Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds: oil


May 15, 2013

Turkish state oil company Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) is partnering with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Exxon Mobil to carry out oil exploration in northern Iraq, Turkey’s prime minister said on Tuesday, taking Turkey’s cooperation with Iraqi Kurds on energy one step further.

Exxon, a global oil company based in Texas, was the first to sign up for exploration deals with the KRG. Others including Chevron, Total and Russia’s Gazprom Neft have followed.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan said an agreement was in place for a Turkish company to become a partner with Exxon and the KRG and that details would be clearer after his U.S. visit.

“Our oil company already has an agreement with Exxon Mobil in place … This is a step with the KRG on exploration work,” Erdoğan told reporters at Ankara airport before heading to the United States for an official visit. He is due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday.

Until now, resource-hungry Turkey has been a customer and a transportation outlet for oil exports from the Kurdish region. With this agreement, the Turks would play an active role in exploiting Iraqi Kurdistan’s rich hydrocarbon resources.

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2 Reacties to “Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds: oil”

  1. kruitvat Says:

    May 15, 2013

    ‘And it’s not just Syria causing friction between the allies. The U.S. is also upset at Turkey’s deal with Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurds to develop energy projects in northern Iraq; a move Baghdad calls illegal and the US fears could contribute to a breakup of Iraq.’



    May 15, 2013

    Obama ‘applauds’ Turkey’s effort to find peaceful solution to Kurdish problem…

    ‘U.S. President Barack Obama has applauded the efforts of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem.

    “I applaud Prime Minister Erdoğan’s efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to a struggle that has caused so much pain and sorrow for the people of Turkey for more than 30 years,” Obama told daily Milliyet’s Washington representative, Pınar Ersoy, in an e-mail interview.

    Turkey has launched a “peace process” aiming to end the three-decade-old conflict between security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). For the first time in recent Turkish history, Turkish officials have openly held talks with the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan.

    “I believe that the proactive measures that the Turkish government is undertaking can lead to real progress. A peaceful resolution will not only improve the lives of millions of citizens living in the violence-torn regions of southeast Turkey, it will mean more security and prosperity for people across Turkey for generations to come. The Turkish people should know that the United States will continue to support – in concrete ways – their desire to close this terrible chapter and begin a new chapter of peace and security,” the president told the daily.


  2. kruitvat Says:

    Turkey warns opposition against sabotaging ‘Kurdish peace moves’


    ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Turkish government welcomed a planned withdrawal by Kurdish militants as significant progress towards ending three decades of conflict on Friday, and it warned its nationalist opponents not to sabotage the peace process.
    The main nationalist party, however, was quick to reiterate its opposition to any dealings with the militants.
    Rebel field commander Murat Karayilan on Thursday ordered his fighters to begin leaving Turkey on May 8 for the mountains of northern Iraq, in a step to halt a war that has killed more than 40,000 and scarred the nation.
    The pullout is a major step forward in a peace plan hammered out during months of negotiations between Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) chief Abdullah Ocalan, jailed on a prison island near Istanbul.
    The onus is now on the government to enact reforms sought by Ocalan and his followers, a process that will require support for changes to the constitution in the face of nationalist anger at negotiations with a man they have long reviled.
    “The point we have reached in the process is very important and we need to be sensitive for it to be completed successfully,” Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said.
    “It is necessary to determinedly avoid behavior and actions which would sabotage the process,” he said, criticizing opposition parties including the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for seeking to “besmirch” the government.

    “His courage ended terrorism,” the front-page headline in the mainstream Haberturk newspaper said of Erdogan. “Game Over”, said the Yeni Safak daily, which is close to the government. “Go and don’t come back”, Posta newspaper said of the militants.

    Ocalan, who began peace talks with Turkish intelligence agents from prison six months ago, brought the violence to a halt with a ceasefire order at Kurdish new year celebrations on March 21.
    From May, some 2,000 rebels are to move into Iraq in small groups, monitored on the Turkish side by the MIT and by the Kurdish regional government in Iraq.
    Speaking in the PKK’s stronghold in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq where thousands of its members are based, Karayilan indicated that Erdogan’s demand that the fighters disarm before they leave Turkey had been quietly dropped.
    Dressed in baggy olive green fatigues and flanked by other senior rebels, Karayilan said Ankara would first have to push through reforms guaranteeing Kurdish rights and release Ocalan before the PKK would consider disarmament.

    Thousands of Kurdish politicians and activists have also been detained in recent years over alleged links to the PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union, and Ocalan is expecting their release.

    Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51676673/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/#.UZOrbKJA2So

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