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1. Mär 03   Nordirak: Kirkuk und der Kampf ums mesopotamische Öl, Junge Welt, Nick Brauns
 




Junge Welt    1. März 2003

Divergierende Interessen der USA und der Türkei
Nordirak: Kirkuk und der Kampf ums mesopotamische Öl

Flüssiges Feuer

Der Kampf ums mesopotamische Erdöl

Von Dr. Nikolaus Brauns

Eine der blutigsten Schlachten des kommenden Golfkrieges könnte um die südkurdische Stadt Kirkuk geführt werden. Das 250 Kilometer nördlich von Bagdad noch außerhalb der kurdischen Autonomiezone in der Nähe des Zagros-Gebirges liegende Kirkuk mit rund 900.000 Einwohnern bildet das Zentrum der irakischen Ölindustrie. Die Ölfelder von Kirkuk verfügen über mindestens 10 Milliarden nachgewiesene Barrel Öl. Täglich werden bis zu einer Million Tonnen gefördert. Das ist die Hälfte der gesamten irakischen Ausfuhrmenge.

Kirkuk wird gerne als mesopotamische Jerusalem bezeichnet. Kurden, Türken, Araber und Assyrer erheben historische Ansprüche auf die über 3000 Jahre alte Stadt. Die Demokratische Partei Kurdistans von Massud Barzani hat in ihrem Verfassungsentwurf für einen föderalen Irak nach dem Sturz von Saddam Hussein Kirkuk zur Hauptstadt eines kurdischen Föderalstaates bestimmt. Demgegenüber ist die herrschende Baath-Partei durch Umsiedelungen und Vertreibungen seit Jahrzehnten darum bemüht, die demographischen Verhältnisse zugunsten der Araber zu ändern. Die türkische Regierung als Schutzmacht der irakischen Turkmenen sieht Kirkuk als turkmenische Stadt an und erhebt immer offener Ansprüche auf das ehemalige osmanische Vilajet Mossul mit den Erdölgebieten von Kirkuk und Mossul.[1]

Dabei möchte die Türkei vor allem verhindern, dass Kirkuk zur Hauptstadt eines unabhängigen oder föderalen kurdischen Staates im Nordirak wird, der bei der kurdischen Bevölkerung der Türkei erneute Unabhängig­keitsbestrebungen befördern könnte. Im Kriegsfall sollen doppelt so viele türkische Soldaten in den Nordirak einmarschieren, wie die US-Armee dort einsetzt, um zu verhindern, dass kurdische Parteien einen kurdischen Staat ausrufen oder sich Kirkuk und der Ölfelder bemächtigen. Der fortdauernde Streit um die Stationierung mehrer Zehntausend US-Soldaten im türkischen Südosten muss vor dem Hintergrund divergierender Interessen der USA und der Türkei in der Mossul-Kirkuk-Frage gesehen werden. Mit Hilfe der Turkmenen hofft die türkische Armee, die Kontrolle über die mesopotamischen Erdölgebiete zu erlangen. Eben dies möchte die US-Armee verhindern.

Flüssiges Feuer

Schon in der Antike waren die mesopotamischen Ölfeldern bekannt. Der römische Historiker Plinius schrieb in seiner Biographie Alexander des Großen von einem „Tal voll flüssiges Feuers“ in der Nähe eines stinkenden schwarzen Sees und Plutarch wusste zu berichten, dass „das Gebiet Babyloniens ... voll unterirdischen Feuers“ ist.[2] Vor allem als Leuchtstoff förderte die Osmanische Armee mit primitiven Mittel seit Jahrhunderten Öl aus Mesopotamien.

Mit der rasch zunehmenden Nutzung als Heiz- Schmier und Antriebsmittel erhielt das Erdöl zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts einen immer wichtigeren Stellenwert in der Expansionspolitik der Großmächte. Die Umstellung von Kohle- auf Ölfeuerung bei der britischen Navy und anschließend bei der deutschen Marine ließ dem Öl kurz vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg eine strategische Bedeutung zukommen.

Zusammen mit den Konzessionen zum Bau der Bagdadbahn hatte die Deutsche Bank im Jahr 1903 das Recht erlangt, entlang der auch durch das Vilayet Mossul führenden Bahntrasse nach Bodenschätzen zu schürfen. 1912 wurde die Türkische Petroleumgesellschaft als ein internationales Kartell zur Ausbeutung der Ölverkommen in den Vilayets Mossul und Bagdad gegründet. Jeweils ein Viertel gehörte der Deutschen Bank und der niederländisch-britischen Royal Dutch-Shell, die anderen 50 Prozent hielt die Türkischen Nationalbank. Die Deutsche Bank, die ihr Engagement in der Ölförderung der Realisierung der Bagdadbahnpläne unterordnete, hatte ihre Ölkonzessionen an diese neue Gesellschaft übertragen, um durch Zugeständnisse an England in der Ölfrage den Weg für den Bahnbau bis nach Basra frei zu machen. Zudem verfügte das deutsche Kapital nicht über ausreichende Finanzmittel, um die Ölquellen alleine auszubeuten.

Nachdem die Anglo-Persian Oil-Company am 28. Juni 1914, dem Tag der Schüsse von Sarajevo, die Anteile der Türkischen Nationalbank aufkaufen konnte, waren die mesopotamischen Ölquellen mehrheitlich in britischen Händen. Am 20. Mai 1914 übernahm die britische Regierung die Aktienmehrheit der Anglo-Persian und wurde damit entsprechend einer Forderung des Marineministers Winston Churchill am Vorabend des Weltkrieges zur direkten Eigentümerin am kriegswichtigen mesopotamischen Öl.

Der Ausbruch des Krieges verhinderte den Abschluss des Konzessionsvertrages für die Vilayets Mossul und Bagdad zwischen dem osmanischen Finanzministerium und der Turkish- Petroleum Co. Schon bei Kriegsbeginn hatten die britischen Mehrheitseigentümer der Deutschen Bank die Verfügungsgewalt über ihren Anteil an der Ölgesellschaft entzogen und später im Abkommen von San Remo im Jahr 1920 der alliierten Siegermacht Frankreich diesen Anteil übertragen. Die militärische Niederlage des Deutschen Kaiserreichs hatte den deutschen Griff zum mesopotamischen Öl vereitelt.[3]

Schon 1917 hatte die britische Indien-Armee die beiden osmanischen Vilayets Basra und Bagdad besetzt. Das Vilayet Mossul kam dagegen erst nach dem zwischen den alliierten Mächten und dem türkischen Sultan am 30. Oktober 1918 geschlossenen Waffenstillstand unter britische Kontrolle.

In Folge eines kurdischen Volksaufstandes unter Sheik Mahmud Barzinji wurde die Region um Sulaimania 1919 de facto wieder unabhängig. Wie der britische Vertreter in Bagdad Sir Arnold Wilson erkannte, war „die Idee eines Kurdistans für die Kurden inzwischen populär geworden.“[4]

Im am 10. August 1920 geschlossenen, aber aufgrund des kemalistischen Befreiungskrieges nie umgesetzten Friedensvertrag von Sèvres einigten sich die Alliierten und die Regierung in Konstantinopel darauf, das ein unabhängiger kurdischer Staat unter Mandat des Völkerbundes zu schaffen sei. „Die Kurden, die in einem Teil von Kurdistan leben, der bis jetzt noch zum Vilayet Mossul gehört, sollen freiwillig über ihre Zugehörigkeit zu diesem unabhängigen kurdischen Staat entscheiden können.“[5]. Obwohl der Vertrag von Sèvres ein Diktat der Siegermächte zur Ausplünderung des Osmanischen Reiches darstellte, entsprach dieser Punkt der Forderung des US_Präsidenten Woodrow Wilson nach Schaffung dreier nach dem Nationalitätenprinzip zu bildender Staaten Kurdistan, Arabien und Armenien.

Der türkische Nationalpakt vom 19. Januar 1920, der zur Grundlage des neuen türkischen Staates wurde, enthält eine Resolution über die „Unabhängigkeit und Unteilbarkeit der Gebiete des Osmanischen Reiches, soweit sie bei Abschluss des Waffenstillstandes von Mudros (30. Oktober 1918) nicht vom Feinde besetzt vorn waren“. Das Vilayet Mossul war erst nach diesem Waffenstillstand unter britische Herrschaft gekommen. General Mustafa Kemal, dessen türkisch-kurdische Befreiungstruppen den Sieg über die britischen, französischen, griechischen und italienischen Invasoren davon trugen, forderte – damals noch im Namen der kurdisch-türkischen Freundschaft – die Wiedereingliederung des Vilayets Mossul in die Türkei. Doch alle Versuche, die Provinz mit kemalistischen Freischärlern wieder zurück zu erobern, wurden unter dem Bombenhagel der britischen Luftwaffe erstickt.

Auf der Friedenskonferenz von Lausanne 1922/23 wurde die Mossul-Frage als ein Grenzkonflikt zwischen der türkischen Republik und dem Königreich Irak behandelt. Der Kemalist Ismet Inönü und der britische Vertreter Lord Curzon beriefen sich beide auf das Selbstbestimmungerecht der auf der Konferenz nicht vertretenen Kurden, als sie den Anschluss Mossul an die Türkei beziehungsweise das britische Mandatsgebiet Irak forderten. Von einem kurdischen Staat war nicht mehr die Rede. Der Friedensvertrag von Lausanne am 24. Juli 1923 überließ die Mossul-Frage schließlich der Regelung durch den Völkerbund, der im Dezember 1925 das Vilayet dem Irak angliederte. Dass die Kemalisten gerade einen kurdischen Aufstand in der Osttürkei blutig niedergeschlagen hatten, verschaffte dieser im Sinne der britischen Ölinteressen getätigten Entscheidung die nötige Unterstützung der Weltöffentlichkeit. Die Türkei gehörte dem Völkerbund im Übrigen nicht an..

Am 6. Juni 1926 verzichtete die Türkei in einem Abkommen mit Großbritannien schließlich offiziell auf die Provinz Mossul und anerkannte die vom Völkerbund vorgeschlagene Grenzlinie. Dafür wurden der Türkei für 25 Jahre 10 % der Einkünfte aus dem Mossulöl zugestanden. Hintergrund des Verzichts war ein Richtungsstreit innerhalb der kemalistischen Volkspartei. Während der linke Flügel für eine Fortsetzung der Ostpolitik, also eine weitere Annäherung an die Sowjetunion und einen zähen Kampf um Mossul eintrat, konnte sich vor dem Hintergrund wirtschaftlicher Schwierigkeiten der Türkischen Republik eine der Handelsbourgeoisie nahe stehende Strömung durchsetzen, die für einen westlichen Kurs, die Verständigung mit Europa und die Zusammenarbeit mit ausländischem Kapital eintrat. „Bei der Preisgabe von Mossul, die einen Verrat an dem nationalen Abkommen vom Jahre 1920 bildet, haben drei Faktoren eine große Rolle gespielt: erstens das Misstrauen der Regierung gegenüber den Volksmassen; zweitens die Vorherrschaft von Politikern, die Geschäftsleute geworden waren, in der Volkspartei und daher an einem Kompromiss mit dem imperialistischen Kapital Englands interessiert waren; drittens die dringenden Bedürfnisse des Staatsschatzes“[6], analysierte der türkische Vertreter in der Kommunistischen Internationale B. Ferdi und der bolschewistische Orientexperte F. Raskolnikow sagte in der Inprekorr vorher: „Das Mossulabkommen ist eine Art Brest-Litowsk. ... Die Türkei wird sich niemals mit dem endgültigen Verlust von Mossul abfinden.“[7]

1927 – nach einem Vierteljahrhundert blutiger Kämpfe - konnte endlich im Brunnen von Baba Gurgur bei Kirkuk das erste Öl gefordert werden. Aus einer einzigen Quelle flossen in drei Tagen 36.000 Tonnen des schwarzen Goldes. Der erste Transport von Rohöl setzte 1934 ein und 1935 wurde eine Doppelpipeline von Kirkuk zum Mittelmeerhafen von Haifa in der britischen Mandatszone und Tripoli in der französischen Zone eröffnet.

Die Machtteilung innerhalb der Iraq Petrol Company mit Sitz in Kirkuk, die als internationales Kartell zur Ausbeutung des mesopotamischen Öls gegründet worden war, hattenUS-amerikanische und britische Ölkonzerne bereits im Sommer 1922 geregelt. Jeweils23,75 % des Mossul-Öls ginge demnach an die britische Anglo Persian, die amerikanische Standard Oil, die britisch-niederländische Royal Dutch-Shell und die staatliche französische Compagnie Francaise des Pétroles. Fünf Prozent erhielt der armenische Ölmogul Gulbenkian.[8]

Unter der Losung „das arabische Öl den Arabern“ enteignete und verstaatlichte die Baath-Regierung am 1. Juni 1972 die Iraq Petrol Company entschädigungslos gegen den Widerstand der britisch-amerikanisch-niederländischen Anteilseigner.[9] Dies war ein fortschrittlicher Akt im Sinne der irakischen Bevölkerung -ungeachtet der Tatsache, dass das Öl von Mossul und Kirkuk vor allem auch kurdisches Öl ist.

Nationalitätenpolitik im Kampf um das mesopotamische Erdöl

Im Gegensatz zu den heutigen Regierungen in Ankara und Bagdad haben die Osmanen den kurdischen Charakter der Stadt Kirkuk niemals bestritten. In der 1896 in Konstantinopel erschienen Enzyklopädie Qamous Al-Aa-alam heißt es: „Die Stadt Kirkuk hat eine Bevölkerung von 30.000 Einwohnern: drei Viertel sind Kurden, das restliche Viertel setzt sich aus Turkmenen und Arabern sowie 760 Juden und 460 Chaldäern zusammen.“[10]

Entsprechend wies Lord Curzon auf der Lausanner Konferenz 1923 darauf hin, dass im Wilajet Mossul die Türken (Turkmenen) nur ein Zwölftel der Bevölkerung ausmachten. Die Einwohner unterteilte sich damals in 455.000 Kurden, 186.000 Araber, 66.000 Turkmenen und 62.000 nestorianische und mandäische Christen.[11] Die letzte zuverlässige Volkszählung, in der die irakische Bevölkerung auch nach ihrer Muttersprache gefragt wurde, fand 1957 statt. Nach Arabern und Kurden wurden die Turkmenen damals als drittstärkste Bevölkerungsgruppe des Irak identifiziert.

Die Turkmenen sind die Nachfahren von Einwanderern, die schon vor den Seldschuken, den späteren osmanischen Türken, ins Land gekommen waren. Sie sprechen einen eigenständigen türkischen Dialekt. Während aktuelle Schätzungen von rund einer halben Million Turkmenen gegenüber vier Millionen Kurden ausgehen, behaupt die Irakische Turkmenische Front, dass rund drei Million Turkmenen und „nur ein paar mehr Kurden“ im Irak leben.[12]

Während der letzten 50 Jahre kam es zwischen den Turkmenen und Kurden immer wieder zu gewaltsamen Auseinandersetzungen. So plünderte 1959 die ärmeren, der Kommunistischen Partei des Irak nahe stehenden Kurden die Häuser und Geschäfte der reicheren turkmenischen Bevölkerung. Erst das Einschreiten des irakischen Militärs beendete die dreitätigen blutigen Kämpfe. Als die Demokratische Partei Kurdistans 1996 die irakische Armee bei ihren Auseinandersetzungen mit konkurrierenden Verbänden zur Hilfe rief, wurden 17 turkmenische Aktivisten von der Armee hingerichtet und 20 weitere verhaftet. Die Turkmenen geben den Kurden die Schuld dafür. Zu Auseinandersetzungen zwischen den beiden Bevölkerungsgruppen kam es auch in den Jahren 1998 und 2000.

Während ein Großteil der Turkmenen, die innerhalb der kurdischen Autonomiezone über Rechte als nationale Minderheit verfügen, jegliche türkische Einmischung ablehnt, versucht die Regierung in Ankara die Turkmenische Front für ihre Zwecke zu benutzen. Deren Parteifahne gleicht der türkischen Halbmondfahne, nur auf blauen Hintergrund und Symbole aus osmanischer Zeit schmücken die Parteipresse. Der türkische Generalstabschef Yasar Büyükanit hat zugegeben, dass türkische Offiziere die bis zu 70.000 Milizmänner der Turkmenischen Front ausbilden. Der Sicherheitschef und weitere Aktivisten der Turkmenenfront wurden Mitte Februar von der KDP bei der Vorbereitung von Sprengstoffanschlägen auf kurdische Politiker verhaftet. Sofort setzte Ankara durch, dass türkische Offiziere die Verhöre der Attentäter überwachen.

Vor allem Kurden, aber auch Turkmenen und assyrische Christen sind seit Jahrzehnten von einer Dekurdisierungs- beziehungsweise Arabisierungspolitik betroffen, mit der die Baath-Partei die ethnische Zusammensetzung in der Stadt und Region Kirkuk so verändert hat, dass Araber heute die Bevölkerungsmehrheit stellen. Vor Beginn des kurdischen Krieges von 1961 waren in der Stadt Kirkuk noch 60 Prozent der 150.000 Einwohner Kurden und der Rest überwiegend Turkmenen.[13]

Während Zehntausende Araber, darunter viele Palästinenser, in der Region angesiedelt wurden, hat die Baath-Partei nach Angaben von Human Rights Watch allein seit 1991 zwischen 120.000 und 200.000 Kurden, Turkmenen und Assyrer gewaltsam aus ihren Wohngebieten vertrieben, die jetzt in Flüchtlingslagern im kurdischen Autonomiegebiet leben. Kurden ist es verboten, sich in Kirkuk als Eigentümer registrieren zu lassen, wenn sie keine arabischen Namen annahmen. Viele Kurden mussten ihr Eigentum daher auf arabische Stohmänner übertragen.

Im Kriegsfall werden viele der noch in Kirkuk verbliebenen Kurden und Turkmenen ihre seit dem 1991er Aufstand verborgenen Waffen ergreifen, um alte Rechnungen untereinander und vor allem mit der Baath-Partei, die in der Stadt über 100.000 bewaffnete Anhänger verfügt, zu begleichen. Auch werden viele Vertriebene aus den Flüchtlingslagern zurück in den Süden strömen, um ihre alten Häuser zurück zu erobern. Fast jeder der 50.000 Peschmerga der beiden großen kurdischen Parteien KDP und PUK hat familiäre Beziehungen nach Kirkuk oder stammt selber aus dieser Region.

Die Einnahme von Bagdad wird über den Verlauf des Krieges gegen den Irak entscheiden. Doch von der Lösung der Kirkuk-Frage hängt die zukünftige Entwicklung des Landes nach dem Krieg ab.



[1] „Wir haben Anspruch auf das Öl“, zitierte die Tageszeitung Hürriyet am 7. Januar ehemalige türkische Diplomaten. Außenminister Yasar Yakis lässt zur Zeit Verträge aus den 1920er Jahren prüfen, um türkische Ansprüche zu dokumentieren.
[2] Anton Zischka: Ölkrieg – Wandlung der Weltmacht Öl, Leipzig 1939, 159.
[3] Inge Baumgart / Horst Benneckenstein: Die Interessen der Deutschen Bank am mesopotamischen Erdöl, in: Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte 1988/1, 49-65.
[4] Gerad Chaliand (Hg.):Kurdistan und die Kurden Bd. 1, Göttingen 1984, 271..
[5] Vertrag von Sèvres, Sektion III Kurdistan, Art. 64.
[6] Inprekorr 1926 Nr. 114, 1929.
[7] Inprekorr 1926 Nr. 95, 1544.
[8] Anton Zischka: Ölkrieg – Wandlung der Weltmacht Öl, Leipzig 1939, 170 f.
[9] Nur für die französischen Anteilseigner, die sich kompromissbereit gezeigt hatten, gab es eine Entschädigung.
[10] Kurdistani Nwe 21.Mai 2002
[11] Albrecht Wirth: Vorderasien und Ägypten, 3. Aufl. Stuttgart/Berlin/Leipzig 1923, 340.
[12] Iraqi Turkmen leaders warns Kurdish ambitions could spark civil war, AFP Arbil, Iraq, 14. Feb.
[13] Gerad Chaliand (Hg.):Kurdistan und die Kurden Bd. 1, Göttingen 1984, 268.


 

Kirkuk status referendum, 2008
Wikipedia


source: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/iraq_ethno_2003.jpg




Iraq's reportedly known gas & petroleum fields

http://www.bayphase.com/xiraqmap.php?gclid=CMm4xtWGppICFQ7AaAodADmVQg



Mosul Vilayet

This map was composed on the basis of those attached to the Report of the League of Nations Commission of Inquiry on the Mosul Vilayetof 16 July 1925 (15 MB); it is reproduced from: P.E.J.Bomli, "L'Affaire de Mossoul", H.J. Paris, Amsterdam 1929.  According to the Report by HM's Government to the League Council on the Administration of Iraq for the year 1929 (p.71), the 1920 census revealed:

Iraq's demography in 1920
vilayets  surface kmSunnites    Shiites    Jews   Christians   total
Baghdad     141227      524414      750421    62565     20771    1360304
Basra       138741       42558      721414    10088      2551     785600
Mosul        91009      579713       22180    14835     55470     703378
total       370977     1146685     1494015    87488     78792    2849282


Article 140 and The Future of Iraq

A Conference Co-Sponsored by WKI and KNCNA
Date and Time: Thursday May 8, 2008
9:00am to 5:00pm
Location: TBA

Washington Kurdish Institute and Kurdish National Congress of North America will co-sponsor a one-day conference on Article 140 and the Future of Iraq at (location will be announced soon) on Thursday, May 8, 2008.

Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution mandates a process of normalization and referendum for disputed territories, although it continues to be a vexing issue that needs to be addressed. The most significant of these disputed territories is the governorate and city of Kirkuk, which suffered ethnic cleansing and expulsion by the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein. Makhmour, Sinjar, Khanaqeen and other areas of rural Kurdistan also fall under the jurisdiction of Article 140.

The future of Iraq depends on Article 140 and its aim of using a democratic and constitutional framework to address problems that are long overdue for resolution. The Iraqi government failed to meet the 2007 deadline for Kirkuk specified by Article 140, which includes full normalization and a referendum on joining the Kurdistan Region. A six-month extension was granted to fulfill this obligation.

Speakers at the conference will discuss all dimensions of Article 140 and its implementation. An agenda for the event and registration details will be forthcoming.

Dr. Najmaldin Karim, President of WKI
Dr. Saman Shali, President of KNCNA

Date published: Monday, February 11, 2008


American Contractor

Listed below is the exact wording from the Iraq constitution for Article 140 and Article 58.

Article 140:
First: The executive authority shall undertake the necessary steps to complete the
implementation of the requirements of all subparagraphs of Article 58 of the
Transitional Administrative Law.

Second: The responsibility placed upon the executive branch of the Iraqi
Transitional Government stipulated in Article 58 of the Transitional
Administrative Law shall extend and continue to the executive authority elected
in accordance with this Constitution, provided that it accomplishes completely
(normalization and census and concludes with a referendum in Kirkuk and other
disputed territories to determine the will of their citizens), by a date not to exceed
the 31st of December 2007.


Article 58:
First: The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the
Council of Representatives, or fifty members of the Council of Representatives
may call the Council to an extraordinary session. The session shall be restricted
to the topics that necessitated the call for the session.
Second: The legislative session of the Council of Representatives may be
extended for no more than 30 days to complete the tasks that require the
extension, based on a request from the President of the Republic, the Prime
Minister, the Speaker of the Council, or fifty members of the Council of
Representatives.




Kurdistan Regional Government control objectives

SOURCE: Staff reports | By Mary Kate Cannistra |  The Washington Post - November 23, 2008


Iraq Ethnic Map

source: private communication from Iraqi Turkoman leaders


Assyrian territorial claims


http://www.aina.org/maps/assyrianregion.htm


PolicyWatch #1335
Kirkuk's Article 140: Expired or Not?

By Nazar Janabi
January 30, 2008

Away from the headlines, Sunnis and Shiites are testing the waters of reconciliation in the Iraqi parliament with an agreement that may come at the expense of country's Kurdish population. The Kurdish political reaction to such an agreement could potentially exacerbate anti-Kurdish sentiment among many Arab parliamentarians, costing the Kurds some of the hard-earned political ground they have gained thus far.
Background: Kirkuk

Kurds -- like Turkmen and Assyrians -- have a historic claim to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq that dates back centuries. The Baath regime was particularly wary of this fact and acted rigorously and somewhat successfully to extinguish these claims through a three-pillar policy: forced migration, Arabization, and Baathification. Simultaneously, the regime changed the area's administrative borders to include more Arab towns, eventually leading to a demographic change.

In 2003, Kurds worked closely with the U.S.-led coalition to address this issue in the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL). Article 58, paragraphs A and B state that the government "shall act expeditiously to take measures to remedy the injustice caused by the previous regime's practices in altering the demographic character of certain regions, including Kirkuk" -- specifically, by making "recommendations to the National Assembly on remedying unjust changes" in administrative boundaries. Paragraph C states in its entirety, "The permanent resolution of disputed territories, including Kirkuk, shall be deferred until after these measures are completed, a fair and transparent census has been conducted, and the permanent constitution has been ratified. This resolution shall be consistent with the principle of justice, taking into account the will of the people of those territories."

The 2005 Iraqi constitution included a last-minute provision -- Article 140 -- that states, "Article 58 of the TAL shall extend and continue to the executive authority elected in accordance with this constitution, provided that it accomplishes completely (normalization, census, and referendums in Kirkuk and other disputed territories to determine the will of their citizens) by a date not to exceed December 31, 2007." A major issue of debate about Article 140 is how it would affect the central government's control over Kirkuk's oil, one of Iraq's principal sources of wealth and power. While the Kurds consistently assure other Iraqis of their intention to remain an integral part of Iraq, many Iraqi Arabs remain skeptical.

Maneuvering in Parliament

In late 2007, the Kurdish regional parliament agreed to a proposal sponsored by Stefan de Mistura, the UN head of mission in Baghdad, to extend Article 140's December 31 deadline by six months. At the same time, the national parliament referred the article to the Constitutional Court, putting its status in question. Although the court has not yet made a decision on the matter, the missed deadline triggered a quiet but noticeable realignment in the parliament: on January 12, Ausama al-Nujayfi (a Sunni parliamentarian in former prime minister Ayad Allawi's secular bloc) announced that a total of 145 legislators (out of 275) now oppose Kurdish claims in Kirkuk.

According to al-Nujayfi, this faction also opposed two other actions by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). One regards the previously signed KRG contracts with foreign oil companies. The delayed hydrocarbon law being debated in the parliament may, at least by some readings, supersede oil contracts signed by the KRG. A recent memorandum signed by a hundred experts in the Iraqi Ministry of Oil warned of "serious consequences" to the industry and Iraq's economy if these contracts were permitted to stand. Concurrently, Iraq's minister of oil threatened to boycott foreign companies involved in the contracts; on January 27, he halted oil exports to South Korea because its state-owned oil company contracted separately with KRG.

The second divisive issue is whether the 2008 national budget will allocate money for the KRG's peshmerga (former Kurdish militia and now "regional guards"), even though the KRG denies Baghdad any command and control over them.

The Kurdish position is that all three of the above points "are guaranteed in Iraq's new constitution." Kurdish politicians, recognizing the seriousness of the new Arab rhetoric, raced to express their discontent. On January 14, Mahmoud Authman, a prominent Kurdish parliament member, stated, "Kurds should have used their many cards six months ago; we are considering using them now. . . . How can we be in a government with a prime minister pushing his oil minister to work against us?" The next day, KRG president Masoud Barzani emphasized that "there is no turning back, Article 140 must be executed within the next six months."

Significance of the New Alliance

Iraq's parliament has functioned on a three-year-old agreement between the coalition of several Shiite parties -- called the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), comprising 128 members -- and the Kurdish Alliance (with fifty-eight members). Although the Kurdish bloc remains firm and continues to display remarkable discipline in its stance, the UIA has changed -- some of its members have already joined the new alliance, composed mainly of nationalist Iraqi Arabs. Al-Nujayfi presented the new bloc's purpose as safeguarding the people's hold over Iraq's oil and gas resources. Led by Allawi's bloc (with 25 members), this new 145-member alliance also contains several other factions: the Muqtada al-Sadr stream that split from the UIA; Dawa-Iraq, led by former Minister of State for National Security Abdulkarim al-Anizi; splinters from the mainstream Dawa party led by former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jafari; the Sunni National Dialog Front; and many other independents.

Given the fluidity of Iraqi politics, it is not yet clear whether this new alliance will last. Furthermore, for this group to enact legislation, it needs not only the simple majority required to approve a law but also a two-thirds majority to override the veto of President Jalal Talabani, the leader of one of the two parties governing the KRG.

Other issues are brewing below the surface as well. For instance, Saleh al-Mutlaq, a prominent Sunni Arab parliamentarian, mentioned on January 21 that in Mosul -- Iraq's third largest city, whose population is around 85 percent Arab -- thirty-six out of forty-one provincial council members are Kurdish, since most Arabs boycotted the 2005 provincial elections. Such reports are not helping the Kurds, even within the formerly supportive Shiite street.

Next Steps

The new Arab parliamentary alliance might reshape the political map and put the Kurds in a very delicate position. In a best-case scenario for the KRG, the Constitutional Court will rule in favor of implementing Article 140, regardless of the timeframe. The UN mission could then continue working closely with the Article 140 commission, which is charged with implementing normalization efforts. The commission would perhaps focus first on redefining the administrative borders of Kirkuk province to build a record of success before tackling the core issue of whether city itself is to become part of Kurdistan or remain as is. Meanwhile, recognizing that Baghdad does not possess the capacity or consensus to resolve both the Kirkuk and the hydrocarbon legislation simultaneously, the parliament might delay working on the former, and both the KRG and the oil ministry could then back off from the confrontation.

In contrast, a different ruling by the Constitutional Court, an escalating dispute over KRG oil contracts, or a coalescing of the new alliance in parliament could change Iraq's political environment in a way that deserves the attention of U.S. policymakers. Without careful calculations, differences between the KRG and Baghdad could turn into a violent contest, one in which the role of external players such as Turkey cannot be discounted.

Nazar Janabi, a Next Generation fellow at The Washington Institute, served from 2004 to 2006 as director-general for defense policy and requirements in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.
 
 


Early Day Motion
EDM 838    KURDISH AREA OF IRAQ
06.02.2007
 

Connarty, Michael
That this House notes that the government of the Kurdish area of Iraq is proceeding in accordance with Article 140 of the National Constitution of Iraq to prepare for a referendum of the population of the former Kurdish region of Kirkuk, to allow them to choose whether to be administered under the jurisdiction of the parliament of the Iraqi Kurdistan or directly from Baghdad; believes that this constitutional process should not be interfered with by non-Kurdistan forces; and opposes the attempt by Turkey to interfere in this process and prevent implementation of the programme as set down by Article 140 of the Constitution of Iraq.


Kurds, Turkomans call for normalization of Kirkuk via Iraq constitution

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

16 February 2007 (BBC Monitoring)
Text of report by Fryad Muhamad and Hemin Ari headlined: "Joint Kurdish, Turkoman and Assyrian seminar calls for implementation of Article 140 according to timeframe"; published by Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) newspaper Khabat on 15 February

A seminar has been held to support the implementation of Article 140 of the permanent Iraqi constitution and to oppose any delay in the implementation of the article and against intervention in Kirkuk's affairs. Under the motto of Kurdistan people including Kurds, Turkomans and Chaldo-Assyrian, call for the implementation of Article 140 of the Iraqi federal permanent constitution, the Turkoman Reform Movement held a seminar in the Turkoman Ayli club yesterday [14 Feb].

Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP] Political Bureau member Muhamad Mala Qadir, head of Branch 2 [presumably of the KDP], representatives of 19 political parties and organizations including Kurds, Turkomans and Cheldo-Assyrians have come from Arbil, Kirkuk and Baghdad to attend the conference.

Qadir, head of Branch 2, Turkoman Bloc head in Kurdistan [Region] parliament and other representatives read out speeches. The speeches said that nations living in Kurdistan, including Kurds, Turkomans and Chaldo-Assyrians called for the implementation of Article 140 of the permanent federal Iraqi constitution, rejecting any delay in the implementation of the article.

The article calls for normalization of Kirkuk and the contested areas as well as the re-attachment of Kirkuk and other areas forcefully detached from Kurdistan [Region].

The featuring speeches also rejected intervention by Iraq's neighbouring countries in the affairs of Iraq, Kurdistan Region and in particular the Kurdistani city of Kirkuk.

The Turkoman people reject some comments and opinions voiced in their name [presumably referring to anti-Article 140 comments] and do not express their opinion since the Turkomans fully support the implementation of Article 140.

Source: Khabat, Arbil


JUDGMENT OF THE EUROPEAN COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE (Seventh Chamber)
3 April 2008 (*)

http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/gettext.pl?where=&lang=en&num=79919596T19020229&doc=T&ouvert=T&seance=ARRET


PKK positions in Northern Iraq


source: Washington Institute, 2008


Terrorism Monitor
Volume 6, Issue 6 (March 24, 2008)
http://www.jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2374052

Unwelcome Guests: The Turkish Military Bases in Northern Iraq

By Gareth Jenkins

Following the Turkish military’s raid on northern Iraq in late February, the little-known and poorly understood presence of Turkish military bases in Kurdish Iraq has become a major issue in relations between the two countries. On February 26, the parliament of the Kurdistan region of Iraq approved a motion calling on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to demand the closure of all Turkish military bases in northern Iraq (Today’s Zaman, February 27). The decision came during the incursion into northern Iraq by Turkish troops against elements of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and demonstrated not only the KRG’s often ambivalent attitude toward the presence of the PKK on the territory under its nominal control, but also the suspicions of many Iraqi Kurds that Turkey is using its war against the PKK as a pretext to stifle their own dreams of independence.

Turkey’s long-term military presence in northern Iraq has generated surprisingly little international attention. In the months leading up to the Turkish incursion in February, there was considerable debate about the impact that Turkish ground troops crossing the border might have on what has long been the most stable region of Iraq and almost none on the several thousand Turkish ground troops who have been deployed in northern Iraq for over a decade.

Why Are Turkish Bases in Northern Iraq?

The PKK has been operating out of northern Iraq since it launched its insurgency in 1984. Initially, northern Iraq was primarily a forward staging area. Until 1998, the PKK’s high command and main training camps were located in Syria and the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. However, the mountains that straddle the Iraqi-Kurdish border were much more suitable as a platform for infiltrations into Turkey than the relatively flat and heavily mined terrain along Turkey’s border with Syria. The PKK also benefited from the defeat of Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Gulf War and the creation by the U.S.-led Alliance of a no-fly zone above the 36th parallel. Although the Allies’ intention was to create a safe haven for the Iraqi Kurds, the resultant power vacuum in northern Iraq also indirectly provided the PKK with immunity from the regime in Baghdad. At the time, the Iraqi Kurds themselves were divided between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by current KRG President Massoud Barzani, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), headed by current Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Neither leader had the ability to suppress the PKK. Indeed, each appeared more interested in using what military capabilities they did possess to pursue their long-running and frequently violent rivalry.

After the 1991 Gulf War, Turkey increasingly took matters into its own hands. It already had an agreement with the regime in Baghdad for cross-border hot pursuits of PKK militants. Starting in 1992, the Turkish military began to launch a series of large-scale incursions—sometimes with tens of thousands of troops—into northern Iraq to strike at PKK camps and bases there. It even established an informal alliance with Barzani, under which the KDP peshmerga militia served as guides for Turkish units in operations against the PKK, at times even fighting alongside Turkish troops. In return, Turkey gave the KDP the arms and supplies it captured in raids on the PKK’s camps and bases in northern Iraq.

Although most of the Turkish troops were withdrawn once the incursions had achieved their operational objectives, in practice Turkey retained a small, permanent, military presence in northern Iraq, consisting of intelligence officers and personnel responsible for liaison with the KDP. The situation was formalized when the United States finally succeeded in brokering an agreement between the KDP and the PUK. From 1997 onward, Turkish troops were formally deployed to northern Iraq as part of a ceasefire monitoring mechanism, whose mandate came up for renewal on an annual basis. Turkish regular forces were deployed in the northwest of the Kurdistan Region, in territory under the KDP’s control, while Turkish Special Forces established offices further south in the cities of Arbil and Sulaymaniyah (AFP, October 16, 2007).

Monitoring the PKK

Publicly, Turkish officials insist that the troops were invited into northern Iraq by the Kurds to contribute to regional peace and stability. Privately, they admit that their main motivation was to establish a formal presence in northern Iraq to monitor PKK activity in the region. Today at least, the Iraqi Kurds tend to regard the agreement as something that was imposed upon them and which, after more than a decade without serious clashes between the KDP and PUK, is simply no longer needed.

Initially, the Turkish deployment consisted of a brigade of around 5,000 men, mostly Special Forces and commandos backed by armor and artillery. In August 1999, following the capture and imprisonment of its founder Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK announced that it was abandoning the armed struggle. In the following years, the number of Turkish troops deployed in northern Iraq was gradually reduced and does not appear to have been substantially increased since the PKK returned to violence in June 2004.

No official figures are available but there are currently estimated to be around 2,000 Turkish troops still deployed in northern Iraq under the 1997 agreement. They are concentrated in a strip of land approximately 10 miles deep along the Turkish border in Dohuk province in the northwest of Iraqi Kurdistan. Most are located in a Turkish base at the former Iraqi military airfield at Bamerni, approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of the Turkish-Iraqi border. There are smaller bases both to the west of Bamerni, close to the town of Batufa, and to the east in the al-Amadiyah district, close to the town of Qanimasi and on a hill which has been named Dilmen Tepe by the Turkish army. In addition to commandos, Special Forces and support units, the deployment in northern Iraq also includes a tank battalion, most of which is based at Bamerni. The troops are usually supplied by land from Turkey. Although it is not used for fixed wing aircraft, helicopters—including both transport helicopters and Cobra attack helicopters—fly in and out of Bamerni. In 2006, in an indication that it had no immediate intention of leaving Iraq, the Turkish military upgraded its facilities at Bamerni, including increasing its helicopter-handling capabilities.

The importance of the deployment in northern Iraq to Turkey’s war against the PKK is disputed. There is little doubt that the Turkish bases are useful as platforms for intelligence gathering and covert operations against the PKK in the surrounding countryside. However, under the terms of the agreement, the Turkish troops are deployed in a monitoring capacity only and are not supposed to leave their bases unless they have the agreement of the Iraqi Kurdish authorities. As a result, the Turkish troops deployed under the agreement have not been used to engage the PKK militarily in northern Iraq.

Effectiveness against PKK Infiltration

The number of PKK militants in the Kurdistan Region varies, falling in the summer and rising in the winter when the snow blocks the mountain passes on its infiltration routes and most of the organization’s fighting units withdraw from Turkey to wait out the winter in northern Iraq. There are currently estimated to be around 3,500 PKK militants in northern Iraq with perhaps another 1,000 in winter hideouts inside Turkey. However, the PKK’s main infiltration routes and most of its militants in Iraq are located to the east of the Turkish bases and separated from them by high mountains. Some routes are close to the border, such as in the Zap region, which was the target of the February incursion (see Terrorism Monitor, March 7), while others are closer to the organization’s headquarters and main training camps deep in the Qandil mountains, close to Iraq’s border with Iran and around 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of its border with Turkey.

The Turkish military presence in northern Iraq is resented by both the local populace and the Iraqi Kurdish authorities. Although it has repeatedly presented its war against the PKK as a struggle against terrorism, Turkey has traditionally been at least as concerned by the PKK’s ultimate goal, namely Kurdish separatism, as by the methods used to try to achieve it. It has long feared that the development of a Kurdish political entity could eventually culminate in full independence, which in turn could further fuel separatist sentiments amongst Turkey’s own Kurdish minority. Ankara has always insisted that it will never allow the Iraqi Kurds to establish an independent state. Many Iraqi Kurds suspect—probably with a degree of justification—that the main reason for Turkey retaining its bases in northern Iraq is to serve as a physical reminder of its military might and political determination.

Opposition of the Kurdistan Regional Government

The KRG has always insisted—probably with more bravado than conviction—that it will resist militarily any Turkish attempt to interfere in Iraqi Kurdistan’s internal affairs. Since 2004 peshmerga bases have been built next to the Turkish ones. On February 21, the first day of Turkey’s eight-day incursion, approximately 350 Turkish troops in armored vehicles and around 12 tanks tried to leave the Turkish base at Bamerni. The KRG had received no prior notification of the deployment. Peshmerga surrounded the base and refused to allow the Turkish forces to leave. After a confrontation lasting 90 minutes, the Turkish forces backed down and withdrew inside the base (Radikal, March 4). In retrospect, the attempted deployment appears to have been a diversionary tactic, designed to distract the PKK from the coming attack on the Zap region. Nevertheless, the 90-minute standoff at Bamerni underlined the potential for a much more serious confrontation.

In practice, there appears little the KRG can do to force Turkey to close down its bases in northern Iraq. The Turkish General Staff bluntly dismissed the resolution calling for the bases’ closure and vowed that it would remain in northern Iraq until the PKK had been eradicated (Vatan; NTV, March 5). In reality, the KRG appears to lack both the military muscle and the political authority to force the issue, not least because it is the central government in Baghdad, rather than the KRG, which is responsible for handling Iraq’s relations with other states. The central government is unlikely to want to risk a confrontation with Turkey by insisting that it close its bases.

On the other hand, neither the KRG nor the central government in Baghdad is likely to welcome a plan touted in the Turkish media following the completion of the Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq in February. According to a report in Today’s Zaman, the Turkish General Staff is contemplating the establishment of an additional 11 military bases on the Iraqi side of the Turkish-Iraqi border in order to block the PKK’s main infiltration routes into Turkey (Today’s Zaman, February 29). However, the sourcing for the report was unclear and, in an interview in the same article, Turkish government spokesman Cemil Cicek explicitly dismissed the suggestion that Turkey was planning to create a security zone in northern Iraq—something which would likely be opposed not only by the KRG and the Iraqi government but also by the United States.

Conclusion

Ultimately, although cross-border raids can harm the organization, Turkish hopes of eradicating the PKK presence in northern Iraq depend on persuading the KRG to cooperate. The KRG’s peshmerga may not be strong enough to destroy the PKK in its almost inaccessible bases in the mountains, but they can exert considerable pressure by staunching the flow of militants and supplies from the lowlands to PKK camps. In its relations with the KRG to date, Turkey has tended to opt for intimidation rather than engagement; not least because it fears that engaging on an official level with the KRG would be regarded as recognition of its political authority in the Kurdistan Region, which could in turn encourage the KRG to push for full independence. However, as demonstrated both by the confrontation with the peshmerga on February 21 and the February 26 call for their closure, the military bases in northern Iraq continue to fuel considerable resentment amongst Iraqi Kurds. Most believe that the bases are designed to serve as a deterrent to Iraqi Kurdish political aspirations rather than to monitor the KDP-PUK ceasefire or combat the PKK. Under such circumstances, KRG cooperation against the PKK is likely to be grudging at best, and may simply not happen at all.


Turkey: Alevi Population by Province
http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/mapImages/4616b6127d683.pdf
source: Washington Institute, 2007