Main opposition CHP questions Turkey’s oil deal with KRG
CHP Deputy head Faruk Loğoğlu underlined that launching a parliamentary investigation has become “vital” for developing a national policy for Iraqi oil. AA PhotoTurkey’s main opposition party has submitted a motion to launch a parliamentary investigation over the government’s decision to commence the shipment of Kurdish oil to world markets.
Ankara and Arbil signed the deal without the consent of the central government in Iraq. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) has argued this move risks regional stability and Turkey’s relations with Iraq and the international community. A senior Iraqi Kurdistan leader announced that the energy deal signed between Ankara and Erbil will be valid for 50 years.
Faruk Loğoğlu, deputy leader of the CHP, submitted the motion to the parliamentary speaker’s office June 5 and underlined that launching a parliamentary investigation has become “vital” for developing a national policy for Iraqi oil. The CHP’s move came just after the first shipping of oil extracted by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) late May that chilled ties between Ankara and Baghdad, as the latter issued an international complaint against the Turkish government.
The Iraqi central government and KRG have not yet been able to agree how to control the country’s rich oil and natural gas reserves and how to share revenues. Turkey says it will comply with the Iraqi Constitution that allocates 17 percent of revenues to the KRG and 83 percent to the central government.
The cargo of Kurdish oil left Turkey on May 22 aboard a United Leadership tanker, but has not left the Mediterranean Sea, as potential buyers of the oil Italy and Germany decided not to receive the shipment due to Iraq’s reaction.
“The shipment of northern Iraqi oil from Turkey creates tension in three different layers,” Loğoğlu said, explaining Ankara’s move will hamper efforts between Arbil and Baghdad from coming to a solution. “This is a negative development with regard to Iraq’s internal comfort, territorial integrity and stability,” he said.
Secondly, this decision would hurt Turkey-Iraq bilateral ties, as well as Turkey’s relations with other neighboring countries, he stressed, adding this situation would hurt the country’s long-term interests in the region. For Loğoğlu, the reaction issued by the international community constitutes the third problem for Turkey, as the shipment and the deal Ankara signed with Arbil were violating not only the Iraqi Constitution, but also international law. Recalling that the United States administration urged Turkey not to undergo this shipment on the grounds that this move was against the stability and development of Iraq, Loğoğlu warned “this could also ruin Ankara’s relations with Washington.”
“Finally, the deal Turkey signed with the KRG without Baghdad’s consent is neither serving for regional peace, nor for our country’s relations with neighbors and is ruining our ties with the rest of the world,” he added.
Barzani: Our deal is for 50 years
In the meantime, Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the KRG said the energy deal reached between Turkey and the KRG was for 50 years and could be expanded if necessary. Barzani made this statement at a hearing at the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament while informing deputies about the energy deal signed with Turkey and the ongoing talks with the central government.