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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid