Turkey, Iraq PMs Trade Barbs Over Their Respective Kurdish Problems

Both Advise Other to Mind Their Own Business

by Jason Ditz, November 23, 2012

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan and his Iraqi counterpart Nouri al-Maliki are at odds. That’s nothing new, but both are trading unusually angry barbs with one another over their respective Kurd problems.

It began with Erdogan expressing concern about the looming battle between the Iraqi military and the Peshmearga, fearing it could threaten their existing oil deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), deals which the Maliki government has condemned as illegal.

Maliki fired back that Erdogan should be focusing on Turkey’s own war with the PKK, which he termed a “civil war,” while predicting that Erdogan would eventually be forced from office.

Turkish Foreign Ministry statements followed mocking Maliki, claiming he has “lost touch with reality” and “confused the state of affairs in Iraq with that of Turkey.” In the end both governments have big problems with their respective Kurdish minorities, and far from bringing them together, it seems to be driving them more apart.

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