The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) held a panel on Oct. 1 regarding the future of Iraq following the recent developments in Kirkuk, with panelists pointing out the various issues that await a resolution to ensure stability in Iraq.
As Baghdad retook control of the disputed areas, the border gates and Irbil's international airport, the question of whether Iraq will rise again has overshadowed these developments. Touching on this question, Burhanettin Duran speaking in the SETA panel stressed that there are serious challenges associated with that aim, contending that, "A political system that will keep all the instruments in Iraq is necessary." In order to sustain stability and integration, Duran said, "Iraq should not be an arena for proxy wars."
Al-Jazeera's Amer Alkubaisi, speaking in the panel, stated that, "[Former Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG] President Masoud] Barzani has miscalculated the situation regarding the referendum and the ‘Western support' did not exist." Alkubaisi also added that Iraq's future will be determined by the discourse developed by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Underlining the reasons behind the KRG's referendum decision, SETA expert Can Acun stated that Barzani had attempted to benefit from rising Kurdish nationalism and to strengthen his position in domestic politics. "Barzani made an agreement regarding the referendum with senior officials of the [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan] PUK, taking advantage of [former Iraqi President Jalal] Talabani's health problems [at the time]," Acun said, adding that with the referendum decision, the KRG lost what it had previously gained in just 48 hours, greatly disappointing the Kurds.
Even though the peshmerga forces were once trusted, their failure in Kirkuk was a disappointment and raised concerns among the Kurdish people, Acun said, commenting on observations made across various cities. The PUK instruments in the peshmerga forces retreated in Kirkuk, signaling a deal with Baghdad. Acun contended that with the recent situation with the KRG members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the PUK and the Gorran (Change) Movement have started to accuse each other of betrayal which could spark future disputes. Acun underscored that as Ankara and Baghdad are on the same page in terms of maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq, Turkey expects steps to be taken by Iraq's central government to eliminate the PKK terrorist organization from regions such as Qandil and Sinjar.
Commenting on Barzani's resignation, Duran stated that this development has strengthened Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi's hand, adding that KRG federal authorities will be restricted to prevent further attempts for independence.
Duran pointed out the balancing role Turkey plays in relation to the issue, stressing that "in a period of regional uncertainty, the rapprochement between Turkey and Iraq is essential for both Baghdad and for regional stability."
Mahir Nakip, an academic from Çankaya University, stated the current situation in Iraq is a result of the fact that four main issues do not exist in the Iraqi constitution. "The first issue is that the border gates to the Kurdish region are controlled by the Kurds," Nakip said, adding that the second problem is that the power of the peshmerga forces is almost equal that of the Iraqi forces, even though the constitution defines their duty as protecting border lines. Nakip said Kurdish control of energy resources and the airports in Irbil and Sulaymaniyah comprise the other problems.
Nakip underscored that the city of Kirkuk is a miniature of Iraq as a whole, while pointing out that no solution should favor just one side since there are various ethnic groups in the city.
"In order for Iraq to be normalized as a country, the first priority should be to return to the constitution of the country," Nakip said, stressing that citizens stand by al-Abadi in support of the implementation of the Iraqi constitution. Nakip said following the incidents in Iraq, politics based on ethnicity and sects will prove themselves flawed in time, adding that the issue might get back on track after 14 years of missteps.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.