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Turkey's Kurdish Gamble


Turkish policies are currently bolstering the Kurdish Regional Government’s drift towards independence, a prospect thought unthinkable in Ankara only a few years ago. Energy politics is an important component of this puzzle, but Ankara's strategic choice can only be understood against the backdrop of Iraq's deepening sectarianization, the unfolding civil war in Syria and the dynamics in Turkey's own Kurdish question. The Turkish government is pursuing a high risk-high gain strategy. A more democratic Turkey, in partnership with the KRG, would be best placed to hedge against the centrifugal sectarian trends afflicting its southern neighbours. However, it is far more likely that Turkey will win its gamble with the support of the European Union.