Since 2005, the KRG has been relatively stable despite the strong contradictions that still prevail between the PUK and the KDP and despite the emergence of IS and the war in Syria and Iraq. The area has also had a strong economic development in recent decades. This is largely due to oil deposits and increased trade with Turkey, with which the Kurdish autonomous administration, and in particular the KDP, has gradually developed a relatively good relationship.
So far, the Kurdish leaders have not fully stepped out and declared an independent Kurdish state. KRG has realized that they still do not have good enough finances to stand on their own two feet, despite oil deposits and economic development. Falling oil prices in 2015 have not made it easier to prepare the ground for a separate Kurdish state. Politically, it is also difficult for the Kurds to declare independence now. They are surrounded by countries that do not want an independent Kurdish state. The area lacks its own coastline and its own ports. This makes the Kurds particularly dependent on a good relationship with the neighbors.
5: Turkey and the Kurdish guerrilla movement PKK
In neighboring countries, the Kurds have not succeeded as well as in Iraq with their struggle for independence. In Turkey, the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) launched armed attacks on Turkish military targets in the 1980s. The founders of the PKK were Marxists, and the organization’s original goal was to liberate Kurdish areas from Turkish “occupation” and establish an independent communist state. Later, the party program was changed and the goal was to find a solution for the Kurds within Turkey’s borders in the form of a federation .
In the 1990s, according to sunglasseswill, a civil war broke out in southeastern Turkey , killing around 40,000 people and displacing two million Kurds and fleeing their villages. During the civil war, the PKK’s armed groups operated from a number of military bases in remote mountainous areas of northern Iraq. At the same time, the organization was supported by Syria. In 1999, PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan was abducted by Turkish agents, taken to Turkey and sentenced to death. The death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. After the arrest of Öcalan, the PKK declared a ceasefire that lasted until 2004. After that, new fighting broke out, but not with the same intensity as in the 1990s. Several new ceasefires of shorter or longer duration were entered into throughout the 2000s, but onea final peace agreement between the Turkish government and the PKK has so far failed to materialize .
6: 2015: Setback in Turkey
Various mediation attempts and peace talks have taken place between the Turkish government and the PKK. The PKK has been represented by Öcalan, who is still considered the PKK’s leader despite serving a life sentence in prison, and the PKK’s military leadership based in military bases in the mountains of northern Iraq. The legitimate pro-Kurdish party HDP , which has participated in elections and is represented in Turkey’s National Assembly, has also participated in the peace talks. HDP supports PKK positions.
The PKK wants greater cultural and political rights for the Kurds and an amnesty for PKK members before they are willing to lay down their arms for good. The Turkish government, for its part, has made some concessions, such as allowing Kurdish TV broadcasts and Kurdish teaching at Turkish universities, but does not want to give more until the PKK agrees to lay down its arms. In other words, there is a kind of agreement that the Kurds must be given greater rights as part of a peace plan, but there is disagreement about the order of the various steps in the process.
In June 2015, the ceasefire was broken again due to a suicide bombing during a Kurdish peace demonstration in southern Turkey (more than 30 killed in Suruc). The Islamic State (IS) was accused of being behind it, and the PKK accused the Turkish government of not doing enough to stop IS. They then attacked several Turkish military outposts. The Turkish government responded by attacking the PKK inside Turkey and in their bases in northern Iraq. This was followed by riots and armed fighting in several Kurdish cities in southeastern Turkey. By the end of 2015, Kurdish youth groups affiliated with the PKK had built barricades and entrenched themselves in the center of several Kurdish cities in southeastern Turkey. There were armed street battles with the Turkish army. You are thus further away a solution to the Kurdish conflict in Turkey than in a long time.
7: The Kurds and the Civil War in Syria
After the outbreak of civil war in Syria, the Syrian army withdrew from large parts of the Syrian countryside in 2012. The void that arose was filled by various armed rebel groups. In Kurdish areas in the north of the country along the border with Turkey, the Syrian-Kurdish party PYD took control when the Syrian army withdrew. PYD are close allies of the PKK. They had guerrillas at PKK bases in northern Iraq who they brought to Syria after the withdrawal of the Syrian army. The PYD declared that it would not ally itself with the Syrian regime or with the rebels. Instead, they advocated the establishment of “internal self-government” in northern Syria, and began work to build a local bureaucracy that could provide schools, health care and public infrastructure.