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Turkey Lays Out Plans for Iraq's Kurds After Independence Vote
By Fehim Tastekin

Turkey is studying a variety of ways to punish Iraqi Kurds for approving an independence referendum Sept. 25. In addition to restricting oil trade and cutting off airspace, one plan being considered would create a new border crossing to Iraq that supposedly would allow Turkey to bypass northern Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) altogether.

Doing so, however, would require some creative problem-solving.

As Turkey was debating what measures to take, someone resurrected an old proposal to open a new crossing at the junction of the Iraq-Syria-Turkey borders at Ovakoy. The location offers an alternative to the extremely busy, KRG-controlled Habur crossing, which provides Kurds with income from crossing fees and taxes.

According to the plan, Iraq's central government in Baghdad would control the new crossing, and all exports from Turkey to Iraq would reach Tal Afar and Mosul via the new gate. This scenario was proposed years ago by military and nationalist circles in Turkey but was rejected by the ruling Justice and Development Party.

Read the full story here.

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