How independent is Kurdistan?

From Foreign Policy Tue Dec 11 2012, 13:23:07

Ironically, as Ben Van Heuvelen writes, if Iraqi Kurdistan becomes a viable state, it may be thanks largely to Turkey:

Kurdistan has already staked out significant autonomy, providing its own public services, controlling airports and borders, and commanding police and army forces. The energy deal with Turkey would all but sever Kurdistan's economic dependence on Baghdad, which is perhaps the primary tie that still binds the two sides.

"We are having serious discussions with the [Turkish] company," Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said. "We hope they participate in the region."

The Turkish government has softened its opposition to Iraqi Kurdistan since the invasion of Iraq, while its relations with Baghdad have deteriorated. This stands in stark contrast to Turkey's concerns over Kurdish gains in Northern Syria. 

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