Several months ago, the international media and political pundits were predicting imminent Kurdish statehood. Many in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) believed, and perhaps still do, that the KRG could independently export crude oil to Turkey and create a viable, autonomous revenue source. These expectations were fueled by "energy agreements" between Erbil and Ankara, a cold war between former Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and international oil company interests in the Kurdistan region.
Instead of statehood or enhanced autonomy, however, the KRG has become more dependent on Turkey while remaining tied to Iraq. This dependency has deepened with the Islamic State (IS) threatening the region, territorial and resource disputes in Iraq remaining unresolved and Ankara and Baghdad pursuing a rapprochement. It leaves the KRG more deeply lodged between regional powers and enhances Turkey’s control over Erbil’s energy and political agendas.