Turkish opposition criticizes politics over N. Iraq oil

Peoples' Democratic Party spokesman: Kurdish, Turkmen, Sunni, Shia Arabs have paid price for mistake of Kurdish politicians

Turkish opposition criticizes politics over N. Iraq oil Peoples' Democratic Party spokesman Ayhan Bilgen


By Emin Avundukluoglu


Kurds should not do politics over oil in northern Iraqi region like they have done over the past 100 years, according to spokesman of Turkey’s opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Tuesday.

In remarks made before the HDP's parliamentary group, Ayhan Bilgen evaluated recent developments in the oil-rich northern Iraq region.

"Kurdish politicians should have learnt that politics could not be done by just relying on oil as it was 100 years ago," Bilgen said.

He urged Kurdish politicians to be careful with such moves in the region.

"It is an unacceptable situation that Kurdish, Turkmen, Sunni and Shia Arab people have paid the price for the mistake of Kurdish politicians."

Iraq produced 2.4 million barrels of oil per day, and the country exported 1.9 million barrels from its daily production.

The country takes ninth place in the world in terms of oil production after the U.A.E.

On Oct. 16, Iraqi government forces captured disputed areas held by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, including the oil-rich Kirkuk city, an area which had long been the subject of a dispute between Baghdad and the Erbil-based KRG.

However, the illegitimate independence referendum of Sept. 25 -- held in KRG-controlled areas across northern Iraq, including those disputed with the central government in Baghdad -- has threatened this relationship.

The KRG's net income from exports through the Ceyhan port amounted to almost $416 million in October 2016, according to the KRG's Ministry of Natural Resources Monthly Export and Production Report in 2016 -- the ministry's latest monthly oil report released.

The report stated that the KRG exported 19 million barrels of crude oil in total and an average of nearly 614,000 barrels of oil per day in October last year through the port of Ceyhan in Turkey.

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