Briefing on Turkey’s shifting attitude towards Kurdish Independence in Iraq
31st August 2017
Ankara is taking a softer than expected position on the independence referendum in the Kurdish Region in Iraq, where it is keen to maintain its strategic relationship with the Kurdistan Democratic Party.
- Turkey continues to maintain its opposition to the Kurdish independence in Iraq, which senior government figures say has the potential to further destabilise the region
- However, the planned referendum on independence is being pushed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Turkey’s key regional ally
- The Kurdistan Democratic Party is crucial to Turkey’s ability to exert influence on the ground in Iraq, leading Ankara to take a more pragmatic stance towards independence
Domestic political restraints mean that the government in Ankara has little option than to publicly oppose the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) referendum on independence. Turkish nationalism remains a powerful force across Turkish politics, and since briefly losing its parliamentary majority in June 2015 the ruling Justice and Development Party…
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