View Full Version : Turkey’s Optimistic Plans in Iraq seem to be Faltering

Investors Iraq News
01-18-2018, 12:10 AM
By Mahmut Bozarslan for Al Monitor (http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/pmu-iraq-army-national-guard.html).*Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of*Iraq Business News (http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/).
The partnership Turkey, Iran and Iraq*formed against the Kurdistan Regional Government (https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/kirkuk-baghdad-kurdistan-somo-ceyhan.html) (KRG) independence referendum in September has*left Tehran pleased*but*left Ankara severely disappointed.
Ankara had two basic expectations about*the partnership. First, Turkish officials*believed that a*new pipeline would be built to carry oil from Kirkuk,*Iraq, to Turkey’s Ceyhan oil terminal, replacing*a damaged line and*bypassing the KRG. And second, as an alternative to the border crossing (https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/iraq-turkey-ovakoy-fayshkhabur-ibrahim-khalil.html) from Habur, Turkey, into Iraq —*which provides lucrative income to the KRG —*a new border crossing to Iraq would open at Ovacik in Turkey.
Ankara calculated that a crossing at*Ovacik, at the junction of Iraqi-Syrian-Turkish borders, would:

Deprive the KRG of income from customs taxes.
Provide a*shorter road connection*between Tal Afar and Mosul, which*features in Turkey’s “New Ottoman (http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/10/23/turkeys-religious-nationalists-want-ottoman-borders-iraq-erdogan/)” dreams.
Strengthen*relations with Turkmens and sever the*connection between the Kurdistan Workers*Party (PKK) at the Yazidi town of Sinjar*and the Kurdish Rojava region in northern Syria.
Be linked to the main highway to Mosul with a 120-kilometer (75-mile) road upgraded to international standards and a new bridge to be built over the Tigris River.

But the Ovacik project*has been shelved*and an alternative pipeline plan (https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/turkey-iraq-kirkuk-oil-to-flow-iran.html)*—*involving Iran —*has emerged,*marginalizing the proposed new pipeline to move*oil from Kirkuk to Ceyhan.
For three years, the*KRG*sold oil from the*Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. But the central government in Baghdad took over the Kirkuk oil fields after the Kurds threatened in September to seek independence.
On Oct. 16,*Baghdad implied*that the Kirkuk oil would be sent out via Turkey as in the past.*The pipeline had been used irregularly during the battle against the Islamic State (IS), and Baghdad cut off the flow completely*after the September independence referendum. Turkey expected the flow to*resume — but it hasn’t.

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com. (http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2018/01/18/turkeys-optimistic-plans-in-iraq-seem-to-be-faltering/)

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