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Iraqi Kurds fear fallout from Erdogan-Gulen conflict

Some Iraqi Kurds are worried that the potential fall of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan might result in a reversal of good relations between Erbil and Ankara.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani (R) attend a ceremony with Erdogan's wife Emine Erdogan in Diyarbakir November 16, 2013. The president of Iraqi Kurdistan called on Turkey's Kurds to back a flagging peace process with Ankara on Saturday, making his first visit to southeastern Turkey in two decades in a show of support for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Barzani's trip to Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast, comes as Ankara fi
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ERBIL, Iraq — The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (KRG) has had a blossoming political and economic relationship with Turkey since 2009. After the Arab Spring, KRG President Massoud Barzani became one of the few friends Turkey has left in the region. With rising internal problems in Turkey amid upcoming elections, Iraqi Kurds wonder about the future of Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The open war between former allies — Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Fethullah Gulen community — is also affecting the Kurdistan region. The Gulen community operates 18 schools in Iraqi Kurdistan with approximately 5,000 students, many coming from the Kurdish elites.

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