Why Turkey Now Wants Iraq to Break Up – Marc Champion (Bloomberg)
(dailyalert.org, July 3, 2014)
Officials in Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s government have indicated at least twice in recent weeks that they are willing to end Turkey’s historical opposition to the creation of an independent Kurdish state.
The most urgent reason is the electoral arithmetic Erdogan faces in next month’s vote for president. TheAug. 10 vote is the first time the Turkish president will be elected directly rather than by parliament.
The even split between Erdogan and the main opposition means that Turkey’s Kurds will be the kingmakers. For them, any concern over Erdogan’s authoritarian bent pales next to securing an independent Kurdish state in Iraq and a better deal for themselves in Turkey. Erdogan is letting them know he is the man to deliver both.
As the Council on Foreign Relations’ Stephen Cook, just back from Iraqi Kurdistan, told me: “[Kurdish leader] Barzani can make Erdogan king of Turkey and Erdogan can make Barzani king of Kurdistan.”