Kurdistan’s politicians and citizens would like to see Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani successfully broker a peace agreement between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey. It’s a bold move by Barzani, considering that the last peace agreement was mediated by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which has historically been an enemy of the Prime Minister’s party; the KDP. Barzani has been attempting to remain diplomatic and keep hostilities down between Turkey and the PKK since the start of Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch earlier this year.
Masoud Tak, the leader of the Kurdistan Socialist Party (PSK) — which is an ally of the PKK — spoke to local media stating that,
Of course, leniency in relations between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region is a good thing and we support it. The visit Nechirvan Barzani paid to Turkey will lead and pave the way for the resolution of the Kurdish question through dialogue and a peaceful way in North Kurdistan.”
Kurdistan and Iraq both share a portion of the autonomous Kurdistan region and have large populations of Kurds living within their borders. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held his presidential inauguration ceremony on Monday, which Prime Minister Barzani attended. Barzani told reporters later that his trip to Turkey had been “very important” and was essential to future cooperation between Iraqi-Kurdistan and the Turkish nation. His last trip to Turkey was in April 2017, when Turkey denied all flights into the autonomous Kurdish region’s airports due to the Kurdistan independence referendum.
The head of the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), Henif Turan, told local media that,
If relations become warm between Turkey and South Kurdistan, I believe it will affect North Kurdistan a hundred percent and relations between the state and North Kurdistan people will show some sort of leniency.”
Sartaj Buchak, who is the president of the KDPs Turkish branch, told reporters that,
If relations between the KRG and the Republic of Turkey as two neighbors or countries become better, it will definitely have a positive impact on the Kurdish question in Northern Kurdistan … the policy of the peace process and democracy for the Kurdish nation and a political solution will be found.”
Former Kurdish President — and uncle to the current prime minister — Masoud Barzani, addressed the public saying he wished for his “Kurdish and Turkish brothers to support the peace process.”
Featured image courtesy of the Kurdistan Regional Government.