Why does Turkey have 38 unlawful bases in northern Iraq?

Nearly 100 years after the Treaty of Ankara (1926), Iraq-Turkey relations stay fraught. Regardless of…

Nearly 100 years after the Treaty of Ankara (1926), Iraq-Turkey relations stay fraught. Regardless of varied disputes over water rights, territorial violations, illegal oil trades, and alliances, the overriding motive for tensions stays the issue of Kurdistan.

At this time, media headlines throughout Turkey proceed to replicate the nation’s antagonism with the armed teams of the Kurdistan Employees Occasion (PKK) inside Iraq, a neighboring state during which the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launch army operations with impunity.

However regardless of the repeated protests of the Iraqi authorities over these violations of its sovereignty, Turkish presence and operations in northern Iraq proceed unabated.

In Might final 12 months, Turkish Protection Minister Hulusi Akar visited the Turkish army base Biliç Hill Base in northern Iraq to oversee Turkish troops deployed for an ongoing operation in opposition to the PKK.

Livid concerning the go to, Baghdad summoned the Turkish diplomatic envoy in Baghdad to specific displeasure at Akar’s presence inside Iraq with out offering prior discover.

Official numbers regarding the presence of TSK in northern Iraq are unclear. In line with an Anadolu Company article again in 2017, TSK had a battalion within the Bamarni Airport, close to Duhok, in addition to commando models in Kani Masi and Begova in northern Iraq.

In accordance with Ankara’s objective of unilaterally making a 40km-deep safety belt in northern Iraq, TSK has established new bases within the Iraqi areas of Hakurk and Metina.

One supply claims that the variety of Turkish troops in Iraq has risen to over 10,000, however a information outlet aligned with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Improvement Occasion (AKP) says there are solely 2,000 troops, with roughly 500 of them mechanized models in Bamarni, and 400 of them from Bolu Commando Brigade in Kani Masi.

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It additionally claims that there are 130 Particular Forces as liaison officers in Erbil, Zaho, Dohuk, Batufa, Sulaymaniyah, and Amadiya. Within the city of Simele, Turkish intelligence models are bolstered with new recruits, whereas army tanks, not too long ago up to date by Israel, are deployed in Bashiqa base.

In a uncommon transfer, Turkey’s Directorate of Communications printed a map in 2020 which confirmed the positions of Turkish troops in northern Iraq. The map has since been eliminated.

In line with the map, from Zakho to Hakurk within the west–east axis and from Avashin to Erbil within the north–south axis, Turkey has 38 army posts or bases in northern Iraq.

Supply: Turkey’s Directorate of Communications, 2020

Bargaining chips in northern Iraq and wars on terror

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