Stories about Kurdistan

Can the Kurdish referendum potentially destabilise the Middle East?

Over the last few weeks, political conversations in Iraq have mostly revolved around the historic Kurdish referendum. This referendum allowed the Kurds to declare independence from the Iraqi central government in Baghdad. The Kurds are a stateless ethnic group of people who inhabit spaces in modern-day Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. They’ve been one of the most persecuted groups in history and it was only recently, in 2005, that they gained constitutional recognition in Iraq. A few days before the referendum, I asked an Iraqi friend about what the referendum entails and if it would prove to be successful. He smiled and informed me that Baghdad had been resisting ...

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10 lessons Pakistan can learn from the 2015 Turkish General Elections

The 24th general elections of the Republic of Turkey were held on June 7, 2015, to elect 550 members of the Grand National Assembly. The election left many surprised as it resulted in the first hung parliament in Turkey since 1999. However, from a purely Pakistani perspective, there are many lessons to draw, some which have been mentioned here: 1) The ruling party should not be over-confident The Justice and Development Party (AKP) has governed Turkey since 2002 and won its fourth consecutive election this time. However, it lost its parliamentary majority as its total seats dropped from 311 to 258. Thus AKP, despite winning the elections failed miserably to meet President Tayyip Erdoğan’s ambitious target of getting 400 ...

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Iraq’s civil war: Fueled by Kurdish oil, tied to Iran

As the civil war continues to ravage Syria, another civil war looms over its neighbouring country Iraq. Instead of looking towards the heavens and questioning fate, one need only look into the oil fields of Iraq to see the reason behind the impending civil war. After the fall of the Saddam regime in 2003, the Kurds have been gearing towards achieving independence from Baghdad and already run a semi-autonomous region through the Kurdistan Regional Government. This region has its own ministries and a parliament with its capital city being Erbil (also called Hewler in Kurdish language). Oil is one the reasons ...

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