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Turkey

CrisisWatch Turkey

Unchanged Situation

Authorities continued to target pro-Kurdish opposition, and to launch operations abroad against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK); concerns grew over potential new wave of Afghan refugees. Govt continued efforts to delegitimise pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Police 1 Aug detained 11 people on propaganda-related charges who participated in HDP demonstration in Istanbul; security forces 14 Aug detained five individuals in Muş province, including HDP provincial co-chair, on terrorism charges, and 20 Aug detained 19 individuals, including HDP officials, in Istanbul. Lawsuit to ban HDP continued; HDP lawyers 16 Aug requested additional time from Constitutional Court to prepare for defence. Meanwhile, PKK 12 Aug conducted mortar attack on Turkish military base in northern Iraq, killing one Turkish soldier. Reported Turkish drone and airstrikes 16-17 Aug around Iraq’s Sinjar district targeting PKK-linked Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) and medical clinic killed at least ten people, including civilians and senior YBS member Said Hassan (see Iraq). Turkish airstrikes targeting Peoples Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria continued (see Syria). Security forces also continued operations against Islamic State (ISIS) across country, with police detaining some 70 individuals for their alleged ISIS links. Notably, police 14, 19 Aug detained 20 ISIS suspects, majority of them foreign nationals, during raids in Istanbul. Following Taliban’s seizure of Afghan capital Kabul (see Afghanistan), Ankara expressed concern over potential new mass influx of refugees; 22 Aug beefed up security at border with Iran and accelerated border wall construction. President Erdogan 16 Aug acknowledged risk of new refugee wave, said govt would work with Pakistan to bring stability, and 19 Aug said Turkey had no intention of becoming “Europe’s migrant storage unit”. Meanwhile, intercommunal tensions increased between Syrians and locals in Ankara’s Altındağ district when group of Turkish citizens 12 Aug attacked shops and homes belonging to Syrians after fight between Turkish and Syrian youths left one Turkish citizen dead.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

11 Jul 2021
Turkey can't afford economically or politically to absorb a new wave of refugees [from Syria]. AFP

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
13 Jun 2021
How do you not lose Turkey while you try to curb Erdogan? Erdogan is trying to find a way forward when they are trying to make sure he does not score political points. The New York Times

Nigar Göksel

Project Director, Turkey
25 Mar 2021
The EU has parked sanctions in the drawer for now. But, on the flip side, the bloc might not have much to offer Turkey in the way of carrots. Associated Press

Alissa de Carbonnel

Deputy Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
7 Oct 2020
Drones have enabled [Turkey] to drive the PKK out of mountainous pockets where they had established a significant presence. Financial Times

Nigar Göksel

Project Director, Turkey
4 Sep 2020
It seems that what is left of ISIS networks now is that they are getting organized in smaller groups of five or six people who may not be connected to each other even. New Delhi Times

Berkay Mandıracı

Analyst, Turkey
28 Aug 2020
The adversarial positions of the UAE and Turkey across the Middle East and North Africa are spilling into the East Mediterranean dispute. Time

Nigar Göksel

Project Director, Turkey

Latest Updates

Commentary / Africa

Turkey in the Sahel

Ankara is strengthening ties with Sahelian capitals, building mosques and hospitals and opening up export markets. Its defence pact with Niamey has led rivals to suspect its intentions. Turkey and other outside powers should do what they can to avoid unnecessary additional competition in the region.

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Our People

Alçay Akay

Office Manager, Turkey

Nigar Göksel

Project Director, Turkey
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Berkay Mandıracı

Analyst, Turkey
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