountainous region. There have been more clashes recently, almost certainly a response to the warming-up of the official relationship.

Jawad Qadir, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Massoud Barzani, says the economy is not the only reason why Turkey and the Kurdistan Region are eager to develop better relations.

"The issue of the PKK is one of the most important reasons," He said "Turkey believes the Kurdistan Region can be a mediator to solve the PKK issue. Barzani has an important influence on the PKK.

"President Barzani told the Turkish government that if they make any effort to talk with the PKK, he will try to convince the PKK to disarm."

Recently, Qadir was invited by Turkey along with a number of Kurdish intellectuals and writers with the aim of talking with the Turkish Media to end the hostile statements between both sides. He said Turkey has changed its behavior toward the Kurdistan Region and some high-ranking Turkish officials recognise the Kurdistan Region as a distinct "federal region in Iraq”, also using the term "Kurdistan Region" instead of "Northern Iraq."

However, Qadir believes there are some elements inside the PKK and the Turkish Army who do not want to see good relations between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region and try to hinder it.

"The PKK and Turkish Army can have a positive or negative role in relations between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region," he said.

No date has yet been set for Barzani’s visit to Turkey. With the recent improvements in the relationship between the two parties, though, expectations among the population, especially within Kurdistan are likely to be high.

(Source: Niqash)

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