Turkey has increased pressure on Kurdistan Region after the referendum: analyst

<p style="text-align:left">A political analyst believe the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is dependent on Turkey which has increased pressure on the region after it sought independence from Iraq in 2017.

Patrick James, Dean's Professor of International Relations and the Director of USC Center for International Studies the University of Southern California, told Kurdpress in an interview that Ankara has increased its pressure on the region econmically after it held the referendum.
After nearly three decades of Iraq's Kurdish autonomy experience, the question is how much the region's status has been promoted in Iraq and whether the region's development has been on the rise or not.
By 2014, the Kurdish Region, which started to export oil independently, received a significant portion of the general budget of Iraq, but Baghdad later cut off the Kurdish region's share of the budget, followed by IS's attack and the economic crisis that drove the region to the brink of collapse.
However, the Kurds' move to hold a referendum in 2017 produced the worst results, most notably their loss of control over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas. Although the Kurdish region has fallen from a dead-end situation since 2017, the situation remains fragile, and Erbil and Baghdad have yet to reach an agreement on the budget and oil.
The recent protests in Iraq may also adversely affect the Kurdistan region. On the other hand, after the Independence Referendum, Turkey has, in turn, responded with harsh reactions to the Iraqi Kurds, under the pretext of confronting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) of Turkey or the PKK. These may lead to a question of what is the current situation of the Kurdish region in Iraq.
Kurdpress agency interviewed Dr. Patrick James, a professor at the South California University in the United States to discuss the situation of the region in the wake of the developments.
What follow is his full answers to Kurdpress questiins;

How do you see Kurd's position in Iraq's political structure regarding power-sharing, political influence, and decision-making?
Things are so difficult for Iraqi Kurdistan. Efforts toward independence, in and around 2017, did not work out well. Unless there has been a recent transforming event, dependency on pipelines in Turkey to export oil make the situation regarding political structure even more challenging. So, too, does the quest for a united Kurdish front – pursuing mutual interests with Syrian Kurds – huge obstacles persist. Consider the vulnerability to Turkey regarding oil exports on the one hand and Turkish condemnation of the Syrian Kurdish YPG on the other. This is not an easy situation at all.
Aside from independence, evolution toward some type of stable, safe confederation would be the best hope for Iraqi Kurds. But this is far from being realized today.
one of the demands by demonstrators in Iraq is the reshelving political and ruling system. what is the best system for Iraq and how Kurds can help Iraq have a stable government so that it can deliver better public services and defend the country against all threats?
A confederation, rather than unitary system, would be the best option for long-term stability and provision of essential public services. However, that almost certainly would require an active US role in moving things forward. Here we re-enter domestic politics for the US. The Trump &lsquo;base&rsquo; of supporters is very skeptical about overseas involvements. A role for the Trump Administration in almost certainly protracted negotiations over a restructured political system for Iraq would seem unlikely at this point.
Many believe that it is foreign engagement, especially from the U.S which does not let Iraq become a stable country. How do you see this?
I would agree – across the board in Iraq&rsquo;s neighborhood this is true. This goes back to earlier commentary about the US. The policies from Washington, DC, will be realpolitik.
how Kurds can better help Iraq and themselves and improve Iraq and Kurdistan Region's benefits?
This is almost certainly the most difficult question of all. Cooperation between and among factions is the way forward, but very difficult to achieve. A major problem is the continuing role of the major powers, such as the US and Russia (and mid-level powers, such as Turkey), in attempting to manipulate conditions to their perceived advantage.
what are the main causes that do not let Kurds, Sunnis, and Shia be united and make Iraq a developed country?
A legacy that includes civil and interstate war is perhaps most important of all in that sense. The shadow of the past remains in place.

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