Shafaq News/ Recent visits by Turkish officials to Baghdad have come under scrutiny from economic experts who criticize the perceived approach of dealing with Iraq as if it were under Turkish tutelage.
While the visits carry both economic and political dimensions, experts raise concerns about conditions imposed by Turkey, which they view as encroaching on Iraq's national sovereignty.
Economic expert Hamza Al-Jawahiri, in an interview with Shafaq News Agency, expressed his disapproval, stating, "Turkish officials, in their previous visits to Iraq, were dealing as if they were guardians of Iraq."
Al-Jawahiri highlighted conditions imposed by Turkey, such as demanding the purchase of Iraqi oil at prices lower than the world market and seeking the cancellation of fines imposed by the Paris court. These demands, he stressed, violate national sovereignty.
Al-Jawahiri emphasized that the recent visit by the Turkish Minister of Energy to Iraq while covering economic files also had political content.
Economic expert Durgham Muhammad Ali pointed out the multitude of outstanding issues between Iraq and Turkey, including water and oil concerns, as well as the compensation file in the ruling of the International Trade Court. He noted that Iraq doesn't rely on the Turkish pipeline for oil exports, exporting the agreed-upon quantity through Basra ports without traffic fees.
Muhammad Ali cautioned that any agreement would likely not meet the high demands set by Turkey. He underscored the pressing issues of water and development, emphasizing that Iraq must secure the maximum gains from any agreement.
Turkish-Iraqi relations have been complex and often strained over the years due to many historical, political, and territorial disputes.
The two countries share a long border and a rich history. However, their relations have also been marked by periods of conflict.
One of the primary sources of tension between Turkey and Iraq is the Kurdish issue. Turkey views the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Kurdish militant group, as a terrorist organization and has conducted cross-border operations against it in Iraq. Iraq, for its part, has supported the PKK in the past and has been reluctant to crack down on its activities.
Another source of tension is the issue of water resources. Turkey controls the headwaters of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, which are vital to Iraq's agriculture and economy. Turkey has been accused of using its water resources to its advantage, harming Iraq's interests.
In recent years, there have been some positive signs in Turkish-Iraqi relations. The two countries have signed many agreements on trade, energy, and security cooperation. However, there are still some unresolved issues that could strain relations in the future.
Turkey is also a significant investor in Iraq, and the two countries have a robust economic relationship.