Turkey’s attitude to the Kurds is rather controversial - Ankara’s position on Turkish Kurds and Iraqi Kurds is not comparable. However, the autocratic “father of the nation” Recep Tayyip Erdogan conducts an entirely expedient policy: as the main Turkish nationalist who holds the presidency, he defends the territorial integrity of his state and the unity of the nation, which is the norm for any head of state. On the other hand, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), created by Erdogan, launched a new round of Kurdish-Turkish interaction, taking a number of effective initiatives to resolve the political and civil multi-ethnic state.
The “Party” provided the Kurds with the opportunity to participate in the public affairs of the republic. For example, according to the results of the parliamentary elections 1 in November 2015, the Kurdish Democratic Party of Peoples won the 59 seats in the Turkish Parliament (for comparison: the main AKP has 317 seats). In addition, there are dozens of deputies of Kurdish origin among the members of the JDP itself. Socio-cultural progress in Kurdish-Turkish relations will not be an exception. The Nowruz holiday, so beloved in the Middle East, annually gathers millions of people in Turkey celebrating, dancing Kurdish dances and singing Kurdish songs. But literally tens of years ago, the Kurdish identity in the Republic of Turkey was denied altogether. Suffice it to recall that the Kurds were once called "mountain Turks". And in today's political environment, Kurdish television operates (the first Kurdish state channel in Turkey - TRT Kurdî - started its broadcasting on December 25 on 2008), and two Kurdish universities (in Istanbul and Mardin) conduct research and educational activities.
It was Recep Erdogan who decided to cooperate with the Kurds of the neighboring states, primarily with Iraqi Kurds. In June 2010, Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani made his first visit to Turkey. Following the talks with M. Barzani, at that time Turkish President A. Gul announced the start of direct flights to Erbil by Turkish Airlines and the intention of Turkey and Kurdistan to develop a common energy, trade and transport strategy. At the end of March, 2011 was first visited by Erbil R. Erdogan, who then served as Turkish Prime Minister. Since then, official political contacts between Ankara and Erbil have become regular. I would especially like to note the significant meeting of 9 December 2015 of the year: for the first time stories Turkey in the process of negotiating the parties was the flag of Kurdistan.
Indicating the main points of interaction between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, it is worth noting the main thesis - the government of Iraqi Kurdistan uses its current sovereignty thanks to a well-built and effective dialogue with the Turkish state. These are two strategically important mutually beneficial partners.
The argument based on economic indicators is the most evidential.
Over the period from 2003 to 2012, the trade volume between Turkey and Kurdistan increased from $ 871 million to almost $ 11 billion per year.
Over 70% of Turkish exports to Iraq remain in Iraqi Kurdistan (according to official figures, Turkey's exports to Iraq totaled $ 2014 10 billion) in 896.
In 2013, the volume of Turkish investments in the region was fixed at $ 700 million.
70 − 80% of goods imported into Iraqi Kurdistan are imported from Turkey.
Over 1500 Turkish companies and hundreds of thousands of Turkish workers work in Southern Kurdistan.
Iraqi Kurdistan provides Turkey with the largest profit and is the main regional entity in Turkish-Iraqi economic relations.
Turkish investments built two modern international airports (in the cities of Sulaymaniyah and Erbil).
We should also mention the energy aspect, since it defines the main goals of the parties - the only source of financial support for Iraqi Kurdistan today and the opportunity to become a Middle Eastern hub for Turkey.
Iraqi exports to Turkey are almost entirely formed by the sale of oil entering Turkey via the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik (Kurdish oil pipeline) pipeline. In May, 2012, Turkey and Kurdistan, despite the objections of the Iraqi government, concluded a formal agreement on oil cooperation. In accordance with the agreement, the Kurds began to export crude oil in the amount of 100 − 200 tankers per day.
Following this, construction of the uncontrolled Baghdad oil pipeline from the Kurdish Autonomous Region to Turkey and the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline adjoining one of the two branches began. In January, 2014 began supplying Kurdish oil to Turkey through a new pipeline, and from the end of May, 2014 began selling Kurdish oil on the world market. Thus, it was Turkey, which helped numerous ethnic groups to become an influential player in the oil market of the Middle East, provided the Kurds with access to the world. At the present stage, the Kurdish government has the most favorable conditions for energy investors, the safest conditions for industrial activity and the most democratic economic indicators in comparison with the neighboring republics. And all this in the era of the war with the “plague” of the 21 of the 20th century - the “Islamic State” (prohibited in Russia).
Turkey for Iraqi Kurdistan is an opportunity to ensure financial stability in the era of global financial crisis, costly struggle with ISIS and providing 2,5 million refugees. It is important to add an unimportant aspect to this list: a year ago, an agreement was reached between Iraq and autonomy to allocate 17% of budget funds in exchange for a daily supply of 550 thousand barrels of oil per day from Kurdistan. However, the actual realities were far from the stated ideals. As a result, Kurdistan compensates the deficit at the expense of the Turkish partner.
Erdogan is guided by extremely pragmatic prerequisites - to establish close energy cooperation with safe Iraqi Kurdistan with global oil fields (Iraq occupies the 5 line in the 10 ranking of countries with the largest proven oil reserves, and Kurdistan has the 90% of the republic's oil). There is also a deeper reason for supporting Iraqi Kurds: Erbil’s economic dependence on Ankara will also lead to political dependence. So, it seems possible for Erdogan to control the Kurdish movement both in Iraq and at the border, which will eliminate the possible factor of tension for the Turkish state.
Thus, Iraqi Kurds have now achieved international recognition. They conduct practically independent foreign policy and foreign economic activity. And many of the achievements are due to the productive contact of two masters - M. Barzani and R. T. Erdogan. The leaders of many states realize that the Kurdish country eventually materializes itself, the numerous transformations of the Middle East region gradually lead to this event, which is only a matter of time. However, it was Recep Tayyip Erdogan who first understood it, who preferred to support Iraqi Kurds in further development. It remains to hope that the Kurdish flag in the presidential palace of Turkey during the last meeting is not just a symbol of respect, and the economic goals of R.T. Erdogan in Southern Kurdistan will be a sufficient argument for Turkey to be one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan.