Monday, November 26, 2007

Week 19 - 25 November: The BTK project and NK's dispute

What is going on in the South Caucasus? From now on I will try to keep my blog updated with news coming form Azeri, Georgian, Armenian and others’ media, to check who is talking (or omitting to talk) about what…

The week just ended has matched an important event, to which Turkish, Georgian and Azeri media gave a lot or relevance: the new contract signed in Georgia for the railway Istanbul-Tbilisi-Kars, a new brick in building, as Ilham Aliyev mentioned in his speech, an integrated economical area (the speech was entirely broadcasted by the Aztv news, 19:30 edition. The meeting between the three Presidents was held in a pretty friendly way, on an outdoor stage).
The great absent is of course Armenia. In the same day of the meeting, which is again cutting the country off a new important Caucasian project, its media were focusing on Presidential electoral approaching campaign, especially on the new electoral code and on the candidature of Levon Ter Petrosyan. Another topic quite discussed was the new philosophy for territorial disputes, coming from the example of Kosovo: self determination as a stronger parameter than territorial integrity. Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs mentioned it, talking about the role played by Armenia in the NK matter, and the sentence was not left unnoticed by Azeri media, which reported and contested his words (inter alia,, 21st November).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

what belongs to whom...

At the end of the first World War, territorial problems concerning the disappearing Ottoman Empire concerned the Mosul area, a longlasting integral part of the Empire. It was left outside the Turkish territory and retained under British control in its capacity as mandatory for Iraq because of its oil deposit (July 24, 1923, Treaty of Lausanne). The matter was discussed again and a new treaty was signed later by Turkey and GB, stating that the first would have surrended all rights to Mosul in return of 10% of the oil produced in the area (June, 1926).
This all shows the rooted Turkish interest in that old part of Ottoman territory, which in the very unstable situation of possible Kurdish indipendence opens the road to different hypothesis. The solution voted by the USA Congress the 27th of September foresees actually not a full indipendence but a Federal system, so the boundaries meant to belong to Iraq should not be negotiated again by the semi-autonomous new entities of the Iraq Federal Goverment. But although they are preserved as now, would be the Kurdish semi-Indipendent Region able to accomplish the same commissionment to fight PKK terrorists as the present Iraqi goverment?
Turkey waits and watches...keeping its troops on the border...