News / Middle East

    Iraq Warns Turkey Over Kurdistan Oil Ties

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Nechirvan Idris Barzani, head of Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan, meet in Ankara, Nov. 27, 2013.
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Nechirvan Idris Barzani, head of Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan, meet in Ankara, Nov. 27, 2013.
    Dorian Jones
    Iraq is warning Turkey not to follow through on an oil deal with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is expected to start exporting oil to Turkey as early as next month.
     
    Baghdad officials have voiced strong opposition to any energy deals between Ankara and the KRG, insisting that only they have authority to make energy deals, a claim disputed by both Ankara and the KRG.
     
    According to Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar Carnegie Institute in Brussels, energy cooperation between Ankara and the KRG is deepening, and shipments could start soon.
     
    "There has been, now and even very recently, a set of ambitious agreements between Ankara and the KRG regarding the leveraging of these oil and gas resources," he said.
     
    Ankara and the KRG have, for several years, been negotiating a comprehensive energy deal, involving energy purchases, construction of pipelines, and resource exploration. Ankara sees the neighboring region's oil and gas wealth as a solution to its growing energy needs.
     
    Turkey has little energy reserves of its own and has been seeking to diversify its dependence on Russia and Iran.
     
    According to Semih Idiz, diplomatic columnist for the Turkish newspaper Taraf and the Al Monitor website, concern over Turkish cooperation with the KRG is not confined only to Baghdad.

    "One of the accusations leveled at Turkey because of its ties with the Kurds, both by Baghdad and Washington, [is that] it's actually in a divisive mode as far of the territorial integrity of Iraq is concerned," he said. "So I think Baghdad will be looking for steps from Turkey that reinforce that territorial integrity and not weaken it and not put it in question."
     
    In a bid to alleviate those tensions, KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, who met Wednesday with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is expected to visit Baghdad.
     
    Efforts to resolve tentions

    Turkey's energy cooperation with the KRG has been a key factor behind years of tensions with Baghdad, but in the last few weeks there have been intense efforts to repair relations. Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Levent Gumrukcu says those efforts have created a better environment to resolve differences.
     
    "Among friends — neighbors among friends — there might be disagreements, but the important thing is to be able to have mature and meaningful dialogue, and I think that is what we have now the Iraqi government," he said. "Sometimes we agree to disagree, but we try to engage in a dialogue as much as possible."
     
    Some energy experts say the KRG could eventually, with Turkish support, become a major world energy exporter. Such potential would not only play a crucial role in helping to meet Turkey’s energy needs but would also contribute to making it an important international energy hub, a strategic goal of Ankara.
     
    Analyst Ulgen says with or without Baghdad’s consent, cooperation between Ankara and the KRG will continue to grow.
     
    "Turkey's position is that Baghdad cannot continue to obstruct the deal between Turkey and the KRG. But it will be much easier and less problematic and much more predictable if Baghdad is also on board," he said. "But [Turkey] does not want to give the right of veto overall to Baghdad, because this is quite an important issue for Turkey to have this energy relationship in place."

    KRG Prime Minister Barzani said this week the first oil shipments to Turkey could start by the end of the year.
     
    Observers warn that gives little time to resolve the current impasse.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mohsin from: Amin
    November 28, 2013 11:31 PM
    Go to hell america and iraq, KURDISTAN BELONGS TO US KURDS AND WE WILL NEVER BOW FOR ANYONE... OUR NATURAL RESOURCES WE SELL THEM JUST THE WAY WE LIKE...
    In Response

    by: Kimberly Smythe from: USA
    November 29, 2013 11:07 AM
    hey idiot, "America" wants you to have sovereignty over your own resources. We support your hope for free Kurdistan. We want you to live free in your own home. The people who withhold your freedom and oppress you are the degenerate Iranians who subverted Iraq. do you understand??? Iran is in control of Iraq..!!
    we are trying to protect you from the Hizbullah and the IRGC and other Shia terrorist organizations that will be happy to rape your daughters and slaughter you - but since you are an Arab Kurd - a Kardashian... you are stupid by definition... just like the imbecilic Iranians...

    by: Nikos from: Greece
    November 28, 2013 2:16 PM
    please do not believe a word that the Turkys are saying. They are as deceitful as the ugly Iranians.
    In Response

    by: Mike Jones from: Windsor, Berkshire
    November 29, 2013 7:01 AM
    Beware of Greeks bearing gifts (or advice).

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora