Turkish Journalist: Turkey should support Barzani on Kirkuk issue

18.12.2013 – BasNews (Turkey): – Turkish journalist and activist, Hakan Albayrak, has said that Turkey will back and independent Kurdistan in Iraq, even if it included the disputed city of Kirkuk.

In his column, Albayrak stressed that Turks are ready to support Kurdish president Massoud Barzani in announcing a Kurdish nation state in Iraq.

Regarding the recent energy deal between Ankara and Erbil, Albayrak writes: “this agreement made Iraqi official nervous.” “When in Ankara, Barzani told Turkish officials to support Kurdistan in its path to independence, and to support Kirkuk being part of the independent state, as this would be beneficial to everyone” the journalist wrote. Kirkuk is a disputed city in Iraq, where Kurds and Arab, among other ethnic groups, have argued their claim to the land. Most Kirkukis are ethnically Kurdish, but were relocated during the 70s and 80s as part of Saddam Hussein’s Arabization process. Shia Arabs from the south of Iraq were given land in Kirkuk, as a means to change the city’s demographics.  

“We (Turks) made a mistake in not pushing for Kirkuk to be part of the Kurdistan Region. We saw it as a threat, and we still do, but why should we? Our past actions have only benefited Maliki,” the Turkish journalist wrote. “A Kurdistan with Kirkuk would be rich and this rich region would be a Turkish neighbor, this will benefit both sides of the border,” Albayrak wrote. “The view of a Kurdish state as a threat has nearly dissipated among Turks,” concluded Albayrak.