By John Lee.

Baghdad has reached an agreement with Kurdish authorities to resume exports from the Kirkuk oilfields, via the Turkish port of Ceyhan (pictured).

In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Oil said between 50,000 and 100,000 barrels per day would be exported through the pipeline on behalf of the Baghdad-controlled State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO).

S&P Global Platts says SOMO has not exported any crude oil from Ceyhan since June 2017.

(Sources: Ministry of Oil, S&P Global Platts)

By Ahmed Tabaqchali, for 1001 Iraqi Thoughts.

The Economic Perils of Iraqi Youth’s Nostalgia for the Return of Authoritarianism

Although Iraqi youth’s nostalgia for authoritarianism in the form of a powerful presidential system as a cure to their country’s ills is understandable, the economic costs of Turkey’s increasing move toward such a system over the last few years argue otherwise, as this paper asserts.

The Turkish experience, nevertheless, provides valuable lessons for Iraq — to avoid the failures and to mirror the successes — as it reconstructs its own post-ISIS economy.

Click here to read the full article.

By Ahmed Tabaqchali, for 1001 Iraqi Thoughts.

The Economic Perils of Iraqi Youth’s Nostalgia for the Return of Authoritarianism

Although Iraqi youth’s nostalgia for authoritarianism in the form of a powerful presidential system as a cure to their country’s ills is understandable, the economic costs of Turkey’s increasing move toward such a system over the last few years argue otherwise, as this paper asserts.

The Turkish experience, nevertheless, provides valuable lessons for Iraq — to avoid the failures and to mirror the successes — as it reconstructs its own post-ISIS economy.

Click here to read the full article.

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By Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest.

Turkish Nationality: The Most Desired Citizenship Program among GCC Expats

Citizenship by Investment programs have been witnessing some major changes and one of them is the introduction of the new Turkish citizenship program which was published on the Official Gazette and entered into force in September 2018. The new law requires a minimum Real Estate investment of USD 250,000 and the citizenship could be obtained in approximately 6 months.

With over 4 million Arabs residing in Turkey, the country is certainly one of the most desirable destinations for Middle Eastern people. Historically Arabs feel at home in Turkey, love Istanbul and the demand for the newly launched citizenship program shows so. Turkey has the 17th largest economy in the world and its on its way to hit the 1 billion USD mark in GDP in 2020.

In 2018 Turkey has seen an increase in real estate sales by over 20%. This is largely due to the drop of the property prices after the imposed US sanctions that weakened the Turkish Lira. Buying a property in Turkey today is almost 50% cheaper than a year ago only due to the exchange rate.  With the amendment of the citizenship legislation, sales in Turkey are set to fly.

There are many advantageous aspects of becoming a Turkish citizen. Firstly, investors can obtain the citizenship without ever residing in Turkey and within a period of approximately 6 months from submission of the citizenship application.

There is a high number of expats from countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Egypt to name a few, who currently reside in the GCC, facing difficulties to obtain visas due to their current passports and looking for options. Turkey poses a good investment choice for them as it allows the option of owning property as well as a strong passport simultaneously and the possibility of moving to Turkey if they wish.

Turkey offers applicants the eligibility to become citizens through multiple ways such as a fix deposit of USD 500,000 for 3 years in a bank operating in Turkey; a fixed capital investment; or even generate employment in Turkey. However, the most interesting option is through investing in Turkey’s suppressed real estate market.

Investors are scrambling to find the property of their choice to qualify for the citizenship knowing that they can sell it after 3 years and keep the citizenship for life. An additional advantage is that the property can be passed to children without paying any form of inheritance tax.

A foreigner acquiring Turkish citizenship by investment has the same rights as any Turkish born in the country, therefore for those wanting to make Turkey their home this is a great advantage having the same level of equality, included the ability to pass the citizenship to future generations. The Turkish passport allows  visa free travel to 111 countries, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore and other major countries in Asia, Africa and South America.

Investors do not need to reside in Turkey at any point in time, which means they do not need to disrupt their lives and can just keep it as an option for the future. Spouse and all dependents under 18 years of age are eligible for the Turkish citizenship as well.

If the investor decides to live in Turkey, the country offers amazing quality of services and is considered to be one of the most low-cost places to live in. Basic costs like Electric and gas, council tax, rent, renovations, maintenance, food and drink, everyday groceries, transport and even petrol costs are just a fraction of what it costs in the EU and other developed countries.

Turkey’s infrastructure makes transport in Turkey convenient and reliable with easy access to a number of airports all year round, your journey home is normally within half an hour in most popular locations.

By Sara al-Qaher for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

India, Iran or Turkey: Iraqi Students look Abroad for Post-Grad Studies

There are no easy options for Iraqi graduates who want to continue their education with post-graduate studies.

If they have good grades, they may try to obtain one of the few free spots at a public university in the country. If their grades are not good enough to take that path, they could try to find a private university in Iraq to attend or opt to study abroad, which could be cheaper.

Given this situation, a growing number of post-graduate students are choosing to leave Iraq, bound for neighboring countries or India, where numerous post-graduate programs are taught in English.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

Turkey has announced that it will increase water supplies to Iraq to compensate for a drop in supply from Iran.

According to Abu Dhabi-based The National, Iran has said it will cut water supplies to Iraq to prioritise projects within Iran.

Turkey depends on water from the Tigris to fill a reservoir behind its new Ilısu dam.

This summer, Iraq’s agriculture ministry banned the growing of water-intensive crops due to shortages.

(Sources: The National, Sabah, Rudaw)

By Amberin Zaman for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (pictured) is due to travel to Iraq on Oct. 11 for a two-day official visit to the capital Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s seat of government, Erbil.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Cavusoglu would be received by Iraq’s newly elected ethnic Kurdish President Barham Salih and that he would also meet with Iraqi political leaders and Turkmen representatives.

The trip, Cavusoglu’s first since August 2017, when he traveled to both capitals to lobby against the Iraqi Kurds’ ill fated independence referendum, is seen as an effort to re-assert Turkey’s heft in Iraq amid the receding fortunes of its local Sunni Arab allies.

Click here to read the full story.

By Fehim Tastekin for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

While Turkey was eagerly anticipating a new government in Baghdad to sort out many problems with Iraq, a last minute decision by the outgoing prime minister has added a fresh item to the list of ongoing disagreements between the two countries.

Haider al-Abadi unexpectedly signed a decree to set up three new checkpoints in government-controlled areas in northern Iraq that will effectively slash Turkey’s trade with it.

The trucks that enter the country normally pass through the sole border crossing that is controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and will now also have to pass at least one of these additional checkpoints.

Click here to read the full story.

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani opened Zakho Tunnel in a ceremony attended by cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, the Republic of Turkey’s Consul General to the Kurdistan Region, and a number of KRG officials.

In a speech during the ceremony, Prime Minister Barzani said:

“Opening of this tunnel on this important international highway that links the Kurdistan Region and Iraq with Turkey is providing a major strategic service. The tunnel is a major development for local citizens and trade between Turkey, the Kurdistan Region, and Iraq.”

The Zakho Tunnel is 3600 meters long costing the Kurdistan Regional Government 143 million dollars. The KRG Ministry of Construction & Housing, Duhok Directorate of Roads and Bridges, and the Limak and Man Group construction companies were involved in completing the project.

Prime Minister Barzani said:

“Completion of this project is a major step in the Kurdistan Region that shows we are on the right track moving towards a better future for our citizens. This shows the will and capacity of the KRG to advance and serve the people. This is the mandate of steadfast people of the Region for the KRG to stand tall and not fall.”

Despite the difficult economic situation in the past four years, the KRG exerted great efforts to effectively complete some of the planned strategic projects.

(Source: KRG)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is running out of water.

Its planning ministry says about 90 percent of land is now desert and the small amount of remaining farmland is shrinking by five percent each year.

Now farmers say their futures are dying with their crops.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad: