"For Iraqi Kurds and Turks a new rapport is unavoidable
By Hiwa Osman
Monday, February 28, 2005
Turkey will receive good news and bad news when a new government is formed in Iraq. The good news is that Jalal Talabani, a long-time friend of Turkey who understands its importance in the Middle East, will be the president. But the bad news is that as a Kurd he cannot do much about Turkish-Iraqi-Kurdish relations.
The recent statements from Ankara regarding the city of Kirkuk and their fear of Kurds oppressing Turkmen there have sent a strong message to Iraqi Kurdistan that Turkey's 'Kurdophobia' has not subsided, despite repeated Kurdish reassurances that Kurds have no intention to 'Kurdisize' the city of Kirkuk. For the Iraqi Kurd leadership, Kirkuk has a Kurdish character. This means it is part of a geographical region called Kurdistan, but does not mean it is exclusively Kurdish. The demographic makeup of the region of Kurdistan includes Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs and Assyrians - and so does Kirkuk."
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