Speaking of Ottoman Empire's greatness is only for domestic consumption, professor tells Kurdpress
A professor of Middle East politics believes claims about Turkey's intention to annex some Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq and to try to revive the territory of the Ottoman Empire is more for domestic use.

In the last two years, the Turkish government has carried out many attacks against the Kurds in Iraq and Syria to the extent that it has raised the suspicion that Turkey is trying to annex these areas to its territory and revive the Ottoman Empire era. But Dr. David Romano, a history researcher at the University of Missouri and an expert on Kurdish issues, who has written many articles in this field, rejects such a hypothesis.

Turkey military operations in Kurdistan Region

About Turkey military operations in Kurdistan Region and the silence of the international community about them, Dr. Romano said: "On the one hand, Turkey (and Iran) are able to claim that their air strikes and artillery attacks in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq are justified by the principle of self-defense and in response to the activity of Bakuri and Rojhelati opposition groups in the mountains there.  Additionally, because the

areas being attacked are not high population density, and hence the number of civilian casualties relatively low, the strikes do not register so much in the international community.  Finally, Kurdistan lacks enough allies in international forums to force the issue on to the agenda."


Is Turkey seeking to annex Iraqi Kurdish region to its territories?

About Turkey's intention to annex some parts of Iraq and Syria Kurdish regions to its territory and the revival of the Ottoman Empire, the professor told Kurdpress that "I think Turkey is more intent on conquering some more territories in Northeastern Syria than attempting to annex or take over land in Iraqi Kurdistan.  Although they have bases in Iraqi Kurdistan and want to maintain influence there, I would be very surprised to see them attempt anything more than this vis-a-vis Iraq.  The talk of Ottoman glory is mostly for domestic consumption in Turkey."


Can Baghdad control Kurdistan Region's oil?

About Baghdad's threats against the Kurdistan Region's oil industry and the Federal Court's rule against the region's oil contracts, the Missouri State University professor said:  "I'm not sure if they can -- a lot depends on the international community's reaction to Baghdad's various stratagems on the issue.  One thing the Kurdistan Regional Government could do would be to refuse to recognize the current Iraqi Federal Supreme Court's standing and legitimacy – this court was not formed along federal guidelines and according to the procedures and principles outlined in the 2005 constitution." 

"Everyone keeps referring to it as the 'Federal Supreme Court of Iraq' but it is no such thing, as the regions and governorates of Iraq had no role in constituting the court. It is in effect a Ba'athist era court that is in no position to arbitrate issues such as this, and the leadership in Hawler needs to press this point," he further said.


The KDP role in the current political stalemate in Iraq

The political expert denied the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) negative role in the current political stalemate in Iraq and said: I don't think so.  The current stalemate has a lot of different factors behind it, and the KDP has proven willing to work with every single party that won the most votes in every single election since 2005 -- whether the parties be Shi'ite like the Sadirist block or mostly Arab Sunni like Iyad Allawi's al Iraqiya in 2010 (or even Nuri al-Maliki's party after the sycophantic 'Supreme Court' judges he appointed ruled that he should be allowed first try at forming a government in 2010, even though Allawi's party had received more votes)."

Reporter's code: 50101