The new phase in the Turkish-Iraqi relationship: fluctuating between friendly and inimical

Published in OpenDemocracy, The already strained Baghdad-Ankara relationship has further deteriorated in recent years, due to regional crises, internal political instability, narrow perceptions and regional interests.

The deterioration in relations was, to some extent, inherent in the domestic and regional evolution of the two countries. The relationship, which was steadily progressing during the US occupation of Iraq, saw a reversing trend after the withdrawal of the US troops at the end of 2011. However, the trend of reversal was confined to relations between Baghdad and Ankara, while relations between Erbil (capital of the Kurdish Regional Government, or KRG, within Iraq) and Ankara continued to flourish at all levels, both politically and economically.

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