Financial crisis hinders Kurdistan opening more Turkey border crossings
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Region and Turkey signed an agreement in 2014 to open new border crossings, but the plan remains unimplemented due to the financial crisis and Islamic State (IS) war in northern Iraq, said a Kurdish official on Wednesday.
In June 2014, a delegation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) visited Turkey and signed an agreement for the opening of five border crossings.
One of the crossings included Zete Gate located in the district of Mergasur, Erbil Province, but so far none of them have been opened.
“Turkey has built roads from its side to open the gates, but the KRG failed to finish the project from the Kurdistan Region side due to the emergence of Da’esh, and the financial crisis,” the Mayor of Mergasur Ghafour Ahmed told Kurdistan24, using the Arabic pejorative for IS.
The residents of Mergasur believe that the opening of the border crossings would extensively benefit the people in the area from both an economic and social aspect.
“There are many people in Mergasur whose relatives live on the border from Turkey’s side,” said Hadi Ibrahim, a Kurdish resident in Mergasur.
“I have cousins there, and the opening of the gate would help me visit them often,” he added.
Ahmad Mohamad, another resident, believes the border crossings would positively benefit the people of the Kurdistan Region.
He said it would improve social and business relations between Kurds of the Region and Turkey.
Currently, the Kurdistan Region only has the Ibrahim Khalil international border crossing with Turkey.
The border gate is located in the city of Zakho, Duhok Province.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Additional reporting by Tayfour Mohamad)