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CrisisWatch Database

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Turkey

  |  2 May 2016

Unchanged
Violence continued in south-east provinces with 50 members of security forces, at least 80 verifiable PKK/PKK-linked militants and some 23 civilians killed in April. Turkish media 4 April reported senior PKK figure Duran Kalkan elected leader of People’s Revolutionary Movement (HBDH), PKK-led umbrella organisation established 12 March comprising nine illegal leftist and pro-Kurdish extremist groups; security officials warned organisation will engage in acts of terror, including targeting foreign nationals. President Erdoğan 4 April said PKK has no option other than laying down arms or surrendering to security forces, dismissed any prospects for negotiation; 5 April vowed to strip PKK supporters of their citizenship. Suicide bomb attack 27 April hit western province of Bursa, thirteen injured; PKK offshoot Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) 1 May claimed responsibility, security officials 28 April detained fifteen suspects. Clampdown against Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra networks intensified: authorities 1 April detained fifteen suspects in İzmir province; long-sought IS-linked suspect Hüseyin Tunç detained 6 April on charges of involvement in 10 Oct Ankara bombings; security forces 14 April detained eleven suspected al-Nusra militants after operations in Adana province. IS-attributed strikes from Syria intensified hitting Kilis province eleven times in April, thirteen reported killed and 59 injured. Defence Minister İsmet Yılmaz 13 April reported 146 IS targets shelled by Turkish artillery, 362 IS militants killed in Turkish military operations in retaliation to rockets landing in Kilis. Erdoğan 7 April warned EU that Ankara would not implement March migrant deal if Brussels failed to fulfil its side of bargain, including visa-free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens by summer and rejuvenated EU accession process.

Cyprus

  |  2 May 2016

Unchanged
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı 16 April approved new coalition govt between National Unity Party (UBP) and Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG), and named UBP Chairmain Hüseyin Özgürgün PM; followed collapse of previous coalition govt after UBP 3 April withdrew, blaming govt inability to address economic problems. Akıncı 7 April warned that fall of govt and Greek Cypriot parliamentary election scheduled for May could have negative impact on peace talks.

Turkey

  |  1 Apr 2016

Deteriorated

Car bomb 13 March in Ankara killed 36, two attackers also killed; Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) – ultra-radical Kurdish nationalist offshoot of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – claimed responsibility for attack, said it was act of revenge for ongoing security operations against PKK in southeastern urban centres. Ankara 14 March conducted heavy airstrikes on PKK camps in northern Iraq, as military operations continued in SE Şırnak, Diyarbakır, Mardin and Hakkâri provinces, with 52 Turkish security forces, at least 40 civilians and at least 25 PKK militants killed 1-29 March; seven police killed in explosion in Diyarbakır 31 March. Justice Ministry 4 March submitted request that parliament lift immunities of pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs and three other MPs, following visit of condolence by one HDP MP to family of TAK suicide bomber allegedly responsible for 17 Feb Ankara attack; request likely to stoke further tension in ongoing row between ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and HDP. President Erdoğan 14 March vowed to expand definition of terror to apply to lawmakers, journalists and activists as space for open debate continued to narrow. Istanbul court 16 March arrested three Turkish academics and deported UK academic on charges of terrorist propaganda, following their public declaration entitled “We won’t be part of this crime” during 10 March gathering. Islamic State (IS)-linked suicide bomber 17 March attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal Street killed three Israeli and one Iranian national and injured 39. IS 8 and 12 March launched strikes from across Syrian border, two killed including one toddler in border province Kilis. EU and Turkey 18 March reached landmark agreement on Syrian refugees, part of deal that includes visa liberalisation and acceleration of accession negotiations for Turkey. EU agreed to grant additional €3bn to Turkey for refugee-related costs until end of 2018.

Cyprus

  |  1 Apr 2016

Unchanged
Greek Cypriot spokesperson 8 March said Ankara should recognise Republic of Cyprus and open trade, ports and airports before govt could lift veto on six of Turkey’s EU negotiation chapters; statement threatened to complicate Turkey’s deal on refugees and accelerated accession talks with EU. Turkey’s EU Minister Volkan Bozkır 16 March said “capriciousness” of Greek Cypriot administration should not be allowed to block EU-Turkey deal. Republic of Cyprus President  Anastasiades 17 March backed down following meetings with European Council President Tusk and European Commission President Juncker, said he hoped compromise could be reached at European Council meeting but maintained criticism of Turkey for failing to recognise his govt. Turkish and U.S. FMs meeting in Washington 29 March agreed Cyprus deal could be reached in 2016. Historic Denya Mosque attacked 22 Feb by unknown arsonists; Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders condemned attack.  Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı alleged attack was attempt to disrupt peace talks and vowed to punish assailants.

Turkey

  |  1 Mar 2016

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Car bomb attack 17 Feb in Ankara killed some 29 high ranking military officials and civil servants; govt 18 Feb blamed attack on armed wing of Syrian affiliate of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG), however radical Kurdish nationalist group Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a PKK offshoot, 18 Feb claimed responsibility for attack. Incident further weakened prospects for talks to resume between Ankara and PKK. Violence continued in SE despite Ankara’s declaration of successful conclusion of operations in Silopi and Cizre towns 28 Jan and 11 Feb; observers fear fighting will worsen in March. Some 84 security forces and at least 27 PKK militants killed in clashes during month including Ankara bombing. PM Davutoğlu 5 Feb unveiled anti-terror plan calling for aid to those displaced by fighting, reconstruction of devastated communities and economic assistance to SE, but rejecting engagement with pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) or PKK; plan instead calls for consultations with local Islamist Kurdish parties and NGOs, small Kurdish nationalist parties unaligned with HDP or PKK, and constitutional reform to deliver Kurdish rights demands. Erdoğan 17 Feb signalled he could push for referendum on strengthening his office’s powers following 16 Feb decision of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to leave committee tasked with drafting new constitution. Turkey started shelling YPG targets in N Syria after group began gaining ground against Turkey-backed rebels late-Jan. Responding to new wave of Syrian refugees fleeing Aleppo fighting, Turkish authorities began building makeshift camps on Syrian side of border. EU 3 Feb finalised €3bn fund to assist Turkey with some 2.7mn Syrian refugees it is hosting in exchange for strengthened Turkish efforts to prevent them travelling on to Europe.

Cyprus

  |  1 Mar 2016

Unchanged

Talks between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders continued; referendum on reunification expected to take place after Greek Cypriot elections, scheduled for 22 May. Meeting between Turkish Cypriot leaders and Turkish govt 8 Feb failed to resolve ongoing dispute over water distribution, threatening to weaken ruling Turkish Cypriot coalition govt chaired by lead negotiator Mustafa Akıncı. Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu 21 Feb reiterated Ankara’s support for settlement in Cyprus, predicted agreement would be reached by June 2016.

Turkey

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged
Govt declared progress in crackdown against PKK’s youth arm YDG-H in SE; PM Davutoğlu 19 Jan said Kurdish town Silopi in Şirnak province officially “free of PKK fighters”. Some 35 civilians, 33 security forces and twelve PKK militants killed in clashes between security forces and PKK, including PKK car bomb attack 14 Jan targeting police compound in Cinar, Diyarbakır province, six killed including five civilians. Officials 27 Jan widened curfew in Diyarbakır’s Sur district from six to eleven neighbourhoods. Two Kurdish lawyers 6 Jan petitioned European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) demanding temporary injunction to end curfews, claiming they violate basic human rights; court rejected petition. Petition followed late-Dec request to ECHR by pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Meral Danış Beştaş to rule that govt crackdowns are causing mass rights abuses in SE. Kurdish rights situation worsened with Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office launching series of investigations late-Dec into HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas, and into several politicians of Kurdish umbrella Democratic People’s Congress (DTK) following their declaration supporting Kurdish self-rule. Country-wide debate intensified early-Jan over ruling Justice and Development Party’s proposal for new constitution which would dramatically increase powers of presidency. Islamic State (IS) suicide attack 12 Jan killed eleven foreigners in Istanbul’s tourist district Sultanahmet; some 31 IS suspects subsequently arrested and 112 detained, govt reportedly carried out several operations against IS positions in Syria and Iraq. Border tensions grew following 18 Jan rocket attack reportedly from IS-held territory in Syria on border town Kilis, one Turkish civilian killed. Govt accused Russia of violating its airspace again 29 Jan; Russia denied. Late-Nov refugee deal with EU remains stalled amid member states’ resistance over $3bn in aid; officials 15 Jan announced govt would begin issuing work permits for Syrian refugees without requiring residence permits, meeting longstanding demand of refugees and EU.

Cyprus

  |  1 Feb 2016

Unchanged
Turkish Cypriot official 17 Jan said ongoing dispute with Turkish govt over water distribution could destabilise Turkish Cypriot ruling coalition and force early elections in Feb; destabilisation threatens positive progress in reunification talks. Turkish PM Davutoğlu 18 Jan called for summit on Cyprus with UK, Turkey, Greece, and Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot administrations.

Turkey

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Violence between security forces and PKK continued at high intensity in south east with some 44 civilians, 25 security forces killed in clashes throughout month; PKK’s armed wing People’s Defence Force (HPG) reported at least eleven insurgents killed. Security forces 2 Dec declared curfew in Diyarbakır’s Sur district following late-Nov killing of prominent pro-Kurdish lawyer and rights activist Tahir Elçi. Insecurity remains high in urban areas: security forces 11 Dec declared curfew in seven cities throughout SE, as govt promised to continue operations; police intelligence reported over 100,000 displaced and 1.3 million affected by curfews since Aug. Govt 12 Dec launched airstrikes on PKK positions in SE, at least two civilians killed. PKK leader Murat Karayilan 15 Dec said PKK not planning unilateral ceasefire unless govt ends military operations. Media crackdown continued following 1 Nov elections: prominent opposition journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül arrested late-Nov on charges of being members of a terror organisation, espionage and revealing confidential documents. Tensions with Russia persisted: Russia intensified airstrikes against Turkish-backed Syrian rebel groups and imposed sweeping embargoes on Turkish imports. Crackdown on Islamic State (IS) militants continued: 67 IS-linked suspects charged 18 Dec in investigation into IS activities; govt 10 Dec reportedly pledged to build 82km wall along IS-held border with Syria. EU 14 Dec opened negotiations with Ankara on Chapter 17, aimed at bringing Turkey in line with EU’s economic and monetary policy. Turkey and Israel 17 Dec reached preliminary deal to normalise relations.

Cyprus

  |  4 Jan 2016

Unchanged

Reunification talks continued between Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci. Anastasiades 6 Dec suggested elections planned for May 2016 could be delayed by two or three months. UN SRSG Espen Bath Eide 8 Dec met with Turkish PM Davutoğlu to discuss talks.

Turkey

  |  1 Dec 2015

Deteriorated

Violence between PKK and Turkish security forces increased following 1 Nov snap elections as PKK 5 Nov declared end to 10 Oct unilateral ceasefire and PM Davutoglu 6 Nov promised to continue military operations against PKK. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) regained parliamentary majority with 49.5% of vote in 1 Nov poll; pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) 13 Nov called on High Election Council to annul results, citing pre-election crackdown on media, detention of pro-Kurdish parties’ local operatives and attacks on HDP offices. Some 24 civilians, seventeen security forces members and nineteen PKK insurgents reported killed in clashes during month. Security forces 3 Nov began ten-day operation in Kurdish town Silvan, Diyarbakır district, engaged in fierce fighting with pro-PKK urban militia; some seven civilians and three security officials killed, thousands reportedly fled. President Erdogan 4 Nov renamed peace process “national brotherhood and unity process”, underscoring govt’s decision to shun negotiations with jailed PKK leader Öcalan and opt for continued military operations against PKK. Prominent pro-Kurdish lawyer and rights activist Tahir Elçi killed 28 Nov in gunfight between police and unidentified gunmen during press conference calling for end to violence with PKK; shooting sparked protests in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Diyarbakır. Police continued intensified operations against Islamic State (IS); FM 18 Nov pledged intensified Turkish and U.S. airstrikes against IS along Turkish border. Russian warplane shot down 24 Nov by Turkish fighter jet after alleged violation of Turkish airspace; Moscow 29 Nov announced series of sanctions against Turkey amid ongoing standoff with Ankara. PM Davutoglu 10 Nov repeated calls for “safe haven” along border with Syria. EU leaders and PM Davutoglu reached agreement during 29 Nov migration summit: Turkey promised to help stem flow of migrants to Europe in exchange for $3.2bn aid to help deal with 2.2mn registered Syrian refugees, visas and renewed talks on joining EU.

Cyprus

  |  1 Dec 2015

Unchanged

Turkish PM Davutoglu 18 Nov said Greece and Turkey share “common approach” to forge Cyprus solution following meeting with Greek PM Tsipras. Turkey 20 Nov halted flow of fresh water pipeline servicing northern Cyprus following rejection by Republic of Cyprus authorities of Ankara’s proposal to transfer management to private company. Turkish Cypriot authorities stated preference for local management of pipeline amid some concerns Ankara is trying to deepen Turkish-Cypriots’ economic dependency on Turkey.

Turkey

  |  2 Nov 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Bomb attack at Ankara peace rally led by leftist groups and pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) 10 Oct left some 102 killed and 240 injured in deadliest attack in republic’s history. PM Davutoğlu 14 Oct said Islamic State (IS) orchestrated attack. Interior ministry 14 Oct laid off several security officials amid growing anger and political division over bombing. Ankara prosecutor’s office 28 Oct announced IS cell in Gaziantep responsible for attack. Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) 10 Oct accused ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of covertly aiding Ankara attackers and two other IS-linked bombers who struck pro-Kurdish targets in previous attacks. Over 320 IS suspects detained since 10 Oct. Two police and seven IS militants killed, twelve militants captured 26 Oct in police operation in Diyarbakır. Kurdish insurgency Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Murat Karayılan 10 Oct declared unilateral ceasefire until 1 Nov repeat elections; PM Davutoğlu same day pledged to continue military operations against PKK positions in SE and in Iraq. Deadly violence between security forces and PKK continued, with thirteen security officials reported killed since 10 Oct ceasefire. Governor of Diyarbakir province 9 Oct began four-day curfew in majority-Kurdish city’s historic district following death of police officer in clashes with pro-PKK youth militia; 18 Oct declared curfew in Silvan district. Political and social tensions increased in lead-up to 1 Nov elections. U.S. 1 Oct pledged to deploy additional aircraft and personnel to Incirlik Air Base in SE, expanding scope of U.S.-led coalition anti-IS operations in Turkey. Russian-made drone shot down in Turkish airspace 16 Oct. Govt and EU 16 Oct discussed joint action plan to tackle Syrian refugee crisis. Govt 26 Oct announced army hit Syrian PKK-affiliate, Kurdish Democratic Union Part (PYD) in N Syria twice: in July and again 16 Oct when PYD members attempted to cross Euphrates river.

Cyprus

  |  2 Nov 2015

Unchanged

Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades 12 Oct pledged to “significantly intensify” peace talks with Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci as both acknowledged outstanding disagreements on issues of property and guarantees. Turkish President Erdogan 17 Oct inaugurated undersea pipeline to carry water from Turkey to northern Cyprus; move perceived by Greek Cypriot as attempt by Ankara to consolidate hold over north. Anastasiades 18 Oct said holding dual referendum on solution to conflict in March 2016 not possible in light of elections in Republic of Cyprus in May 2016.

Turkey

  |  1 Oct 2015

Deteriorated
Clashes between security forces and Kurdish insurgency PKK worsened in east and south east, while govt also launched seven airstrikes against PKK positions in Turkey and Northern Iraq. Seventeen soldiers killed in PKK attack in Daglica, Hakkari 6 Sept; fourteen soldiers killed in Igdir 8 Sept; 23 civilians reported killed in Cizre district of Sirnak province during nine-day curfew that ended 12 Sept. Interior ministry 11 Sept suspended mayor of Cizre district for allegedly inciting armed uprising and terror propaganda. Since Suruç attack on 20 July, Ankara has reported 135 security officials killed and 278 injured, and 75 civilians killed in PKK attacks as of 28 Sept; PKK’s armed wing People’s Defense Force (HPG) reported 112 insurgents killed in same period, while govt has declared some 131 “temporary military secure zones” in over fifteen eastern provinces, and imposed curfews in Muş, Van, Şırnak and Diyarbakır provinces. Umbrella group Unions of the Communities of Kurdistan (KCK) 15 Sept said willing to participate in negotiations with govt under supervision of mediators as part of strengthened ceasefire and democratic resolution of crisis. Nationwide demonstrations against terrorism 6-9 Sept; over 300 violent incidents against pro-Kurdish HDP party buildings reported. Ahead of snap polls scheduled for 1 Nov HDP co-chair Demirtas 2 Sept said security conditions in east and south east unsuitable for election campaign. Parliament 3 Sept renewed mandate allowing military to conduct cross-border operations in Syria and Iraq, and allowing govt to authorise foreign troops based on Turkish soil. Two soldiers killed, two injured 1 and 9 Sept following cross-border fire from Islamic State in provinces of Kilis and Hatay along Syrian border. Amid escalating European refugee crisis PM Davutoğlu called for more action by international community to address problem.

Cyprus

  |  1 Oct 2015

Unchanged
Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci 10 Sept met with heads of Cyprus’ Orthodox Christian, Armenian, Maronite and Latin Catholic churches, and Turkish Grand Mufti for first time amid ongoing reunification talks. Turkish FM Feridun Sinirlioglu 7 Sept visited Turkish Cypriot North on first official trip as FM, called for sincerity in talks; President of European Council Donald Tusk 11 Sept visited Cyprus, said next three months critical.

Turkey

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Clashes between security forces and PKK intensified in southeast: Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) reported 67 members killed in clashes with PKK 20 July- 30 Aug; PKK reported 53 of its members killed in same period; 28 civilians reported killed. Govt reported over 800 alleged PKK members detained. Govt 17-18 Aug designated over 100 “special security zones” in east and southeast, imposed curfews in parts of Mus and Diyarbakır. Govt continued air bombardments of PKK positions in Turkey and N Iraq, launching thirteen waves of airstrikes 24 July - 28 Aug. Senior PKK members blamed govt for breaking three-year ceasefire; said PKK would stop fighting if Turkey ends military operations, called for monitoring committee to oversee conditions of reinforced ceasefire, demanded direct contact with jailed leader Öcalan and new format for peace process. Govt late July initiated criminal investigations against Demirtas and fellow co-chair Yüksekdağ on criminal charges and engaging in terrorism propaganda respectively. Unable to agree on terms of coalition with opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) or Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), PM Davutoglu 18 Aug returned mandate to form govt to president; Erdogan 21 Aug announced snap elections for 1 Nov. U.S. 12 Aug conducted first airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria from Turkey’s İncirlik airbase. Army 14 Aug began constructing wall in Hatay to stem illegal border crossings following govt’s July pledge to tighten security at Syrian and Iraqi borders.

Cyprus

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

UN SRSG Espen Bath Eide 14 Aug expressed further optimism over ongoing reunification talks following 13 Aug meeting with Turkish foreign ministry officials, emphasised progress on contentious issues including sharing of island’s natural resources.

Turkey

  |  3 Aug 2015

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Month saw collapse of state-PKK ceasefire in place since 2013 following marked increase in violent incidents particularly in SE Turkey, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) blamed for 20 July suicide bomb attack in Suruc killing 32. Two police killed by PKK-affiliated group 22 July. Border guard killed by IS militant 23 July, one police officer killed by PKK same day. Amid increasing tensions Turkey announced agreement for opening bases to allied forces fighting IS on 23 July and launched airstrikes on IS positions in Syria (killing at least 35 IS members according to Turkish military) on 24 July; and struck PKK positions in N Iraq starting on 25 July, continuing through end of July with seven waves of bombardment. Govt also arrested hundreds of suspected IS and PKK members inside Turkey 24 July onwards. PKK said 2013 truce has lost meaning; President Erdogan 28 July said peace process “with those who threaten our national unity and brotherhood” is impossible. Turkey and U.S. 28 July reportedly agreed in general terms on plan to drive out IS from part of Syrian territory along Turkish border. NATO ambassadors same day expressed solidarity with Turkey at meeting in Brussels to discuss Syria and Iraq, in session requested by Turkey. Kurdish forces claimed Turkish tanks shelled Kurdish-held villages in N Syria 26 July; Ankara denied targeting Syrian Kurds, stating it only targeted IS in Syria and PKK in N Iraq. PKK 24-31 July killed eleven Turkish security officers, bringing total during July to eighteen.

Cyprus

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

UN-led reunification talks continued 10 and 27 July between Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades. Leaders 27 July agreed individual rights to property must be respected, resolved to appoint independent Property Commission to settle claims. Turkish President Erdogan 20 July expressed support for negotiations.

Turkey

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Parliamentary elections 7 June saw ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lose parliamentary majority for first time in over twelve years, gaining 41% of vote and 258 of 550 seats in parliament. Negotiations to form coalition govt ongoing. Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) exceeded 10% minimum electoral threshold with 13% of vote (80 seats); result strengthens its legitimacy and political space for peace deal. Surge in violence in days prior to and following elections amid increased tensions in run-up to polls: bus driver working for HDP shot dead 3 June in Bingol; bomb attack at HDP rally in Diyarbakır 5 June killed four and injured over 100. HDP blamed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) affiliates, accused govt of poor intelligence. Govt mid-June accused Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) of ethnic cleansing of Arabs and Turkmens in north of Syria during attempt to unite Kurdish cantons/territories there, including with PYD’s 16 June capture of Syrian town Tal Abyad along border. National Security Council (NSC) convened 29 June to discuss security threat from Syria as military deployed tanks to border near Kobani. Senior PKK figure threatened retaliation if military enters Syria; NSC said tanks are a security measure. Head of Islamic aid organisation close to pro-Islamist Huda Par (Kurdish Islamic party affiliated with Hizbollah) gunned down 9 June in Diyarbakır; subsequent riots left four dead, at least six injured. Clashes between govt and PKK occurred throughout month at military base in Dağlıca on Iraqi border, one villager killed.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Reunification talks continued between Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and President of Turkish Cypriot north Mustafa Akinci, with meetings 4, 17 and 29 June. Mediator of talks UN SRSG Espen Barth Eide 16 June noted strong international and domestic momentum behind talks. Anastasiades 22 June said no reunification possible until Turkey withdraws troops from north.

Turkey

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Govt-PKK peace process remains stalled in run-up to 7 June parliamentary elections. Amid increasing antagonism between parties, ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) adopted increasingly hardline rhetoric in attempt to regain votes from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Polling shows Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) at 9.5%-10.5%; if it fails to pass 10% threshold to enter parliament, consequences for peace process could be significant. PKK 3 May cancelled General Congress of the KCK (Union of the Communities of Kurdistan), called for in March by jailed leader Öcalan to discuss possible disarmament, citing govt failure to advance peace process. Two bombs exploded 18 May in HDP offices in Adana and Mersin provinces. Govt condemned violence; HDP leader suggested AKP behind attack. Govt jet 16 May shot down Syrian helicopter it alleged violated Turkish airspace. U.S. and Turkey launched long-anticipated joint train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jun 2015

Improved

Reunification talks, mediated by UN Special Rep Espen Barth Eide, resumed 15 May between Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and President of Turkish Cypriot north Mustafa Akinci, who agreed to meet twice a month. Confidence-building measures initiated same day: Anastasiades gave coordinates of 28 minefields in north; Akinci announced Greek Cypriots no longer required to fill in visa forms at border crossings. Leaders 28 May announced agreement on five steps including opening of more crossing points and interconnecting electricity grids.

Turkey

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Military and PKK clashed in Agri province 11 April, leaving five militants dead, four soldiers wounded. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) stated pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) continuing to stoke violence and intimidate citizens in east to vote for HDP in 7 June elections; HDP said clash part govt attempt to discredit party, prevent it from passing 10% electoral threshold. Govt responded angrily to statements by Pope Francis, European Parliament and Germany recognising 1915-18 Ottoman mass killings of Armenians as genocide: Ankara 15 April said statements “distortion of history”, part of international campaign against AKP. Security forces apprehended nineteen Syria-bound foreign nationals in Hatay and Gaziantep early month. Istanbul court 29 April acquitted 26, including five leaders of Taksim Solidarity, umbrella group of civil society, union and political groups, charged with involvement in 2013 protest against AKP.

Cyprus

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Independent leftist Mustafa Akinci won presidential elections in Turkish Cypriot north; Akinci seen as moderate, has pledged focus on reunification. Republic of Cyprus President Anastasiades 28 April announced series of confidence-building measures ahead of planned early-May meeting with Akinci. UNSG Special Adviser Eide 7 April expressed optimism suspended talks could resume following late-March withdrawal of Republic of Cyprus and Turkish seismic research vessels off Cypriot coast.

Turkey

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Jailed PKK leader Öcalan’s message read out on 21 March Nowrouz celebrations; called on PKK to hold congress to discuss ending armed struggle. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Yalçin Akdoğan 18 March said govt agreed to setting up third-party monitoring committee for Turkey-PKK peace process. President Erdoğan 20 March opposed monitoring committee, 22 March said he did not accept agreement between govt and HDP on Öcalan’s ten-point framework for talks announced 28 Feb. AKP spokesman 21 March said govt will go ahead with monitoring committee. Military involved in clashes with PKK in SE: 24 March launched operation against PKK hideouts in Mazı Dağı, 25 March deployed artillery fire following mortar shell attack on military position in Dağlıca district near Iraqi border. Govt 27 March passed security law increasing police powers to fire on protesters, search and detain suspects. Prosecutor investigating March 2014 death of anti-govt protester Berkin Elvan taken hostage 31 March by leftist armed group Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front, demanding that police officer who shot Elvan be arrested, publicly confess guilt; prosecutor and hostage-takers killed in shoot-out with police. Turkish soldiers 17 March opened fire on vehicle travelling in forbidden zone in Kilis province on border with Syria, killing driver. Ankara and EU officials 18 March agreed to update Turkey’s Customs Union with EU.

Cyprus

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

With reunification talks stalled, Turkish PM Davutoğlu 5 March called on UNSG Ban to come up with plan to reunify Cyprus before his term ends in 2016. Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu 25 March said talks could resume in May, following 19 April elections in Turkish Cypriot north. As Republic of Cyprus pulls back its vessel conducting seismic research off Cypriot coast, Turkish Cypriot FM Nami 30 March said Turkey also pulling back its vessel. UNSG’s Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide said sides would be in a position to accelerate talks in spring 2015.

Turkey

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Turkey-PKK peace process entered important phase 28 Feb: govt said it was ready to start negotiations; pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) MP Önder said PKK leader Öcalan called for spring PKK congress with aim to announce laying down weapons if his ten articles accepted as basis for talks. 20 Feb fight between PKK sympathisers and Turkish nationalists at Ege University in western Izmir province left one student dead. AKP-backed domestic security bill triggered fist fights in parliament 17, 19 Feb; thousands protested 21 Feb against draft law that would significantly increase police powers to detain, search suspects. MIT and army 21 Feb conducted operation around 30km inside northern Syria in area besieged by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), to evacuate 40 soldiers and historic artefacts from tomb of Süleyman Şah. Damascus described incursion as “flagrant aggression”. Explosion 13 Feb at police checkpoint in SE Sanliurfa province on Syria border injured at least three. Govt 19 Feb signed agreement with U.S. to jointly train moderate Syrian opposition in Kırşehir province; expected to begin late-March. Govt 25 Feb detained dozens in illegal wiretapping raid.

Cyprus

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Tensions remain high over Turkish warships, hydrocarbon drilling in east Mediterranean. Republic of Cyprus President Anastasiades 3 Feb said he could not restart suspended reunification negotiations while “war ships were at sea”, referring to Turkey’s Oct warship deployment to shadow offshore rig off Republic of Cyprus’ SE coast. Turkey’s EU Minister 12 Feb said Turkey ready to withdraw vessel if Greek Cypriots agree natural gas belongs to both Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.

Turkey

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Volatile security situation in south east continues. Security forces clashed with pro-PKK groups in Sirnak province bringing death toll to seven since late Dec. One civilian died 26 Jan in clash between soldiers and villagers in SE Hakkari province. Govt 29 Jan demanded PKK disarm, relaunch peace talks 21 March. Turkey in international spotlight for jihadi transits to Syria: police report early Jan said 3,000 people linked to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) in country; FM Mevlut Cavusoglu 18 Jan said passage of foreign fighters constitutes “greatest threat” to Turkey. Suicide bombing 6 Jan at Istanbul police station killed police officer, Russian female perpetrator from North Caucasus linked to IS. Parliamentary votes on 5, 20 Jan decided against sending four former ministers from ruling AKP to Supreme Court on corruption charges. 26 police detained 27 Jan, suspected of illegally wiretapping politicians, civil servants, businessmen. European Parliament 15 Jan adopted resolution criticising Turkey for “backsliding in democratic reforms”, showing “diminishing tolerance” to public protest, critical media; condemned Dec police raids, journalist arrests.

Cyprus

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Reunification talks remain stalled. Ankara 6 Jan said Turkish vessel would continue seismic research off Cypriot coast 6 Jan-15 April on behalf of Turkish Cypriots in areas close to international rig hired by Republic of Cyprus. UNSG’s Special Adviser on Cyprus negotiations Espen Barth Eide 14 Jan voiced concern about impasse in talks, said things “moving in the wrong direction”. UNSC 29 Jan extended UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 31 July.

Turkey

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Deputy PM Akdoğan 19 Dec said peace process with PKK could finalise before summer 2015 elections, underlined strong will for solution. PKK’s jailed head Öcalan late Nov presented plan for negotiations, underlined need for negotiated ceasefire and monitoring board. Three people killed, three injured in 27 Dec clashes between PKK and Islamist Kurds from Hüda-Par in south-eastern Turkish Şırnak province, new spillover from Kurdish-Islamic State clashes in Syria. FM Çavuşoğlu 19 Dec said Turkey could begin training, equipping moderate Syrian opposition fighters in collaboration with U.S. before March. Second group of 150 peshmerga fighters from Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government crossed into Kobani, Syria from Turkey 2 Dec. EU foreign policy chief Mogherini 8 Dec pledged €70m aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey. Turkey 14 Dec arrested around 30 journalists linked with U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, leading to EU criticism; chilling EU accession process yet further, President Erdoğan told EU to “keep their views to themselves … we don’t care whether the EU allows [us into the union] or not”.

Cyprus

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Reunification talks remain suspended; no visible improvement in tensions over Turkey’s Oct deployment of warship to shadow offshore rig off Republic of Cyprus’ SE coast citing concerns about Turkish Cypriots’ right to hydrocarbons. Turkish PM Davutoğlu 25 Nov suggested joint committee between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to deal with use of natural resources, brushing aside Greek Cypriot objections to this before reunification deal. Turkey’s EU Minister Bozkır 3 Dec said Turkey would not budge from its position on issue.

Cyprus

  |  1 Dec 2014

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New tensions followed Turkey’s deployment in Oct of warship to shadow offshore rig chartered to consortium drilling for hydrocarbons off Republic of Cyprus’ SE coast. Republic of Cyprus President Anastasiades 8 Nov accused Turkey of “provocative actions”, said it was hindering Cyprus peace talks and compromising security in east Mediterranean. Turkish navy continues to provide support and protection to research vessel, also keeping ship hired by Cyprus under surveillance. Reunification talks between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots remain suspended. UNSG’s special adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, after meeting leaders from both sides, 6 Nov said he remained “realistically optimistic” that sides could set aside hydrocarbons row, continue negotiations. But Republic of Cyprus govt said no conclusion reached on how talks could resume, stated cessation of Turkish “provocations” precondition for returning to table; Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu said withdrawal of Turkish research vessel from Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone “out of question”. UN, UK and some others trying to split hydrocarbon issue off from main issue of talks.

Turkey

  |  1 Dec 2014

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Month saw some positive momentum from both sides in Turkey-PKK peace process, welcome shift from Oct upsurge in violence and clashes between army and Kurdish PKK fighters. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) 13 Nov said roadmap was being discussed and new mechanisms could be established for process; gave no details. Pro-Kurdish national movement Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP’s) deputy co-chair 15 Nov said jailed PKK leader Öcalan could call on PKK to abandon their weapons in May or April 2015 if the sides can take “simultaneous mutual steps in the peace process”. Early Nov survey found 58% of Turkey’s population said dialogue between govt and PKK should continue. In volatile mainly Kurdish SE, off-duty soldier shot dead by two PKK members in Diyarbakır 29 Oct; alleged “spy” within PKK’s youth arm, YDG-H, executed in Şırnak’s Cizre province 7 Nov. Security Forces 12 Nov said PKK elements had fired on military outpost in Uludere, Şırnak. Masked group from YDG-H 16 Nov attacked two public buses in Diyarbakır; another group clashed with police in Cizre province, Şırnak. Govt continues to push for no-fly zone and security zone inside Syria; President Erdoğan 19 Nov reiterated that Turkey would not join an international anti-jihadi coalition unless it also targets Assad regime alongside jihadis and establishes safe zone; U.S. still reluctant on committing to these goals.

Turkey

  |  1 Nov 2014

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Month saw govt-PKK peace process threatened by most violent street protests in decades, worst army-PKK clashes since March 2013 ceasefire: tensions followed advances by Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL) militants toward Syrian Kurdish border town of Kobani (see Syria)(see ; Turkish troops prohibited PKK fighters from crossing border to aid fellow Kurds, fuelling violent clashes between protesters, police and Islamic groups in south-eastern Kurdish majority areas and major cities; at least 35 killed, military intervened to quell violence. PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan 2 October warned govt-PKK peace process would be derailed if IS took Kobani; parliament same day voted to expand authority to intervene militarily in Syria and Iraq, allow foreign troops to operate on Turkish soil; later ruled out any unilateral military involvement. Turkey 29 Oct allowed ten Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters to cross Turkish border into Syria; further contingent of 150 peshmerga troops to reinforce Kurds in Kobani; Syrian regime denounced move as violation of sovereignty.  Several deadly clashes between PKK, army including: two police killed 9 Oct in Kurdish town of Bingöl; army airstrikes 13 Oct hit PKK positions near Hakkari following three days of PKK rocket fire; three PKK militants killed in clash with army near Kars after setting fire to power plant; three soldiers killed 25 Oct in Yüksekova by masked gunmen; body of executed pro-govt Kurdish militiaman found in Bitlis next day. President Erdogan 31 Oct said Kurdish peace talks to continue despite unrest. Turkey 16 Oct failed to win non-permanent UNSC seat, seen by observers as sign of growing international isolation.

Cyprus

  |  1 Nov 2014

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After Italian-South Korean SAIPEM consortium began drilling for hydrocarbons off Cyprus coast, Turkey deployed warship to shadow activities; Cypriot FM Ionannis Kasoulides 6 Oct warned Turkish action would halt peace talks. Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades 7 Oct announced unity talks suspended indefinitely in response to Turkey sending seismic survey ships to search for gas in disputed waters; Cypriot National Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides 20 Oct said Turkish ship Barbaros entered Cypriot EEZ; EU 24 Oct urged Turkey to show restraint; tripartite meeting between Cyprus, Greece and Egypt 29 Oct called for end to Turkish gas survey in Cypriot waters. Turkish National Security Council 31 Oct decided to keep Barbaros in disputed waters.

Turkey

  |  1 Oct 2014

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Amid criticism of Turkey’s “laissez-faire” attitude toward militant group Islamic State (IS), President Erdogan 22 Sept said IS “terrorist organisation”, but also symptom of bigger governance problems in Baghdad and Damascus; also pushed for no-fly zone in northern Syria. Turkey still not part of U.S.-led anti-IS coalition, though parliament early Oct to consider cross-border operations, use of Turkish soil by foreign militaries; authorities tightened border control to stop jihadi crossings, 29 Sept deployed tanks to border with Syria’s Kobani region. IS 20 Sept released 49 Turkish diplomatic staff abducted from Mosul consulate in June, including 3 Iraqi nationals, possibly in prisoner exchange with Syrian pro-Turkish group Liwa al-Tawhid. Hundreds of PKK fighters continued crossing into Syria and Iraq; PKK military leader Murat Karayılan 22 Sept accused Turkey of collaborating with IS, said govt-PKK settlement process “meaningless”. PKK militants early Sept set fire to over 17 schools in protest at govt closing down illegal all-Kurdish schools in south. 130,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees 19-22 Sept crossed into Turkey; total 1.5mn refugees to date; 3,000 protested in Istanbul 21 Sept in solidarity with Syrian Kurds; clashes reported between security forces, Turkish Kurds sympathetic to refugees on border same day. Scores of police investigators detained 1 Sept over alleged attempt to overthrow govt through corruption charges against Erdogan.

Cyprus

  |  1 Oct 2014

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UN special adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide 17 Sept met with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, secured commitment to twice-monthly “structured negotiations”; UNSG Ban 27 Sept met with Eroglu, urged leaders to bridge differences. Turkish President Erdogan 1 Sept visited Turkish Cyprus, prompting protests, Cypriot authorities said visit illegal.

Turkey

  |  1 Sep 2014

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Former PM Erdoğan sworn in as 1st popularly elected president 28 Aug after winning 10 Aug 1st round of presidential elections with 52% of vote; opposition MHP-CHP coalition candidate Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu claimed 38%; pro-Kurdish HDP candidate Selahattin Demirtaş secured impressive 10%, reflecting sympathizers beyond Kurdish constituency. Former FM Ahmet Davutoğlu declared new PM 22 Aug; 29 Aug announced govt. Erdoğan likely to maintain tight control over Turkey and push for executive presidency model. Govt-PKK peace process moved forward: HDP delegations visited jailed PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan and northern Iraq PKK HQ; Deputy PM Beşir Atalay 19 Aug said govt ready to send delegations to northern Iraq, finish roadmap by end of Sept. Hard-line exiled PKK leader Duran Kalkan called for radical youth to support peace process. Despite progress, 1 Turkish lieutenant killed 19 Aug in army-PKK clash near Van; 1 civilian killed during protests near Diyarbakir same day. As hundreds of PKK fighters joined Syrian PYD affiliate and Iraqi Peshmergas in battle against IS, PKK commander 22 Aug called for EU military support. Govt reportedly toughened border control to prevent European jihadi infiltrations into Syria. Syrian refugees 11 Aug killed Turkish landlord in Gaziantep, prompting unrest and attacks on Syrian businesses and refugees, including in Istanbul.

Cyprus

  |  1 Sep 2014

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No progress in reunification talks: negotiators met 25 Aug, discussed “methodology”; Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades 28 Aug requested personal involvement of Turkish President Erdoğan. Former Norwegian FM Espen Barth Eide appointed special advisor to UNSG on Cyprus 22 Aug, days after Norwegian Major General Kristin Lund appointed new chief of UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

Cyprus

  |  1 Aug 2014

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Despite UNSG Ban’s 1 July call to intensify efforts toward comprehensive settlement, no tangible progress as island marked 40 years of physical partition: Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu, Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades met 7 and 24 July; Eroğlu 7 July submitted 5-step roadmap for negotiations including referendum in 2014; Republic of Cyprus spokesman Christodoulides 16 July said roadmap unacceptable, contradicts UN framework; Anastasiades 13 July said country opposed to partition. Turkish PM Erdoğan 15 July, President Gül 20 July reiterated Turkey’s commitment to political Cyprus solution. Greek Cypriot group 14 July filed war crimes case against Turkey before ICC.

Turkey

  |  1 Aug 2014

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Govt-PKK peace process inched forward: new bill approved by parliament 10 July and President Gül 15 July gives state negotiators immunity, allows use of third-parties in talks, mentions work underway for militants’ rehabilitation. Jailed PKK leader Öcalan 10 July said legal framework “positive start to establishing a great peace”. Hundreds of PKK fighters reported crossing into Syria mid-July to join armed wing Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in battle against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) jihadists around Kobane. 3 Turkish soldiers, 2 YPG killed near Ceylanpinar on Syria border 21 July; Turkish army said militants tried to enter illegally, PKK said they were ambushed. Turkish soldiers 19 July shot dead Syrian Kurdish man crossing intoŞırnak province from Syria. Tensions in southeast from Syrian spillover worsened with anti-refugee protests and attacks on Syrian businesses in Kahramanmaraş and Adana provinces 13-14 July. PM Erdoğan 17 July accused Israel of attempting “systematic genocide” in Gaza, called for ICC trial; FM Davutoğlu 18 July met with Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Abbas, 25 July with Hamas leader Meshaal, 26 July attended Paris multilateral talks. Israel 18 July reduced diplomatic delegation in Turkey amid growing protests. Govt media ban on June kidnapping of 49 Turkish diplomatic staff and family in Mosul by IS continued. Dozens of police officers and chiefs detained late July over alleged spying on PM Erdoğan and entourage, arrests seen as political move ahead of 10 Aug presidential elections.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jul 2014

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No sign of breakthrough in reunification talks despite several meetings between chief negotiators in June. Turkish Cypriots blamed Greek Cypriots’ unwillingness to compromise while Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades 10 June said negotiations in deadlock unless Turkish Cypriots willing to discuss all core issues, called for more EU involvement. Anastasiades 2 June met Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu; proposed permanent Greek Cypriot president and Turkish Cypriot VP for new federation; refused by Turkish Cypriots who demand rotating presidency. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry 23 June reportedly called Cyprus a “defunct” state.

Turkey

  |  1 Jul 2014

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Govt-PKK peace process inched forward: govt 26 June submitted new bill to parliament proposing legal immunity for key negotiating actors and govt-led rehabilitation program for militants; Deputy PM Beşir Atalay said solution near; jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan said bill “historic development”. Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) 15 June visited PKK leadership in northern Iraq; Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) same day urged movement to avoid roadblocks, attacks, kidnappings. 2 killed in violent protests in Lice 7 June, 23 teachers abducted by PKK 9 June, later released. 1 killed 1 June in clash between pro-Kurdish group and Turkish ultra nationalists in Istanbul; PKK supporters 4-7 June attacked city buses with Molotov coktails, no casualties reported. Syrian Kurdish boy shot 3 June by Turkish soldiers. Sunni militant group ISIL 11 June kidnapped 49 consulate staff in Mosul, Iraq; govt banned media reporting on crisis. Govt 30 June opposed independent Kurdish state, called for Iraq unity. 26 activists charged 12 June for May-June 2013 Taksim Square protests. Ahead of August presidential elections, opposition national MHP and secularist CHP 16 June announced joint candidate, conservative diplomat Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu; HDP 26 June announced Selahattin Demirtas; ruling AKP 1 July announced PM Erdoğan’s candidacy.

Turkey

  |  1 Jun 2014

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Over 300 killed, hundreds wounded, in coal mine explosion in town of Soma, Aegean Manisa province 13 May; police used water cannon, tear gas in subsequent protests in several major cities, including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Police fired live bullets during clashes in Istanbul 22-23 May, 1 civilian shot, 1 died in grenade blast, at least 9 injured including 7 police. Woman, in coma since inhaling tear gas during Dec protests, died 30 May. No visible progress toward govt-PKK settlement, ceasefire continued to hold despite several breaches. Soldiers 19 May reportedly shot dead Syrian Kurdish woman crossing border in Şırnak province. FM Davutoğlu 8 May said compensation talks with Israel over 2010 Mavi Marmara incident progressing; passenger injured in incident died 23 May after 4 years in coma, court 26 May issued arrest warrants for 4 former Israeli military chiefs. European Court of Human Rights 12 May issued ruling against Turkey on 1974 Cyprus invasion (see Cyprus).

Cyprus

  |  1 Jun 2014

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European Court of Human Rights 12 May ruled Turkey must pay €90mn compensation for human rights violations related to 1974 Cyprus invasion: €60mn to enclaved Greek Cypriots on Karpas peninsula in north, €30mn to relatives of missing persons. Turkish FM Davutoğlu said Turkey did not intend to pay and decision hurts ongoing reunification talks. New phase in talks between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots started 13 May with discussion of property issue; chief Turkish Cypriot negotiator 28 May said no agreement on roadmap for next stage, issue of natural gas discoveries could present obstacles in talks. During highest level American visit to island in over 50 years, U.S. VP Biden 21 May said Republic of Cyprus is only recognised govt, reiterated U.S. commitment to solving Cyprus problem and developing energy partnership.

Turkey

  |  1 May 2014

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No tangible progress towards govt-PKK settlement; jailed PKK leader Öcalan met pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) delegation 26 April, warned against new clashes, urged govt to enact new laws including for militants’ return. BDP-organised protests against military outpost constructions in SE turned violent: 3 protesters wounded in Tunceli province 27 April; PKK same day kidnapped 2 soldiers in Diyarbakır. Parliament 17 April approved controversial law increasing powers and immunity of National Intelligence Agency (MIT); criticised by opposition for turning Turkey into “intelligence state”, law also potentially provides legal grounds for ongoing Öcalan-MIT negotiations. EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle 10 April expressed concern about independence of judiciary and freedom of expression. Turkey 23 April sent army relief and resupply convoy to Turkish exclave Süleyman Şah tomb 30km inside Syria, area controlled by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Cyprus

  |  1 May 2014

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Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot negotiators 15 April completed screening and reviewing phase of reunification talks; coming stage will focus on bridging proposals, next meeting 6 May. Despite no evidence to suggest imminent breakthrough, Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu 21 April suggested settlement could be reached in 2014.

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