Update on Turkey’s intransigence and duplicitous understanding of sovereignty over this weekend: this time, Turkish troops have gone into Northern Iraq.
“Turkey will have a permanent military base in the Bashiqa region of Mosul as the Turkish forces in the region training the Peshmerga forces have been reinforced, Hürriyet reported.
The deal regarding the base was signed between Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani and Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu, during the latter’s visit to northern Iraq on Nov. 4.”
Although it appears that the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi isn’t in the loop on this deployment:“We did not ask any country to send foreign ground troops, and we will treat any sent as a hostile act.” The Iraqi authorities called on Turkey to withdraw immediately from Iraqi territory:
Back to the Hurriyet Daily News article:
“For more than two years, Turkey has had a group of soldiers in Bashiqa, located 32 kilometers north of Mosul, which is under Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) control. The soldiers have been training the Peshmerga forces and other anti-ISIL groups.”
In other reports, the Turkish are said to be training a Sunni volunteer group called Hashd al-Wataniya. A figure of 2200 Turkish troops, along with tanks have been quoted in the media. The Fars news agency also reports that Turkey is building an airfield in Northen Irak, named 'Bamerne', in Dahuk.
Judging by the flurry of diplomatic activity, clearly Baghdad didn’t approve the operation in the first place . It was just signed by the KRG President Massoud Barzani, who just happens to be in bed with the Turkish elites, & actively participating in the Kurdish oil trade & smuggling routes into southern Turkey. So are the Turkish troops there covering Barzani’s back?
But what the heck is going on here? There seems to more to it than at first glance. There is this snippet of news on the RT website:
"While Russia is a major supplier of oil and gas for Turkey, Ankara may find another seller, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised speech. Turkey seeks to secure deliveries from Qatar and Azerbaijan amid escalated tensions with Russia over its downing of a Russian warplane over Syria. Russia slapped economic sanctions against Turkey in retaliation, but continues to supply fuel according to existing contracts with Turkey.”
Notice the words: “Turkey seeks to secure deliveries from Qatar…” Join this up with Erdogan's shot across Russia’s bow back in October, he said “Turkey may replace Russia as fuel supplier". Add in the potential gas pipeline project, which reveals an extra layer in Turkey's latest activities:
“- A pipeline that will start from Qatar and reach the European Union through Iraq and Turkey will truly ensure the diversification of sources and routes and thus contribute to the supply security.”
ORSAM Report No: 23, January 2011 IS THE QATAR-IRAQ-TURKEY-EUROPE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE PROJECT FEASIBLE?
Predictably it is linked to the ongoing spat with Russia that’s deepening by the week. Russia is probably wondering what to do, if it is possible to help in the region. Assistance may be potentially provided to the Marxist Kurdistan Workers' Party, (PKK), who are competing for power currently held by the KRG. This would be the equivalent of stepping into quicksand, since it could possibly trigger a serious armed struggle, which would only benefit ISIS and Turkey. It is truly complex. The PKK is loathed by the Turkish government and in the summer it attacked the vital pipeline that runs from Iraq to Ceyhan, causing some major financial losses to both the Turks & KRG.
Predictably there is another twist to this tale: oil extraction. It is very convenient for the Turkish military group in Northern Iraq to be located right within the oil triangle. In 2012, Turkey joined in with the KRG to sign an agreement on oil exploratory work. Even Exxon did some preliminary seismic work in the area then, including the Bashiqa area. This is what Erdogan had to say about the partnership a year later: "Our oil company already has an agreement with Exxon Mobil in place ... This is a step with the KRG on exploration work,"
So effectively, Turkey had said to Baghdad, "move over,here in the north, we'll take charge from now on". Surprisingly, this fits in with the date of the first deployment of Turkish in Northern Irak.
To recap on the present state of madness: head chopping brutal ISIS steal oil from Damascus & Baghdad’s territory; sell it off through middlemen that include some Kurds, who then sell it to Turkey. The Kurds & the Turks are supposedly fighting ISIS. The Western media image of the valiant Kurdish fighter has been sorely abused by the political elites running their off-the-books oil business with the enemy. It is very convoluted & extremely messy.
Another intriguing gem, is the fact that the Turkish elites have regularly brandished neo-Ottoman rhetoric. It is no secret that the Turkish government would like to get back places such as Aleppo and Mosul. Straight from the horse’s mouth:
“The border is wrong. The Mosul Province was within the Ottoman Empire's territory. Had that place been a part of Turkey, none of the problems we are confronted with at the present time would have existed.”
President Demirel in 1995
Giora Eiland in an Guardian article mentioned meeting a senior Turkish official some years ago and the official said , “but do not make the mistake of thinking that the borders that were dictated to us at the end of the first world war by the victorious countries – mainly the UK and France – are acceptable to us. Turkey will find a way to return to its natural borders in the south – the line between Mosul in Iraq and Homs in Syria. That is our natural aspiration and it is justified because of the large Turkmen presence in that region.”
Turkmen did you say? Wouldn't that be those not so nice chappies that shot up a parachuting Russian pilot? Turkey
Other linked information on Turkey:
Is your head spinning yet?