“Iraqi Kurdistan is definitely not a social state. People are unhappy with the situation. They protest a lot, but it does not do them any good. Natural resources are privately owned. Social services are mostly extremely expensive: those who can afford it travel to get medical treatment in Turkey. The Kurdish Region is a very complex place.”
“Not a paradise in the heart of the charred Middle East?” I ask, ironically.
“Definitely not,” she replies. “There is of course really substantial investment flowing from abroad: mainly from the West and Turkey. But it is directed toward macroeconomic growth, through the oil industry. Not much comes back to the pockets of the ordinary people.”
On February 9, 2016, protesters flooded the cities and towns of Sulaymaniyah, Koya, Halabja and Chemchemal. Suddenly, it became clear that the “success” of Iraqi Kurdistan has been nothing more than a house of cards. It has became unsustainable, and it has begun its gradual collapse.