The FT is carrying a story today which draws our attention (indirectly) to the fact that events in Iraq may well have more impact on Turkey’s future accession possibilities than the French referendum vote. According to the FT:
“Iraqi Kurdistan’s newly elected regional parliament convened for the first time on Saturday in the northern city of Irbil, paving the way for the unification of a Kurdish self-rule area divided between two rival parties.”
Last week Juan Cole on Informed Comment reported on :
an ongoing dispute between the Kurds, who want an Iraqi federalism that gives “states’ rights” only to Kurdistan but not to other provinces, and the Shiites, who want a federalism that would apply geographically throughout the country. The Shiites want to create a southern super-province to serve as a counter weight to Kurdistan. Shiite leaders are planning a congress that can establish the instrumentalities for creating the region of “Sumer” in the south, which will consist of 3 consolidated provinces.
Given the instability in Iraq, it is hard to say where this will lead, but the Kurdish talk of realising their national aspirations is bound to make the government that sits just across their Northern frontier pretty nervous, especially since it is bound to see the creation of one unified Kurdish region in Iraq as a preliminary to subsequent incorporations. Definitely one to watch.