Muş Alparslan University, Faculty of Economics, Department of International Relations, Muş, Turkey.
Turkey’s policy towards Kurdistan region of Iraq has been changed a few times within the last ten-fifteen years. In 2007, the government of AK Party (Justice and Development Party) has shifted previous attitudes of Turkish state towards the Iraqi Kurds and step by step began to pursue a moderate and inclusive policy regarding the Iraqi Kurds. Within the frame of a new approach, Turkey has built tight economic and political relations with Kurdistan Regional Government. In September 2012, the Kurdistan Regional Government has been officially invited by AK Party to attend its congress. In 2013 the Prime Minister Erdoğan, welcomed the President Barzani at Diyarbakir very warmly and Kurdish petrol began to be exported to the international markets at the same year via Turkey. The close relations between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan concerned both Iraqi Central Government and even USA. In June 2017, because of the fact that Kurdish authority decided to arrange an independence referendum, Turkey fiercly opposed that decision and asked Kurds to postpone it for a few years. When the independence referendum took place on its scheduled time, namely on 25 September, Turkey and Iran closed their air spaces to Kurdistan region. At 16 October of 2017, the Iraqi forces and Popular Mobilization Force (Haşdi Şabi) ente- red Kirkuk city and with the fall of Kirkuk, the economic independence of Kurdish administration fell into danger. After that happened, Turkey began to strengthen her relations with Iraqi Central Government. Thus a new era began in the relations of Turkey and Iraqi Kurds.
Keywords: Turkey, Kurds, ISIL, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan.