There is a difference between a deep rooted state and an administration that thinks it can run a state.
Turkey is a state with traditions, a long history and a major power in its region. The Kurds of northern Iraq, who until recently were running their own autonomous administration under the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the past 14 years, have not been able to establish proper institutions and an apparatus that can run a state let alone secure the financial and social means to run it.
All has been talk, mismanagement, corruption and misuse of funds and the wealth of the region. The men on the streets of the Kurdish cities in Iraq are well aware of this poor state of affairs. That is why President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan quotes a Kurdish taxi driver in Irbil who said recently that he would vote "yes" in the so-called referendum for independence of the Kurdish region in Iraq and if things turn sour he would take his family and flee to Turkey.
Many Kurdish intellectuals in Irbil and Sulaymaniyah were unanimous that their region is not prepared to shoulder the hard task of running a state in any way and thus this so-called referendum was a "very bad idea." But now the cat is out of the bag, the so-called referendum has been held with only 72 percent of the Kurds turning out to vote and more than 90 percent allegedly approved independence.
Yet, with this move the Kurds have violated the constitution of Iraq which they played a key role in drafting and legislating. The violation of the constitution means also that the KRG is now null and void and Baghdad calls the cards in the whole of Iraq.
That is why now Baghdad says it will control all border crossings into Turkey and Iran and not the Kurds. That is why Baghdad has closed the airspace of northern Iraq and Turkey has suspended flights to and from Irbil and Sulaymaniyah. Iran has also followed course and international flights to and from the Kurdish region will come to a halt this evening.
Turkey is not like the hot heads that are trying to run the north of Iraq. Turkey is acting with caution and with a level headed approach. It does not want to harm the people of the region but will not tolerate the mistakes committed by Masoud Barzani. If these mistakes persist Turkey will gradually increase the pressure on the Kurds of Iraq.
Turkey is already taking steps to bypass the Habur border gate that is a gateway for the Kurds and is now working on an alternative border gate that will facilitate Turkish-Iraqi trade without entering the Kurdish region of Iraq. Turkey has been doing the Masoud Barzani administration a great favor by selling the oil extracted in the Kurdish zone through its Mediterranean oil terminals.
Yet, now Turkey and the central government in Baghdad have agreed that from now on all the oil extracted in Iraq is the property of the Baghdad administration and thus Turkey will sell Iraqi oil and thus close the doors to the Kurds.
Masoud Barzani and his people have committed a great miscalculation and they have underestimated Turkey's attitude about their moves. It is sad that the Kurdish people of Iraq will also be paying for their leaders'