-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
Of late Turkey has been taking keen interests the regional affairs especially after its military ally Israel’s misbehavior with its aid workers going to the Gaza Strip.
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, flies to Tehran on October 04 for talks with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, and the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on trade and regional politics. They would discuss bilateral relations and regional issues amid growing tension following the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) referendum to secede from Iraq.
Erdogan’s visit and Talks
The visit, which comes upon the invitation by Iranian President Rouhani, follows a flurry of high-level exchanges between the historic rivals who seem united, at least for now, in seeking to reverse the referendum on Kurdish independence in Iraqi Kurdistan and to cement shaky “de-escalation” zones to end the conflict in Syria. Erdogan and Rouhani will chair the fourth meeting of the Turkey-Iran High Level Cooperation Council, which gathered for the first time in Ankara in 2014 to bolster trade ties between the region’s non-Arab heavyweights. The meeting is expected to be dominated by talks on Syria’s political transitional process and the possible joint steps that can be taken after the KRG referendum.
Two days prior to Erdoğan’s visit, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar went to Tehran where he met his Iranian counterpart, Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, the first such visit by an Iranian army chief since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.. Gen. Akar touched upon counterterrorism and border security issues, saying Turkey and Iran have agreed to increase bilateral ties and cooperation in security related matters. “Turkey and Iran have been two friendly countries with common values for centuries. Within these common values, we are improving our cooperation against existing threats and risks,” Akar said. For his part, Gen. Bagheri said that Turkey and Iran have developed a common stance against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) referendum. Bagheri said Iran and Turkey were “unanimous” in their determination to preserve Iraq’s territorial integrity and called the Iraqi Kurdish referendum “unacceptable.” Bagheri added that Turkey and Iran will collaborate in matters of military training and border security. They would also take part in each other’s war games, he said.
Erdogan makes this trip amid Kurdistan independence movement cum referendum mounting worry in Iraqi Kurdistan as leaders from both sides keep up their calls on Massoud Barzani, Iraqi Kurdistan’s president, to annul the referendum results. Khamenei’s chief of staff, Mohammadi Golpayegani, has called the referendum a “Zionist plot,” a view that was echoed by Bagheri. An unswayed Erdogan renewed threats to impose further sanctions on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) if it failed to rescind the referendum, saying, “If they do not come to their senses, sanctions will grow.”
Lately, a convergence has evolved between Ankara, Tehran and the Iraqi central government following last week’s illegitimate poll in KRG-controlled areas as well as disputed territories such as Kirkuk amid fears that the vote may lead to greater instability in the region and disrupt war with Daesh. The three countries warned Irbil to step back, against which the Iraqi armed forces launched military drills both with Turkey and Iran near the KRG border. Both confirmed that that the sharing of military experience and training will be established between the two countries.
Turkish and Iranian leaders are putting heads together to keep region safe from growing threats. The Iranian President said relations between the two countries in terms of economy and foreign policy are in a good situation, and as “two deep-rooted Muslim countries in the region,” they should increase cooperation in perspective of mutual interests against common threats. “We should also exert to strengthen relations in military and defense areas,” he said.
Erdogan and Rouhani will discuss the latest course of the Astana talks, which was initiated by Turkey, Iran and Russia, and aims to find a permanent solution on Syria’s seven-year brutal civil war that has claimed more than 500,000 lives. After the sixth meeting of the Astana talks last month, Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to jointly monitor a fourth safe zone around Syria’s northwestern Idlib province. According to the plan, the trio is expected to send 500 observers each to Idlib to monitor the de-escalation deal, and the Russian ones will be military police, the Russian negotiator said after the meeting.
However, for all the recent mutual appreciation, Iran and Turkey continue to disagree on a broad array of issues. This recent uptick in diplomatic activity should be seen in the context of a recent convergence of concerns and threat perceptions in the Middle East. However, it should not be interpreted as anything more than that, as Turkey and Iran continue to have diverging, if not conflicting, interests, especially in Iraq and Syria.” In a show of force, Iran and Turkey have deployed additional troops to the Iraqi Kurdish border and invited Iraqi forces to join in training drills.
In Turkey, too, the pro-Islamic and nationalist media is awash with claims of how Barzani and his family are in fact crypto-Jews who are bent on establishing a “second Israel.”
Turkey and Iran have heavy mutual influence on each other, due to geographical proximity, linguistic and ethnic relations. Iran and Turkey are major trade partners notwithstanding occasional irritations in bilateral relations. .
On 22 April 1926 the First “Treaty of Friendship” between Iran and Turkey was signed in Tehran. The basic principles included friendship, neutrality and nonaggression towards each other. The agreement also included possible joint actions to groups in the territories of both countries which would try to disturb peace and security or who would try to change the government of one of the countries. This policy was indirectly aimed at the internal problems both countries had with their Kurdish minorities.
On 23 January 1932 the first definitive frontier treaty between Turkey and Iran was signed in Tehran. The border between Turkey and Iran is one of the oldest in the world and has stayed more or less the same since the Battle of Chaldiran in 1514, and the Treaty of Zuhab. The 1932 treaty thus formalized a centuries-old status quo. On the same day, the countries signed a new Treaty of Friendship, as well as a Treaty of Conciliation, Judicial Settlement and Arbitration.
Between 16 June and 2 July 1934, Reza Shah Pahlavi visited Turkey, together with a mission of high-ranking officials, among which General Hassan Arfa, at the invitation of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Several regions in Turkey were visited and attempts at close friendship and cooperation between the two leaders were made. Reza Shah Pahlavi was reportedly impressed by the republic’s modernization reforms and he saw this as an example for his own country.
On 8 July 1937 a Treaty of Non-aggression was signed between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. This treaty would become known as the Treaty of Saadabad. The purpose of this agreement was to ensure security and peace in the Middle East. In August 1955, the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), a mutual security-pact between Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and Britain, was established. In July 1964 the RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development), aimed at joint economic projects between Iran, Turkey and Pakistan was established.
A period of coldness passed after the 1979 Iranian Revolution which caused major changes in Iran and the Middle Eastern status quo. Today Iran and Turkey closely cooperate in a wide variety of fields that range from fighting terrorism, drug trafficking, and promoting stability in Iraq and Central Asia.
In May 2010, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan made an unscheduled trip to Tehran in coordination with Brazilian President Lula da Silva to make an agreement to outsource Iranian uranium enrichment to his country to avoid further sanctions on Iran. In supporting Iran after the agreement Erdogan turned the question back on the international community. “In fact, there is no nuclear weapon in Iran now, but Israel, which is also located in our region, possesses nuclear arms. Turkey is the same distance from both of them. What has the international community said against Israel so far? Is this the superiority of law or the law of superiors?” This comes after growing pressure from the USA and the UK to support sanctions against Iran.
Turkey, the largest NATO member in the region, hosted the establishment of a NATO missile shield in September 2011. The establishment of NATO defense shield has caused a crisis between Turkey and Iran. Iran claimed that the NATO missile shield is a US plot to protect Israel from any counter-attack should Israel target Iran’s nuclear facilities. In addition, Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Turkey should rethink its policies over Syria, the NATO defense shield, and promotion of secularism over the Arab world following the Arab Spring.
The decision of Turkey to host a radar system of NATO (USA) to track missiles launched from Iran has been seen by the Iranians as a serious break in relations. In a 2012 Pew Research Global Attitudes Survey, 54% of Turks oppose Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, 46% consider a nuclear-armed Iran somewhat a “threat” and 26% support the use of military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. 37% of Turks believe that Iran is not a threat at all, the highest percentage between surveyed countries. Only 34% of Turkey’s population approves of “tougher sanctions” on Iran, compared to 52% of Turks disapproving of sanctions
The behavior of Turkish statesmen towards Syria and Iran is wrong and they are acting in line with the goals of America. If Turkey does not distance itself from this unconventional political behavior it will have both the Turkish people turning away from it domestically and the neighboring countries of Syria, Iraq and Iran reassessing their political ties.
Turkey stated that the NATO system neither cause threat to a nation nor target any particular nation. Turkish Minister of National Defense, İsmet Yılmaz, insisted that NATO missile defense system’s aim is to secure Europe, adding that it’s also for security of Turkey.
On October 23, 2011, the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Iran over US presence in Turkey. “Iran would be badly miscalculating if they did not look at the entire region and all of our presence in many countries, both in bases and in training with NATO allies, like Turkey,” Clinton said. In November 2011, the head of the Iranian Guard’s aerospace division threatened to strike Turkey if other countries attacked Iran.
The escalation of diplomatic tensions between Iran and Turkey came after President Erdogan completed a week-long tour of the Arabian Peninsula.
Turkey’s President Erdogan accused Iran of trying to split Iraq and Syria by resorting to “Persian nationalism”, while Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, criticised what he called Iran’s “sectarian policy” aimed at undermining Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. “Iran is trying to create two Shia states in Syria and Iraq. This is very dangerous. It must be stopped,” Cavusoglu said at the Munich conference on 19 February.
In response, Iran summoned the Turkish ambassador over these remarks and warned Turkey that its patience “had limits”, and if Turkish officials continue making such statements “it will not remain silent”.
Turkey and Iran have been on opposite sides of the conflict in Syria, with Ankara seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad and Tehran being, along with Russia, his key backer.
Iran experts in Turkey say Tehran is alarmed by Turkey’s presence in Syria and Iraq. Iran views Turkey’s military presence in these countries as a significant obstacle in front of its desire to extend its influence in the region. Iran also wants to cut Turkey’s efforts to create a Sunni controlled safe-zone in northern Syria at its roots.
Turkey does not want another enemy at the gates, so it is making its position known to Iran, clearly and loudly. Iran, on the other hand, is actively working towards ending Turkey’s ongoing military presence in Iraq and Syria, to make sure its allies keep controlling the area, analysts said. a senior foreign affairs adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently said Turkish troops should immediately retreat from Iraq and Syria or the people would “kick them out”.
Possibly Erdogan asked his Saudi and Gulf allies to finance the creation of a safe zone in northern Syria during these visits and Iran was of course disturbed by this development. It is also possible that the Gulf States asked Erdogan to adopt a more contentious attitude towards Iran in exchange for providing financial assistance for the safe-zone
Relations of Turkey and Iran with Israel
The main cause of troubles in West Asia, Israel is one of the few countries to say it will recognize an independent Kurdish state in Iraq.
It is useless to study Turkey, Iran or any other Muslim nation in the region without understanding the impact of Israel on their mutual relationships as well as US policy for the region. In the past, Turkey’s ties with Israel have caused various disagreements between Ankara and Tehran. However, Turkey’s neutral stance with regards to the disputes between Israel and Iran has secured the maintenance of friendly bilateral relations. The growing trade between Turkey and Iran indicate the two countries’ willingness to strengthen mutual ties. Turkey’s relations with Israel have deteriorated after the Gaza War (2008–09), the Gaza flotilla raid (2010) and the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.
Unnatural Turkey-Israeli ties have been badly strained. From 2010 to 2016, Turkey had no diplomatic relations with Israel in the ambassadorial level. However, on June 28, 2016, Turkey and Israel signed an agreement to normalize relations, which included a $20 million compensation fund from Israel to Turkish families affected by the Gaza-bound flotilla attack, an eventual return of ambassadors and initial talks of a natural gas pipeline.
Iran’s relations with Turkey have occasionally soured over the AKP government’s active involvement in regional disputes between Shia and Sunni groups since the dawn of the Arab Spring. Iran firmly backs the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad (formed mostly of Alawite Shia Muslims), while the AKP government in Turkey (which has its roots in political Islam) supports the Syrian opposition (formed mostly of Sunni Muslims).
During the 2015 military intervention in Yemen, Iran and Turkey supported rival (Shia and Sunni, respectively) groups, which led to official arguments between Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Mohammad Javad Zarif. Erdoğan stated that “Iran and the terrorist groups must withdraw” and Zarif replied “Turkey makes strategic mistakes”. However, a few days later, Erdoğan went to Tehran for talks on improving Turkish-Iranian trade relations and was received by Khamenei and Rouhani.
Before the ascent of the Islamist AKP government to power in 2002, Turkey (a constitutionally secular state) had maintained a neutral foreign policy with regards to the religious and sectarian conflicts in the region.
Turkey and Iran’s differing geopolitical goals in Syria and Iraq have also led to increased tension and suspicion. Anti-Iranian views have been propagated by Turkish media like Yeni Akit and Yeni Şafak due to the Battle of Aleppo (2012–16).
Turkey’s relations with Iran improved during the 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis, where both countries backed Qatar in a dispute with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Other matters also aggravate relations, such as their supporting opposing sides in Yemeni Civil War (2015–present), Turkish installation of a NATO radar tracking Iranian activities (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said NATO defense system deployed in southeast Turkey meant to protect Israel from Iranian missile attacks), and Iranian support for al-Qaida against Turkey.
Analysts explained US president Donald Trump’s aggressive attitude towards Iran and the perception that he may be willing to support the creation of a Turkish-controlled safe zone in northern Syria also played a significant role in the escalation of tensions between Tehran and Ankara.
It looks like Erdogan realized Trump is going to be a lot more aggressive towards Iran compared to his predecessor, so he decided to act up against Tehran to secure US support for the safe zone
Russia, of course, is also an important player in this game.
Russia’s recent rapprochement with Turkey, as well as disagreements it has with Iran over Syria may play a significant role in the future of Turkey’s relations with Iran. Russia and Iran are having differences of opinion regarding the future of Syria. Russia is viewing Assad as an ally, but is not insistent about him staying in his role as Syria’s president. Iran does not want Assad to go anywhere, but Russia, on the contrary, may easily sacrifice him.” Russia is ready to get out of Syria. It is content with its victory on the ground. So it may choose not to be on Iran’s side to support Assad against Turkey.
While their conflicting interests on the ground as well as actions of other actors like the United States and Russia may lead to further diplomatic tensions between Iran and Turkey, the vast economic ties between the regional rivals may prevent an actual confrontation.
Turkish-Iranian relations have always defied any general characterization. The two neighbors have never had a straightforward alliance, feud, cooperation or rivalry. Instead, their relationship always carried all these elements simultaneously. There have been times in which the relationship has seemed to be tilting one way or another, and this has generated more debate, controversy and confusion about the nature and future course of the relations between the two countries.
Turkish-Iranian relations are now being seen as moving towards cooperation, if not alliance-building. Such a characterization, however, is premature and is reading too much into diplomatic niceties. In recent times, the diplomatic traffic between Ankara and Tehran seems to have intensified. As recently as August, a large Iranian military delegation headed by military chief of staff Mohammad Hossein Bagheri visited Ankara, meeting their military counterparts as well as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The latter is also expected to pay a visit to Tehran soon.
Iran and Turkey also have very close trade and economic relations. Both countries are part of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Bilateral trade between the nations is increasing. In 2005, the trade increased to $4 billion from $1 billion in 2000. Iran’s gas export to Turkey is likely to be increased. At present, the rate is at 50mm cm/d. Turkey imports about 10 billion cubic meters a year of gas from Iran, about 30 percent of its needs. Turkey plans to invest $12 billion in developing phases 22, 23 and 24 of South Pars gas field, a senior Iranian oil official told Shana.ir.
Two-way trade is now in the range of $10 billion (2010), and both governments have announced that the figure should reach the $20 billion mark in the not too distant future. 50 percent of the gas from three phases of Iran’s South Pars gas field will be re-exported to Europe. Turkey has won the tender for privatization of Razi Petrochemical Complex valued at $650 million (2008). Iranian First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi announced in October 2012 that the speed of trade exchanges between Iran and Turkey has accelerated and was close of reaching the goal of 30 billion dollars per year. He added that the growing trade relations between Tehran and Ankara indicate the two countries’ willingness to strengthen mutual ties
This recent uptick in diplomatic activity should be seen in the context of a recent convergence of concerns and threat perceptions in the Middle East. However, it should not be interpreted as anything more than that, as Turkey and Iran continue to have diverging, if not conflicting, interests, especially in Iraq and Syria.
90 percent of Iran’s natural gas exports go to Turkey and Turkey imports 20 percent of its natural gas from Iran. Regional politics may cause tensions between the two countries, but in the light of their strong economic ties, I don’t believe the recent escalation in diplomatic tensions is going to lead to a serious confrontation.
The economic ties between the two countries cannot be overlooked but he argued that Turkey may be ready to take the economic blow to protect its regional interests. It is true that Turkey is buying a lot of natural gas from Iran, and given that the Islamic Republic does not care too much about the international law, it may decide to close down the valves to teach Ankara a lesson,” he said. “Also Turkish businesses had been investing heavily in Iran since the country’s relations with the rest of the world was normalized following its nuclear deal with the USA.
Yet Turkey might still be willing to face any economic threat and do everything necessary to stop Iran from extending its influence further in the Middle East, because any other scenario will be politically too costly for the country.”
The USA has several key bases in the Iraqi Kurdish territory and the CIA is known to run a huge regional intelligence-gathering operation out of the region. Moreover, the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition ferries arms and other critical supplies to their Kurdish and Arab allies in Syria via Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Iraqi parliament had asked the country’s federal court in a letter to strip Kurdish lawmakers who backed independence of their parliamentary immunity. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says he will not resume any dialogue with Erbil until the KRG cancels the results of the plebiscite, which was approved by a crushing 93% of voters. Iraq’s Central Bank told the KRG today that it would halt selling dollars to four top Kurdish banks and stop all foreign currency transfers to the Kurdish zone. Yet Barzani shows no signs of cracking.
Meanwhile, Baghdad, which shut Iraqi Kurdistan’s airspace to international flights on Sept. 29, is continuing to pile on pressure as well. An Iraqi Kurdish official said that the Iraqi Kurdish leadership had reached out to several ethnic Kurdish members of parliament in Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party for their help. But so far, their intervention appears to have had little effect. This has further alienated pious, pro-Barzani Kurds who normally vote for Erdogan.
Many Iraqi Kurdish officials blame the USA for Iraqi intransigence. They insist Washington’s noisy campaign against the referendum has emboldened their enemies and deepened instability and that Washington stands to lose as well.
Iraqi Kurdish officials aired hopes that Baghdad would reopen the airspace to allow the return of former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s body to his native Sulaimaniyah. A larger-than-life figure beloved by journalists for his accessibility and sly wit, Talabani died in Berlin today after a long bout of illness. His death is expected to spark further infighting in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the party he founded and led in opposition to Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party.
Then again, in death Talabani may become a vehicle for unity among the Kurds and for cooling tensions with Baghdad, Iran, Turkey and the USA. All are expected to send emissaries to his funeral. Anadolu, quoting unnamed sources, said Erdogan had called Talabani’s widow Hero today, offering condolences.
Diplomatic tensions between Iran and Turkey will not result in an actual confrontation due to the vast economic ties between the regional rivals, Turkish analysts say. The tensions between Turkey and Iran did not appear out of the blue. As both regional rivals compete for a greater share of influence in the region, the Syrian government’s victory in Aleppo, coupled with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group’s diminishing presence in Iraq, has brought tensions between them to the boil. This rivalry had been simmering beneath the surface for a very long time. Recent developments in Syria and Iraq simply forced the two countries to be more overtly aggressive against each other.
Diplomatic tensions have escalated between regional rivals Turkey and Iran after Ankara blamed Tehran of pursuing a sectarian agenda and destabilising the Middle East.
And in Iraq, Turkey claims that it has a “historical responsibility” to protect the country’s Sunni and Turkmen minorities from Iran-backed Shia militias who are in the region to fight ISIL. Iran, on the other hand, alongside with Iraq’s government, views Turkey’s involvement in the conflict and military presence in the country as an “incursion”.
Turkey acts as the protector of Sunnis in the region, while Iran wants to build a Shia circle of influence all the way from Tehran to Lebanon, so it is inevitable for these two regional powers to clash.
Concerns and interests
A number of common concerns have recently emerged between Turkey and Iran, which has facilitated the recent thaw in relations. Two factors have been particularly important. First, the struggle to establish a post-Arab Spring regional order has generated anxiety in both Ankara and Tehran. The most obvious manifestation of this struggle was on full display during the latest Gulf crisis. Neither Iran nor Turkey regarded this crisis as an isolated confrontation between Qatar and the Gulf-Arab coalition.
Second, the struggle for the post-Arab Spring regional order has coincided with another one to determine the post-ISIL futures of Iraq and Syria. The more territories the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) loses, the more rivalries emerge over who should control them.
The Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian axis is trying to establish a new regional order supported by the Trump government and Israel, and condoned by countries like Jordan. The logical other of this alliance is political Islam, and by extension Turkey, and the publicly announced enemy is Iran. Therefore, this new regional order, if imposed, would be detrimental to the interests of both regional powers.
Turkey and Iran both opposed the Saudi-led block’s moves against Qatar. In fact, during the initial phase of the crisis, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif paid a rare visit to Turkey to discuss, among other issues, what was happening in the Gulf.
Two issues cause particular concern in Turkey and Iran: the perceived opacity of US policy and the political ambitions of the Kurds. Iran is anxiously awaiting whether the US will switch its regional policy from ISIL-first to Iran-first policy in the near future. Turkey, on the other hand, is disturbed by the fact that it can’t figure out the durability of US for the Kurds in Syria and the end goal of this partnership in Syria.
Both countries are also concerned about the overall aims of the US’ Syria policy. The prospect of Kurdish statehood in Iraq and of autonomy in Syria and the potential spillover effect these could have on the Kurdish population in Turkey and Iran generate much anxiety in both capitals.
The emergence of the Syrian Kurdish bloc led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a major player in Syria has pushed Turkey to re-evaluate its Syrian policy. It has prioritized pushing back against the gains of the Syrian Kurds over regime change in Syria and this new strategy has become the thorniest issue in Turkish-American relations.
The cooperation that emerged between the USA and the PYD during the ISIL siege of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane between September 2014 and February 2015 acquired a much more solid grounding with the creation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the backbone of which is the PYD’s military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Ankara has perceived US’ use of SDF as the primary force in the fight against ISIL even outside of the Kurdish-majority areas as evidence of Washington’s long-term commitment to the Syrian Kurds.
Iran, too, is concerned with Kurdish political ambitions, particularly those of the Iraqi Kurds. The independence of Iraqi Kurdistan would diminish the status of Iraq – a Shia-majority country over which Iran has a significant level of influence – in terms of population, geography, hydrocarbon wealth, and water resources. An independent Iraqi Kurdistan is also likely to be closer to the West, Turkey, Israel, and arguably Gulf states than to Iran.
Kurdish statehood could also create plenty of domestic trouble for Iran. The ties of the Iranian Kurdish population and parties with their Iraqi Kurdish brethren are more solid than those with Turkish Kurds. Aside from the PKK’s Iranian affiliate the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK – created in 2004), all other Iranian Kurdish parties have deep historical ties with the Iraqi Kurdish parties.
Although both countries are worried about Kurdish statehood, Turkey’s interests lie in minimizing the PKK-PYD threat, while the political projections of Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) are rather tolerable (even if Ankara opposes its latest push for independence, it is still much less of a threat than an autonomous pro-PKK body in northern Syria).
For Iran, it is the opposite: The break-off of Iraqi Kurdistan bodes ill for its policies in Iraq and it would do anything to prevent it; the PKK and PYD’s presence in Syria and Iraq, however, is no more than a nuisance.
As ISIL is steadily losing large swaths of territory in both Iraq and Syria, a significant power vacuum is forming along Turkey’s southeastern border, causing Iran and Turkey to clash over who is going to replace the dominant force in the area. This rivalry had been simmering beneath the surface for a very long time. Recent developments in Syria and Iraq simply forced the two countries to be more overtly aggressive against each other
USA and European nations with which Arab nations and Turkey have close ties in all fields have failed to comprehend the simple fact that these Western states are together and plan for entire Europe and entire USA. They jointly work against Islamic world and try to defame Islam as terrorist religion by using hypocritical Muslims or others who pose as Muslims. In fact, their ties go beyond the transatlantic realm towards Australia, New Zealand, others with which they plan and work together for joint economic achievements and joint diplomatic efforts
However, Arab world has not learnt anything from their enormous capacity for unity against Islam and Islamic world. Muslim rulers are interested only in protecting their wealth secretly kept in USA and European capitals with the concurrence of the western rulers. Moreover, the rulers and leaders in Islamic world have prove to the world that they are fools as being claimed by the enemies of Islam.
It is time Arab world, Iran and Turley sorted out their differences and worked for their collective progress. They need not make a continent but make their nations united to withstand all pressure tactics of enemies of Islam. Not just that. There would be no more terrorism –private or state sponsored. The West would mind their own business and would not dare poke into the affairs of Islamic world.
Obviously, Israel will stop its misadventures in the region.
Time is running out very fast.