KRG Shares the Turkish Government’s Vision
Regional Economic Union and model partnership in the Middle East
The Kurdistan Regional Government shares the Turkish Government’s political vision, a vision of how to build freedom and justice in a newly-democratic country in the Middle East. It is extraordinarily important to create a modern international community that is respectful, secure and prosperous in which the inevitable tensions between cultures are quickly defused.
Erdoğan and the AK Party have led Turkey to the apex of its power and glory, and brought a new vision and locus of hope into being, not just for Turkey and the Turkish and Kurdish peoples and other ethnic minorities, but for the Entire Middle East—a vision of justice and a powerful Turkish state .
Erdoğan dreamed of playing football for Fenerbahçe and of being one of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. In his youth, he played professionally for a local football club. Fenerbahçe wanted Erdoğan to transfer to them, but his father prevented it.
Building justice in a powerful state of Turkey may include the dream of rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, the largest empire ever created in the name of Islam.
The grandeur of the Ottoman Sultan Qanuni Suleiman was acknowledged even by his enemies, who referred to him as Suleiman the Magnificent. Despite numerous military victories and his great successes in creating an effective administration, Suleiman was all too aware that achieving greatness for an empire was one thing and maintaining it among great powers quite another.
Turkey is important not just for the Kurdistan region but for the United States and the whole world. I think that this is where the greatest promise of building a stronger Kurdistan Region lies—in better relations with Turkey and in recognition that Turkey and the Kurdistan Region can build a model partnership in the Middle East.
The Turkish government has fostered very strong political and economic relations with the Kurdistan Region; indeed, Turkey is beginning to consider the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq as a unique ally and a major partner in the Middle East.
The Kurdistan Region has signed trade and economic strategic relations and agreements with Turkey in numerous sectors including security, energy, oil, electricity, water, health, trade, the environment, transport, housing, construction, agriculture, education and higher education.
In Turkey, Ataturk’s political party advocated a radical brand of nationalism that included state ownership and control of key natural resources. Private, including foreign, investment was not allowed in developing and marketing such resources. As a result, economic underachievement became a key feature of the Turkish system. Coupled with an exploding population, this forced millions of Turks to immigrate to Western Europe, especially to West Germany, and to the Middle East in search of work.
In less than ten years, the Turkish Government has achieved many record improvements: in 2004, average income in Turkey was less than 20 percent of the average in the European Union, while in 2014, that figure is closer to 70 percent. During the same period, direct foreign investment in the Turkish economy rose from 3.2 billion US dollars to more than 120 billion.