Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. Photo: Anadolu Agency.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), an affiliate of Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) denied claims it sabotaged a key oil pipeline from the Kurdistan Region to Turkey's Ceyhan Port.
Demhat Agit, a KCK spokesperson, told PKK media that the group did not know who was behind the Feb. 16 pipeline bombing.
Agit claimed Turkey has "outright hostility against the Kurdish nation," reiterating that relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey “serve the Turkish state not the (Kurdish) national interests; it will even damage it."
On Feb 18, Agit said his group was against agreements between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey to export natural gas, since that would bolster Turkey's economy.
"They want to use the natural resources of Kurdistan as a source of life for the Justice and Development Party (AKP)," said Agit, referring to the KRG-Turkey energy deal.
"We will not accept such an agreement to bolster Turkey and to let it stand on its feet since this agreement is a conspiracy putting the lives of the Kurdish nation at risk," Agit added.
In the past, PKK-linked groups have sabotaged pipelines carrying crude oil from the Kurdistan region’s oilfields to Turkey.
The economic loss from the sabotaged pipeline exporting the Kurdistan Region’s crude oil through the Turkish port of Ceyhan is estimated at $14 million per day, a Kurdish minister said Tuesday.
Meanwhile Safeen Dzayee, the KRG’s spokesman, warned “there are still bombs around the pipeline and now Turkish authorities are working to defuse them."Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said on Thursday that attacks on the region’s energy pipeline were unacceptable and Erbil’s deals with the outside world were a domestic affair.
His comments came hours after the KCK declared it opposed Erbil’s gas exports to Turkey.Energy experts see a Turkey-Kurdistan agreement on natural resources as a means for the KRG to emerge out of the economic crisis it has been suffering for the past two years.