Monday, June 16, 2014

"He who controls Kirkuk, controls Iraq"

Tanya Goudsouzian writes for June 16, 2014 on the recent takeover of Kirkuk by the Kurdistan peshmerga security forces and its affect on Turkey following the gains of the ISIS militants and the abandonment of multiple towns by the Iraqi military.

Goudsouzian cites an old Iraqi saying, "He who controls Kirkuk, controls Iraq", and notes that the "word on the Kurdish street is this may be the opportune moment to either annex the city to the (Kurdistan Regional Government), or more controversially, make a unilateral declaration of independence."

Goudsouzian quotes Ihsan Yilmaz, a Turkish political analyst: "In the past, Turkey did not want Kurds to have Kirkuk as they did not want them to grow richer and more powerful... But the AKP - with its neo-Ottoman vision - has persuaded the Kemalist establishment that Turkey must be friendly with Iraqi Kurdistan..."

Joseph A. Kechichian, a senior fellow at the Riyadh-based King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, is quoted by Goudsouzian as saying, "Ultimately,... Ankara cannot overlook the rise of genuine Kurdish power next door, and must come to terms with the irredentist claims made by Kurds..."


Jeremiah prophesied that a nation north of the land of Babylon would be great, and would defeat and plunder Chaldea. That nation would be led by the kings of the Medes, who today are the Kurds. Until recently, it seemed preposterous that the Kurds could be considered "powerful", let alone even have a country of their own, yet here they are, on the verge of declaring their independence, and being described by analysts as having "genuine... power", and growing "richer" and more "powerful" by the hour.

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