Al-Monitor, Semih İdiz, July 1, 2014: “Would Turkey accept a Kurdish state?”
Developments in Iraq have left Turkey facing the prospect of an independent Kurdish state on its eastern border. Such an idea would have been abhorrent for Turkey a mere decade ago for fear that its existence would incite separation among its own restive Kurds. The standard Turkish narrative at the time was that an independent Kurdistan was a Western project aimed at destroying Turkey, an age-old ambition. Even the 2003 US invasion of Iraq was viewed in this context by many. The picture is no longer so black and white.
Today, the tables have turned, and Washington is accusing Ankara of exacerbating divisions in Iraq by developing independent ties with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over Baghdad’s head, especially in the strategic energy field. Turkey’s official preference is still a unified Iraq and as Cengiz Candar noted, one can deduce from recent remarks by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US Secretary of State John Kerry that the positions of the US and Turkish governments converge in this regard.