jeudi 28 février 2013

Turkey can be game-maker in Iraq’s north, eastern Med

Hürriyet Daily News

Iraq’s north and the eastern Mediterranean are the two regions where Turkey can be a game-changer in the world’s energy outlook, a prominent expert says. ‘Turkey can contribute to the rewriting of the rules of the game,’ says Mehmet Ögütçü, noting that it will otherwise be playing a game written by others

While the US will rise as the new superstar of the energy world, Russia’s role will diminish, says expert Mehmet Öğütçü (R). Turkey will benefit as Russia will be obliged to reduce gas prices, he adds. DAILY NEWS photo/ Emrah GÜREL
While the US will rise as the new superstar of the energy world, Russia’s role will diminish, says expert Mehmet Öğütçü (R). Turkey will benefit as Russia will be obliged to reduce gas prices, he adds. DAILY NEWS photo/ Emrah GÜREL
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    There is a whole new game shaping up in the world energy outlook, and Turkey can contribute by writing the new rules, according to Mehmet Ögütçü, a prominent energy expert. 

    There are two regions in which Turkey can especially be a game-changer, northern Iraq and the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey needs to engage with the Kurdish administration in the north without alienating the central government in Baghdad, said Ögütçü. As for the eastern Mediterranean, Ögütçü urged the government to let the Turkish private sector negotiate with its Israeli counterparts in order to remain in the game when relations improve with Ankara’s erstwhile ally.

    What are the new game changers in the world energy outlook?

    There is an economic and financial power shift from the West to the Asia-Pacific. There is a strong demand for growth coming from the Asia-Pacific. Supply regions are changing. The Middle East is losing its dominant position in world energy. What we have in addition is that the United States is emerging as the new global energy superstar. By 2017, the U.S will become the world’s largest natural gas provide and by 2020, it might replace Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer. The U.S. will no longer depend on the Middle East. The role Russia is playing as the world natural superpower will diminish. There are new gas-producing countries in the world, like Australia, Tanzania and the Arctic region, as well as the eastern Mediterranean – this will make the market abundant. There will be a glut in natural gas and the prices will decline. Russian economy depends heavily on revenues coming from natural gas. Turkey will also benefit from the falling of natural gas prices.

    In sum; the global game in energy has changed; the rules and the players are changing.

    Will the U.S. exit the Middle East?

    There are three reasons for the U.S. presence in the region: the security of Israel, the protection of Gulf sheikdoms and the containment of Iran. But U.S. ability to project power in the region is declining as a result of domestic developments and due to its intention to refocus its attention toward the Asia-Pacific. 

    But this does not mean that the U.S. will totally disengage; this will happen gradually. There is no power to fill the gap. This brings Turkey into the picture. When you look at the region, Turkey is the biggest economy. Turkey is, by definition, a regional power to reckon with. Although for the past years, it has pursued a foreign policy which positioned it as a soft power welcomed by the Middle East, the situation started to change when Turkey became confrontational and interventionist in Syria. Confronting Iran, Iraq, and freezing relations with Israel boxed Turkey into a situation where it cannot fully utilize its soft power, which had benefited it over the past decade enormously. Turkey should not waste this opportunity and return to its more non-confrontational soft power approach so that it will be recognized as a benevolent power bringing blessings to the region. 

    PKK leader’s letter to Kandil reaches northern Iraq: Report

    PKK leader’s letter to Kandil reaches northern Iraq: Report

    ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

    This photo captured from Pukmedia shows the BDP’s co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk.
    A Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) group arrived in Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq today to deliver a letter from Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is addressed to Kandil, the military headquarters of the PKK, daily Hürriyet reported, quoting the Pukmedia website.

    Hürriyet said the group arrived in Sulaymaniyah at 4 a.m. and that the letter would be send to Kandil later in the day.

    The co-chairs of the Kurdish-umbrella organization, the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk, were also in the group along with BDP’s co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak, as well as BDP deputies Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Altan Tan, the report said. 

    Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) officials welcomed the group, it said. 

    Pukmedya published photos of the group in Sulaymaniyah. 

    BDP deputy parliamentary group chair Pervin Buldan, Önder and Tan visited Öcalan at İmralı Prison on Feb. 23 as part of the ongoing efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.

    Öcalan had send letters to the BDP, the PKK and the organization’s European branch. 

    Road map to be released at Nevruz: Report

    Meanwhile, daily Milliyet, claimed today that the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan has said he would declare a “road map for peace” on March 21, expressing confidence in the ongoing talks to solve the Kurdish issue in a peaceful way. 

    Milliyet claimed to base its coverage on “official prison records” of talks between him and the Feb. 23 mission. 

    “If the process fails, ‘Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] died,’ you will say. I will not be there, I will not let the BDP and the PKK use me,” Öcalan said, according to the report. 

    “But everyone should know that we will neither live nor fight as we used to. I have trust in myself. You should know well that neither I nor the state will take a step back. [We will achieve] a historic peace and transition to democratic life,” he reportedly said.

    “The PKK’s withdrawal from Turkey will be after a Parliament ruling and the Turkish Grand Assembly will approve it, a truth commission will be established. [Kurdish people who were exiled from their villages] will return to their villages. If these conditions are not met, the [PKK’s] withdrawal will not become real,” Milliyet quoted Öcalan as saying.

    ‘We will be free’

    Öcalan also explained the political environment he expects after the “establishment of peace.”

    “Neither house arrest nor amnesty, there will be no need for those. We will all be free. If I can be successful, neither the KCK [outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union – the PKK’s so-called urban wing] arrestees nor the others... A civil war will begin with 50,000 people. But everybody has to acknowledge we will not live as we used to or we will not fight as we used to,” Öcalan said.

    Öcalan also made comments about “a team” that convinced Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “to end the PKK.” 

    “[That team] said ‘we will end the PKK.’ They arrested tens of thousands of people [inKCK operations]. This power planned a coup against MİT [Turkish intelligence agency]. I intervened and said ‘it is a coup.’
    The prime minister realized that it was his turn after a coup was staged against MİT. He was going to be arrested for treason,” he said.

    Öcalan also reportedly lent his support to the presidential system, saying he would support “Erdoğan being president” on the condition of a system similar to that in the United States.

    ‘War could occur’

    Öcalan began the talks by saying it was a historic meeting and that he had been holding talks since the period of former Turkish President Turgut Özal.

    “Turks must acknowledge this. If [the peace process] fails, a middle-to-high-profile war will occur, and chaos and rebels will appear; I have been in contact [with authorities] since Özal and this was interrupted; now it must not be so,” he said.

    Öcalan offered three phases and 10 principles in the meeting and told the deputies to “argue on them.”

     “You will argue on it, frankly. You will take it to Kandil [Mountain, where the PKK base is located] and to Europe. If it comes back in two weeks I will revise my views. It would be better for me to meet with [the BDP’s] co-chairs. If [the government’s] attitude toward the chairs continues, again this committee will gather. I want to declare this at Nevruz. I, myself will declare it,” Öcalan said.

    March 21, the date of Nevruz, is a spring festival for many people in the Middle East and one of crucial importance to Kurds.

    Öcalan also said the U.S. state of Florida was a hub for Turkish counter-guerillas who sabotaged anything related to a solution on the Kurdish issue. 

    ‘Morsi a British invention’

    Öcalan asked the visiting deputies to work to prevent the pollution of Islam. 

    “The British used Islam and knocked down the Ottomans. [Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi is their new invention. They used to produce generals, today they are producing imams,” he reportedly said. 

    The PKK leader was quoted as saying that he himself used to practice Islam and that Kurds were living their own Islam secretly. 

    Blaming Israeli lobby, Armenians, Greeks

    The Armenian lobby is bidding to become effective as of 2015, the 100th anniversary of the events of 1915, Milliyet reported him as saying.

    “Kurds are trying to a secure a place for themselves. They were expelled from the state during the last century. Even [Ottoman sultan] Abdülhamid give them room. [Modern Turkish founder] Mustafa Kemal also gave it. The Israeli lobby, the Armenians and Greeks [living in Turkey], which step in, think that they will be successful if the Kurds are alienated,” he reportedly said.

    mercredi 27 février 2013

    Iraq's shia Turkmen continue to be targeted

    Iraq's Turkmen demand their own defence force

    Turkmen shia continue to be targeted by fanatic salafists.

    Official Flag of the Turkic Council

    This is the official Flag of the Turkic Council 
    which was adopted in Bishkek in 2012

    Azerbaycan, Kazakistan, Kırgızistan ve Türkiye`nin oluşturduğu Türk Dili Konuşan Ülkeler İşbirliği Konseyi (Türk Konseyi) bayrağı kabul edildi.

    Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Dışişleri Bakanı Ahmet Davutoğlu da bayrağın kabulünü Türk Konseyi'nin kurumsallaşması adına yeni bir adım olarak değerlendirdi. Davutoğlu, "Bu bayrak, Türkçe konuşan halkları daha da yakınlaştıracak." dedi.

    lundi 25 février 2013

    The Nexus Of Turkey’s Energy And Foreign Policy With Iraqi Kurdish Oil: The Iranian Connection

    Türkiye’nin Enerji ve Dış Politikasının Irak Kürt Petrolü ile İlişkisi: 
    İran Bağlantısı
    Emre İŞERİ & Oğuz DİLEK

    In the post-American Iraqi energy conundrum,
    Turkey’s foreign policy and energy strategy have
    diverged. Ankara’s energy interest is vested in the
    Kurdish north on the one hand, whereas due to
    its own Kurdish question and geopolitical competition
    with Iran, its conventional foreign policy
    favors a powerful center in Baghdad on the other.
    To further complicate matters, the Al-Maliki led
    Shiite Baghdad government’s “omnibalancing”
    among various stake holders from domestic
    (Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds) and international (Iran, the
    US, Turkey) domains, has placed restrictions on
    Turkey’s options. In this light, this paper argues
    that Turkey’s conventional foreign policy concerning
    .Iraq is unsustainable, and thus should be revised in a
    way that conforms to its energy strategy.

    Please see:

    In 1847 during the Great Famine and Death in Ireland relief came only from the Ottoman Empire



    During the great starvation; - in Ireland 1846-1851
    the death of 1,5 million people and children the sole
    humanitarian relief; came only from the Emperor of
    Turkey (Ottoman Empire)


    Drogheda/Ireland commemorates 800 years 1194-1994

    Photo: In Drogheda/Ireland the museum of starvation
    and death in Ireland during the years 1847 - 1854


    Bombing at a Funeral in Northern Iraq Kills at Least 35

    Ako Rasheed/Reuters
    A man wounded by a suicide bomber in Tuz Khurmato district in northern Iraq was treated at a hospital in Kirkuk.
    BAGHDAD, Iraq — A crowded tent full of Turkmen mourners in northern Iraq was transformed into a mass killing ground on Wednesday by a suicide bombing that left at least 35 people dead and 117 wounded, regional officials and tribal leaders said, calling it a genocidal attack meant to further stoke the already-inflamed sectarian tensions in the country.

    Both the dead and wounded victims included a number of high-ranking regional dignitaries, military officers, professors and religious men among the Turkmen population of the Tuz Khurmato district in Salahuddin Province, an area in the Kurdish north also claimed by Arabs and Turkmens. It came a day after an extended outbreak of sectarian shootings and bombings in the country that killed at least 24 Iraqis.
    Mourners at the Imam Ali mosque had been paying their respects to a Turkmen employee of the Ministry of Health who had been killed in the mayhem the day before, the brother-in-law of a deputy in the Iraqi Turkmen Front, a political party. They had packed into a funeral tent for the ceremony when the suicide bomber, apparently masquerading as one of the aggrieved, blew himself up.
    Turkmen leaders were outraged.
    “We demand to have international forces to secure us, for the Turkmens and our areas,” said Faid Alla, the head of a Turkmen tribe. “We are being targeted, and our existence in Iraq is very dangerous, and we are under genocide. The central government is doing nothing for us.”
    Tuz Khurmato, south of Kirkuk in an oil-rich area, was the site two months ago of a sectarian-tinged confrontation over disputed territory between forces loyal to the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government, which has its own armed forces.
    Iraq has been increasingly consumed by sectarian attacks and political turmoil since December, when the home of the country’s Sunni finance minister was raided by security forces loyal to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite. Mr. Maliki’s political bloc has been accused by Sunnis and others of seeking to monopolize power before provincial elections this spring.
    Mr. Maliki, who took power during the American-led military occupation of Iraq, has denied the accusations and rejected demands by rivals that he resign.
    The instability has been a growing source of concern for the United States, which withdrew its military forces from Iraq about a year ago.

    dimanche 24 février 2013

    Iraqi High Commission of Human Rights - Statement regarding the recent attack on Iraqi Turkmens

    Iraqi High Commission of Human Rights 

    Statement regarding the recent attack on Iraqi Turkmens 

    IHCHR is monitoring closely with huge concern, the systematic terrorist attack to one important component of Iraq and that is the Turkmen community.

    It's clear that the Turkmens have been subjected to terrorism, bombing, kidnappings and assassinations, which violates their rights and their security; confirmed by the international treatment that is signed by Iraq and the Iraqi constitution in Art. 15.

    And we take as an example the terrorist attack which took place on Wednesday 23/1/2013 in Tuzkhormato on unarmed citizens, killing 42 Turkmens and injuring more than 92 others.

    And for this issue the IHCHR request the following:

    - The official organizations to take the necessary actions to provide security and protection for all Iraqi citizens generally and the Turkmen especially because they have been targeted on a large scale and more than one time in recent events.

    - The investigation organizations to show the results of their investigations in these accidents that targets the Iraqi people and to show the murderers of these operations to the public to take their fair punishments for the terrorist operations they carried out.

    - The governmental organizations to reveal the quick indemnity of the martyrs and injured people and their families and the people whom have been affected in their way of life.

    We also demand the legislative power to quickly issue decisions of protecting the Iraqi people especially the Turkmen Community.

    At the end we condemn the shedding all Iraqi blood and assaults on the general or private property and we ask God to inspire patience to the martyrs' families and to heal the wounded.

    Iraqi High Commission of Human Rights

    Wednesday 30/1/2013

    vendredi 22 février 2013

    Barzani Plans to Host Summit As Iraqi Political Crisis Worsens

    Iraqi Kurdish Region President Massoud Barzani (R) welcomes Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr at Erbil's airport, about 220 miles north of Baghdad, April 26, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Azad Lashkari)

    By: Bushra Al Mudhafar for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse. Posted on February 21.

    It seems that a prospective national meeting of political parties in Erbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, is imminent. But questions remain as to whether such a meeting can solve Iraq's increasingly complicated problems.

    About This Article

    Summary :
    Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani plans to host a summit of Iraq's political leaders as the country's political crisis worsens, writes Bushra Al Mudhafar.
    Original Title:
    Partisan Tensions Rise Ahead of Erbil Negotiations
    Author: Bushra Al Mudhafar Translated by: Naria Tanoukhi
    Categories : Originals  Iraq  
    There are reports of US pressure and Iranian and Arab support for a second meeting among Iraqi factions under the auspices of Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani. Erbil hosted a similar meeting in 2010 with some success: it resulted in what is known as the "Erbil Agreement" that led to the formation of a national unity government, headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
    According to Kurdish leaders in Iraq, Barzani is expected to send formal invitations within two weeks to leaders of Iraqi political parties for a comprehensive national conference in Erbil. The conference would discuss the repercussions of the anti-government protests taking place across Iraqi cities, which have increased sectarian tensions across the country.
    The announcement of Barzani’s national-meeting initiative was preceded by the visit of a delegation from the National Iraqi Alliance — which includes the main Shiite parties — to the Kurdistan region, where they met with Kurdish leaders. Sources revealed that the Shiite delegation proposed an initiative that included comprehensive reforms.
    The visit coincided with another meeting held by Barzani among Ayad Allawi, leader of the Iraqi List, which is supported by the Iraqi Sunnis; Ahmed Chalabi, president of the Iraqi National Congress; and a representative of the “Sadrist current” led by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The parties discussed the crisis and its repercussions.

    The prospective "national meeting" would theoretically require concessions by opposing parties to solve the crisis. But it appears that each party is trying to improve its position in advance of sitting down at the negotiating table.
    The Kurds, represented by the Kurdish Alliance, stipulated that the prospective conference must incorporate guarantees that conference decisions would be implemented. The goal is to prevent a repeat of what happened in Erbil in 2010; from the Kurdish Alliance's perspective, the Iraqi prime minister failed to implement most of the elements of the decisions that were issued.

    According to the Kurds, commitment to agreements made at the conference will be the benchmark for success. Opposition political parties have accused the prime minister of evading the implementation of agreements, particularly with regard to national partnership.

    The Erbil Agreement agreed on establishing a "strategic policies council" and national balance at state institutions; developing rules of procedure for the Council of Ministers; enacting laws pertaining to oil and gas, the Supreme Federal Court and the General Amnesty Law; assigning the position of minister of defense to the Iraqi List; solving the problems of detainees; participating in the management of the state in a way that would preserve all components and factions of the Iraqi people; and other issues that would help to rectify the political process.

    mardi 19 février 2013

    Deadly blasts in Kirkuk, areas populated by Turkmens targeted


    Bomb Attacks Kill at Least 37 in Iraq

    Bomb Attacks Kill at Least 37 in Iraq

    18 ŞUBAT 2013

    BAGHDAD—Car bombs tore through shopping areas within minutes of each other in mainly Shiite neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital Sunday, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 100.

    The attacks come amid rising sectarian discord in Iraq and appear aimed at shaking Iraqis’ confidence in the Shiite-led government.

    The explosions struck at the start of the local workweek and primarily targeted outdoor markets.

    Violence in Iraq has fallen since the height of sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, but insurgents still frequently launch lethal attacks against security forces and civilians. It was the third time this month that attacks have claimed more than 20 lives in a single day.

    The attacks began with the detonation of a parked car loaded with explosives in the sprawling Shiite district of Sadr City on Sunday morning. Two more parked cars later exploded elsewhere in the neighborhood.

    Nima Khadum, a government employee, said the blasts shattered the windows of his Sadr City house. He said the air was heavy with smoke, while burning cars littered the street and the bodies of the dead and wounded lay nearby.

    “The scene was a bloody one that brought to my mind the painful memories of the violent past,” he said. “I don’t see the benefit of security checkpoints that only cause traffic jams and don’t do anything to secure Baghdad. The government, with its failing security forces, bears full responsibility for the bloodshed today.”

    Simultaneous explosions also hit the southeastern Baghdad neighborhood of al-Amin, where the force of the blasts left behind little except the mangled chassis of two cars.

    An open-air market in Husseiniya, just northeast of the capital, and the Kamaliya area in Baghdad’s eastern suburbs were also hit.

    Another car bomb exploded near street vendors and a police car in the central commercial district of Karradah.

    Police and hospital officials provided the death toll, and said more than 130 people were wounded. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief reporters.

    Casualties could have been even higher. Authorities carried out controlled explosions of two other car bombs they discovered in Husseiniya and Habibiya, near Sadr City, police said.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks., but similar ones have been orchestrated by Sunni extremists, such as al Qaeda’s local affiliate. The group, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, favors large-scale, coordinated attacks. It considers Shiite Muslims to be heretics and accuses them of being too closely aligned with neighboring Shiite powerhouse Iran.

    As sectarian strife mounts, protesters drawn overwhelmingly from Iraq’s Sunni community have been staging weekly demonstrations and sit-ins since late December to rally against the government, which is led by Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The protesters have rejected calls for violence and distance themselves from extremist groups such as al Qaeda.

    There are also concerns that Sunni insurgents could step up attacks ahead of provincial elections scheduled for April 20. The ballot would be the first countrywide vote since the U.S. troop withdrawal more than a year ago.

    Mr. Maliki and the U.S. Embassy condemned the attacks. So did the United Nations envoy to Iraq, Martin Kobler, who said “all Iraqi leaders have a responsibility to stand up against these atrocious crimes.”

    Later in the day, gunmen opened fire on a military post near the western city of Fallujah, killing one civilian and wounding five people, including two soldiers, Fallujah police said. The city and nearby Ramadi have been the heart of the Sunni protests.

    The blasts came a day after a suicide bomber pretending to ask for help assassinated Brig. Gen. Ali Aouni, the head of the Iraq Defense Ministry’s intelligence academy, and three of his bodyguards in the northern city of Tal Afar.

    Sunday’s attacks brought to more than 100 the number of people killed in violent attacks in Iraq since the start of the month. A total of 178 were killed in January attacks, according to an Associated Press count.


    lundi 18 février 2013

    Iraq’s Oil Rift Deepens Over Exxon Move

    ERBIL, Iraq (UPI) -17.2.2013 – Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest oil company, is pushing ahead with its controversial drive to develop oil fields in Iraq’s independence-minded Kurdish enclave despite fierce opposition from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s central government in Baghdad.

    The U.S. oil giant’s plan, and the growing defiance of the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in the northern city of Erbil, is a direct challenge to the authority of Maliki’s troubled coalition. It could also seriously upset Baghdad’s ambitious plans to rival Saudi Arabia as the world’s top producer over the next decade.

    For now, all the signs are that the KRG and the central government, which haven’t seen eye to eye for years, are on a collision course. The gap is widening on a broader front as the Kurds increasingly side with rebel forces fighting in Syria and Baghdad supports the Iranian-backed regime of President Bashar Assad. “If Exxon Mobil starts drilling operations, Baghdad will have no option but to try and stop them,” the Middle East Economic Digest quoted a source in Erbil as saying.

    “But they’ll have the KRG and the Peshmerga behind them.”

    The Peshmerga, which means “those who face death,” are the Kurds’ battle-seasoned fighters who for decades fought a separatist war against Baghdad until Saddam Hussein was toppled in the 2003 U.S. invasion. Exxon’s feud with Baghdad flared in October 2011, when the U.S. company signed an agreement with the KRG to explore six blocks in Kurdistan, including three that lay in disputed territory along Kurdistan’s southern boundary.

    Kurdistan sits on at least 45 billion barrels of crude, as well as substantial natural gas reserves. Baghdad declared the Exxon deal illegal, saying the KRG had no authority to make independent deals, and threatened to tear up Exxon’s 2009 production-sharing agreement for the huge West Qurna 1 field in southern Iraq.

    Exxon, fed up with Baghdad’s stingy contracts and endless bureaucratic obstructions, stuck to its guns even though its actions have intensified the rift between Erbil and Baghdad and encouraged Kurdish expectations of independence. That threatens to splinter the federal state established after Saddam was toppled and to undermine the government’s drive to push oil production, recently raised to around 3 million barrels per day, to 10 million bpd later in the decade. National reconstruction depends on achieving that goal. Maliki, who’s facing growing unrest because of his drive to establish one-man rule since U.S. forces departed, even complained to U.S. President Barack Obama.

    Washington’s worried Shiite Iran is establishing control of its long-time enemy, with its Shiite majority, and could intervene against the Kurds — whose independence aims it bitterly opposes — and Exxon and other international companies like Chevron, Total of France and Gazprom Neft of Russia that have also signed exploration deals with Erbil. Exxon Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson flew to Baghdad to meet Maliki in late January but apparently refused to quit Kurdistan. MEED reports Exxon “has now submitted several staff employment applications to the KRG, despite warnings from Baghdad not to pursue any upstream development.

    “The KRG has allocated land for a base camp at Kani Kuchal in the disputed Qara Hanjer exploration and production block, which is near Chemchemaal gas field under development by the United Arab Emirates’ Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas.” Maliki’s woes have been multiplied by Turkey, Iraq’s northern neighbor. It’s stepped in to aid the Kurds by offering to build oil and gas pipelines from Kurdistan to export terminals on the Mediterranean. The landlocked Kurds are already trucking oil exports northward, bypassing Baghdad’s state pipeline network to Turkey.Although Turkey’s dead set against giving its own restive Kurdish minority any measure of self-rule after a 30-year insurgency, the KRG’s deep distrust of Baghdad has produced a tactical alliance between energy-hungry Ankara and Erbil.

    Baghdad has threatened to take legal action against oil companies exporting crude directly from Kurdistan. Maliki’s even sought to strike a deal with BP, which also has a big stake in southern Iraq, to upgrade the declining oil fields in Kirkuk, a region the Kurds claim. That’s incensed the Kurds, since the operation to boost production from the current 260,000 bpd to 580,000 bpd, would involve fields in contested areas.Both sides have heavily armed forces confronting each other along Kurdistan’s southern border. Oil could well be the spark to ignite a war.

    dimanche 17 février 2013

    Gök Kumbet, Kerkük Kala's

    This Turkmen Mausoleum is situated in Kirkuk Castle

    Procès Pétrole contre nourriture : réquisitoire « clément » (!)

    Dimanche 17 février 2013
    Par Gilles Munier (bloc-note – 12/2/13)
    Le 12 février dernier – 3ème semaine du procès « Pétrole contre nourriture » -  le procureur a requis 35 000 euros d’amende contre moi. Je m’attendais à une peine de prison avec sursis, agrémentée d’une amende. Je ne suis pas satisfait pour autant, estimant – comme toutes les personnes impliquées dans cette affaire montée par la CIA et Israël - ne pas devoir être« puni » pour avoir violé une résolution criminelle des Nations unies. Mon avocat plaidera mardi prochain.
    Amende de 35 000 euros également pour Michel Grimard, ancien président duMouvement Chrétien Vème République, organisateur de plusieurs conférences contre l’embargo - notamment au Sénat -  et qui a livré en Irak, accompagné de parlementaires français, du matériel médical interdit par l’ONU.
    Le procureur a fixé à 100 000 euros l’amende que devraient verser les ambassadeurs de France Serge Boidevaix (ancien secrétaire général du Quai d’Orsay) et Jean-Bernard Mérimée (ancien représentant de la France aux Nations unies).
    L’amende requise contre l’homme d’affaires Claude Kaspereit, qui fut le premier Français à briser l’embargo aérien contre l’Irak – en compagnie de Jany Le Pen, présidente de SOS Enfants d’Irak –, est de 75 000 euros.
    Selon les médias et les avocats de la défense, il s’agit d’un réquisitoire « clément ». Le parquet a demandé la relaxe de l’ancien ministre de l’Intérieur Charles Pasqua. On ne voit pas pourquoi il aurait été condamné, puisque son nom a été utilisé à Bagdad - à son insu - par son conseiller diplomatique pour se faire attribuer des « allocations pétrolières ». Ce dernier – Bernard Guillet – écope de la réquisition la plus lourde : 18 mois de prison dont 12 avec sursis. Comme il a déjà passé six mois à la prison de la Santé pour refus de verser la caution astronomique que lui avait fixé le juge Philippe Courroye, cela équivaut pour lui à 12 mois avec sursis. Mercredi prochain, n’ayant pas d’avocat, il assurera lui-même sa défense.
    Une demande de relaxe a été demandée pour la journaliste et écrivaine franco-syrienne Hamida Na’ana, auteur d’un livre sur Tarek Aziz.
    La société Total, accusée d’avoir versé des« surcharges » sur des comptes bancaires ouverts par le gouvernement irakien en Jordanie ou au Liban, se verrait réclamer 750 000 euros d’amende. Ses cadres,« complices », verseraient entre 10 000 et 20 000 euros d’amende… heureusement avec sursis. La substitut de procureur s’en est remis au tribunal pour ce qui concerne le sort de Christophe de Margerie, PDG de Total, à l’époque des faits responsable de la société pour le Moyen-Orient.
    Reste à savoir maintenant si les juges du tribunal suivront ces réquisitions, les modifieront dans un sens ou dans un autre. Quoi qu’il en soit, mercredi soir, le jugement sera mis en délibéré. Le verdict tombera probablement dans deux ou trois mois.
    Sur le même sujet lire aussi :
    Procès « Pétrole contre nourriture » : condamné d’avance ?
    Procès - 21 janvier 2013 : Gilles Munier sur le banc des accusés
    Procès de la sale guerre d’Irak “Pétrole contre nourriture“

    samedi 16 février 2013


    The KYB (Kurdistan Patriots Union) mission in Turkey on an official visit also visited the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) Turkey Representation.

    After meeting with the President of the Republic of Turkey Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu within the framework of official contacts Governor of Kirkuk and KYB Foreign Affairs Officer Dr. Necmettin Kerim and KYB Turkey Representative Behruz Galali convened with ITF Turkey Representative Dr. Hicran Kazancı. The recent political situation in Iraq and the developments in Kirkuk were discussed at the meeting.

    ITF Turkey Representative Dr. Hicran Kazancı drew attention to the fact that a majority of the progress and public works had developed after Dr. Necmettin Kerim was appointed to the office of governor and thanked him for his efforts. 

    Kazancı expressed his pleasure at the visit of the mission to the ITF Turkey Representation and wished a speedy recovery for Iraqi President Celal Talabani.

    vendredi 15 février 2013

    WikiLeaks is a Rare Truth-teller. Smearing Julian Assange is Shameful

    WikiLeaks is a rare example of a newsgathering organisation that exposes the truth. Julian Assange is by no means alone.

    By John Pilger 
    February 14, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - Last December, I stood with supporters of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in the bitter cold outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Candles were lit; the faces were young and old and from all over the world. They were there to demonstrate their human solidarity with someone whose guts they admired. They were in no doubt about the importance of what Assange had revealed and achieved, and the grave dangers he now faced. Absent entirely were the lies, spite, jealousy, opportunism and pathetic animus of a few who claim the right to guard the limits of informed public debate.
    These public displays of warmth for Assange are common and seldom reported. Several thousand people packed Sydney Town Hall, with hundreds spilling into the street. In New York recently, Assange was awarded the Yoko Ono Lennon Prize for Courage.  In the audience was Daniel Ellsberg, who risked all to leak the truth about the barbarism of the Vietnam War.
    Like the philanthropist Jemima Khan, the investigative journalist Phillip Knightley, the acclaimed film-maker Ken Loach and others lost bail money in standing up for Julian Assange. “The US is out to crush someone who has revealed its dirty secrets,” Loach wrote to me. “Extradition via Sweden is more than likely… is it difficult to choose whom to support?”

    No, it is not difficult.

    In the New Statesman last week, Jemima Khan, a philanthropist, ended her support for an epic struggle for justice, truth and freedom with an article on WikiLeaks’s founder. To Khan, the Ellsbergs and Yoko Onos, the Knightleys and Loaches, and the countless people they represent, have all been duped. We are all “blinkered”. We are all mindlessly “devoted”. We are all cultists.

    In the final words of her j’accuse, Khan describes Assange as “an Australian L. Ron Hubbard”. She must have known such gratuitous abuse would make a snappy headline — as indeed it did across the press in Australia.

    Commemorating poet Muhammed Mehdi BEYAT


    12 ŞUBAT 2013
    The renowned man of letters and poet Muhammet Mehdi Beyat who lost his life in the suicide attack organized against the condolence assembly held in  Tuzhurmatu on the 23rd of January was commemorated with a ceremony in the capital. The ceremony which was organized by the Iraqi Men of Letters and Authors Union Turkmen Cultural Office was attended by many poets and men of literature from Baghdad and Turkmeneli regions. The commemoration ceremony started with the recital of versus from the Koran and continued with the recital of the Fatiha for the soul of Beyat.
    The opening speech of the ceremony was made by Fevzi Ekrem Terzioğlu, Officer of the Iraqi Men of Letters and Authors Union Turkmen Cultural Office. Terzioğlu indicated that the Turkmen held a significant part in the literature and culture of Iraq and pointed out major names such as Fuzuli, Nesimi and Mustafa Cevat as examples. Terzioğlu emphasized that the Turkmen had not only made their mark in the field of literature but also left major achievements and marks in other areas.
    The head of the Iraqi Men of Letters and Authors Union also indicated that terror targeted all parts and explained that Beyat had made significant contributions to Iraqi literature.
    Poems about Beyat were recited by the Turkmen men of letters who participated in the ceremony.