The Impact of Kurdish Referendum on the Driving Forces of Turkish Foreign policy Toward KRG
The justice and Development party (AKP – Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi) has been the ruling party from the first elections they contested in 2002. Turkey’s policy has changed throughout the time, especially after AKP has been the ruling party continually since 2002, major shifts could be noticed. More importantly the dimensions of Turkey’s policy in the Middle East transferred to a broader status, especially when Turkey turned away to EU; at the same time EU started to review their policy toward Turkey, this impacted Turkey to focus more on the Middle East issues. So Turkey could be clearly seen that it has been presented in many countries and many events and changes in the Middle East, such as Syria, Iraq and the rest. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) as a part of that has taken its share in this policy orientation by Turkey, especially when the prominent personality Ahmet Davutoglu started to apply his “Strategic Depth” doctrines and declared for “zero problems” with neighbors, at the same time Turkey has set some priorities for their foreign policy orientation and those orientation is containing some driving forces of foreign policy toward the neighboring countries. So these driving forces had started to shape the Turkish foreign policy toward Middle East and particularly toward KRG, and this had led to very strong relations in many aspects till the referendum. However when KRG underwent a referendum in 25th September 2017 in order to completely split from Iraq and establish its own state. Turkey, which is one of the countries that has great significance in many aspects for KRG, too, opposed the referendum. That’s why after the referendum a very clear deterioration could be noticed temporarily, but due to politico –economic relations, Turkey’s soft instrument foreign policy, and security emphasis led the relations of both sides to still stay in a stable condition.
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