Turkish foreign policy – A friendship of convenience

Sunday, August 24th, 2014 10:18:05 by
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In recent years, Turkey’s foreign policy is summarized in the phrase “zero problems with neighbors”, designed by the newly nominated prime minister and even foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. However, the current situation for Turkey is one of serious problems with almost all its neighbors. Although Ankara has 30 years fighting a Kurdish insurgency in its territory, ironically his only friend in the region scheme is the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), a Kurdish autonomy in management with many neighboring Iraq.

“The failure of this [ policy ] Davutoglu, especially in Egypt and Syria, increased the importance of the KRG [ for Turkey ],” says Ozan Serdaroglu, Turkish expert analyst relations between his country and the eastern Mediterranean. In fact, Ankara currently has no ambassador to Syria, Egypt and Israel.

“To be working with a Kurdish group is the only concrete achievement of the policy of ‘ zero problems.” Without the KRG, the only ally of the AKP [ the ruling party ] in the region would be Hamas “elaborates Serdaroglu, now a researcher at Swedish Institute for Security and Development Policy.

The Turkish economy, which has developed rapidly in recent years, imports 97 % of oil and gas it uses, according to the CIA World Factbook. As a key point of connection between Ankara and Erbil, the capital of the KRG, is the export of Iraqi Kurdish oil: estimated reserves of 45,000 million barrels.

Last June, revealed that the KRG had signed an agreement for 50 years with Ankara to export oil through the Turkish territory. By far, seven cargo ships have set sail from the Turkish port of Ceyhan with about 7.8 million barrels, according to Taner Yildiz said this week, the Turkish energy minister.

The problem is that the Iraqi central government considers illegal to sell without your permission Kurdish oil, an issue which has the support of the United States, so the participation of Turkey in the export and sale of Iraqi Kurdish Kurdish has also tightened relations with Baghdad and Washington.

It happens also that Turkey ‘s hands are tied in the fight against jihadist militia of the Islamic State (EI) in northern Iraq, a common enemy that could have helped bridge differences with some of his former allies. The EI still holds 49 Turkish hostages in Mosul, including diplomats and special forces, which influences Ankara not to intervene against the jihadist threat on its borders, so too can finish depending on Kurdish government in Iraq for the liberation of their citizens.

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