Territorial Conflicts in Northern Iraq: Territory, Ethnicity And Politics

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof. of Political Geography, University Of Tehran

2 university of tehran


Federal Republic of Iraq has numerous ethnicities and religions, along with energy resources is abundant and roots of many of the conflicts in it, to control, ownership or supervision on "land", "resources" or "People" it will be back. So that the complex relationship between politics, ethnicity and territory is created. Although the Iraqi has one of widest oil fields is in the world But the important thing, how the geographical distribution of energy resources, especially in the north of the country and compete in the federal State and the Kurdistan federal government for control over strategic resources, especially in the "Kirkuk" is . "Kirkuk"potentially in terms of geopolitical and geostrategic can Be converted the most important Iraqi crisis and even underlie for a crisis at level of regional and international. while the Kurds in Kurdistan province; "Kirkuk" knows part of its federal jurisdiction other ethnic groups such as Arabs and Turkmen have raised similar claims. Central State, also in turn, will oppose with this claims. Therefore, the question are discussed that territory, politics, and ethnicity, how the territorial conflicts in northern Iraq have formed.
This article with descriptive – analytical method pays to how territorial conflicts in northern Iraq. Information gathered is through library resources and Internet.
Results and discussion
Study of territorial conflicts in Iraq, expressing the complex interconnectedness "territory", "ethnicity" and "politics" in is the country. This complexity will be returns on the one side, "the realities of geo- socio – cultural” and on the other side, the "political realities" such as the material contained in the Iraqi "constitution", that the formation and destiny determination "territorial conflicts" it will play key role.
Some Iraqi "geographical realities” includes: The unequal geographical distribution of oil and gas resources, Uneven geographical distribution of the population in terms of ethnicity and religion, and also its heterogeneous social context. This geographical realities, has imposed their conditions on behavior manner in domestic and foreign politics this country and manufacturer of numerous gaps has been in the area of territories, politics, economy and culture. For example, the north of Iraq with its special geographical location, on the one side has enormous oil and gas reserves and resources are and on the other side, territories are enclosed that has not the way to sea. This area in terms of human geography, with the majority of Sunni Kurds, always been facing with the kind of regionalism that had a role in the formation of territorial conflicts In Iraq.
"Social and cultural realities of Iraq." according to the policy variables, ethnicity and territory their specific effects on territorial conflicts this country have been behind. Iraq's most important historical fact is »bogus« be it and its present borders by the England, has been done to form political and not geographical. Therefore, the social fabric of Iraq is the diverse mosaic unit of ethnicities, religions and cultures that their requirements on political behavior in indoor and foreign policy this country has imposed and numerous gaps in the areas of territory, politics and economics have created.
The largest "territory conflict" and "territoriality" in Iraq, between the Kurds and the central government is current because present official areas Kurdish-controlled, not including all Kurdish territory. This study has shown that the difference between the central government and the regions subsidiaries is mostly due of "The difference in authority between the central government and regional government," "the problem of coexistence between the ethnic and religious groups," "disputes over surface and subsurface resources" and finally "political development". But the dispute over "Kirkuk" is more important than the other differences.
The current situation with regard to the geographical characteristics and demographic combination of Iraq, Kurds have most strongest and most organized military force and Administrative institutions are in the country and the privileges and powers of the federal system benefit. Whereas Turkmen has a population is low and somewhat fragmented and lacks powerful national parties such as the Kurds are. The role of "Sunni Arab" also in the state is less than the Kurds and the roles of “Sunni Arab” also in the state is less than the Kurds and are lacks geographical and structural unity of Kurdish. "Arabs Shia," also despite the best geopolitical position resulting from access to free seas, adjacent to Iran, overpopulation and southern provinces homogeneous and having the oil rich resources south, is confronted with several problems such as the growing
Three factors "territory", "ethnicity" and "politics" played a major role in the formation and self-determination territory conflicts and territoriality will have in the north of Iraq. For example, the Kurdistan Regional State consistently on several issues in oil and gas sphere with central State has had disagreement and conflict Such as: "The difference in terms of oil and gas law in Iraq", "different interpretations of the constitution," "how the distribution of oil revenues," "Disagreement the introduction of state oil and gas fields" and "border disputes in the oil-rich regions, particularly in Kirkuk”. The Kurdistan Regional Government in keeping with "territoriality the Kirkuk" to have taken actions such as: Kurds to return to the "the Kirkuk" and venture contracts in the oil and gas producing in the squares located in the "the Kirkuk" and "Mosul." But the eventual reunification "Kirkuk" Kurdistan, detrimental to the Sunni Arabs enclosed area without oil would be and opposing them up will have sought. Even Shia Arabs in the south and central government also are opposed with incorporation of "Kirkuk" to Kurdistan and it is to the detriment of national and local interests their and cause to increase powers knows Kurdistan Regional. In this regard, the provisions of the Iraqi constitution, such as the lack of enforcement of Article 140 of constitution and failure to resolve the conflict areas of Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens by the Federal Supreme Court has a special place. Because "Kurdistan Regional" is the only federal department in Iraq and this point is effective in causing imbalance power and unequal relations of between Iraq's ethnic groups during territorial conflicts.


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