Since the late 2000s, Erdogan developed a close political relationship with Barzani, facilitated by burgeoning trade and shared distrust of Baghdad's leadership.
Erdogan repeatedly accused Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his predecessor Nouri al-Maliki of pursuing policies against Iraq’s Sunni minority.
“Ankara will have less say over Baghdad with a diminished influence over KRG because Ankara worked through KRG Kurdistan in Baghdad. This is a fact,” said Selcen. “In the mid and long term Ankara’s and Tehran interests will not overlap,” he said.
The cost to Ankara of undermining Barzani and his KDP Party is not only confined to diplomatic influence. The main beneficiary could be the Kurdish rebel group the PKK that is fighting for greater autonomy for Kurds in Turkey.
The PKK has many of its bases in the Iraqi Kurdish region. “The political arena is the more forthcoming for the PKK presence because the KDP was the strongest ally in Ankara’s fight against the PKK. I don’t know how that will continue from now on,” notes Selcen. “But the fight against the PKK has become an agenda for Baghdad and Ankara,” he said.
“Assuming in Iraqi Kurdistan, the PKK gains strength at the disadvantage of Barzani, I don’t see what Ankara can do but intervene one way or another,” warns Yesilada. On Oct.13 and for the first time in nine years, Turkish forces carried out a cross border military operation into Iraqi Kurdistan against the PKK.
With the Iraqi Kurdistan region facing an economic crisis and political turmoil under ongoing pressure from Baghdad, Tehran and Ankara, the region could yet face more instability.
“It's true the KRG runs the risk of an imminent implosion and the first test (is) upcoming elections in Iraq, which should be held March 2018,” notes former diplomat Selcen. Analysts say the PKK would likely benefit from any chaos.
"Analysts say the PKK would likely benefit from any chaos."
Requoting from today's earlier post, US Lauds Barzani Step Down. Did the US encourage Barzani’s Fall From Power ?, yours truly stated .......
"Perhaps it’s just more of that order out of chaos?Capisce?
This fits the theory I've been putting forward for two years now...
Related from last week:
You'll notice the leader of Gorran emerged from the region controlled by the PUK?
Abdullah Öcalan, the group's leader, sought primacy over his Iraqi Kurdish competitors. "Barzani and Talabani are like feet or arms, but I am the main head or mind," Öcalan explained in a 1998 interview.25