Türkiye

Crisis Group has worked in Türkiye for well over a decade, engaging the government and a range of other stakeholders in order to develop analysis of the country's domestic and regional concerns and to advocate for ways of ending, mitigating or preventing conflict. At home, these concerns include the threat of escalated fighting with Kurdistan Workers’ Party militants and the uncertainty presented by jihadists returning from foreign battlefields, as well as the political, economic and social strains of hosting over four million refugees. In its immediate neighbourhood and beyond, Ankara has become a crucial player whose alliances and geopolitical ambitions are shaping various conflicts and prospects for their resolution. As Türkiye finds its place in a changing world order, Crisis Group provides insights into how its policies, and those of its partners, may better contribute to peace and stability.

                    

CrisisWatch Türkiye

Unchanged Situation

Govt struck agreements with Iraq, including to ban Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and continued operations against PKK in northern Iraq and northern Syria, and Islamic State (ISIS) at home.

Security forces targeted PKK in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, security forces 4 and 19 March announced killing of two of PKK’s “youth leaders” in Sulaymaniyah province. Clashes with PKK 19 March killed Turkish soldier and injured four others in northern Iraq; Türkiye same day responded with round of airstrikes in Metina, Zap, Gara, and Qandil regions (see Iraq). In Syria, security units 22 March carried out operation against People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Qamishli (see Syria). Meanwhile, signalling possible escalation in coming months, President Erdoğan 18 March claimed that Iraqi border would be entirely secured by summer and that “job half-done” in Syria would “certainly” be completed; FM Hakan Fidan same day announced intention in summer to cut off “PKK/YPG” transit route between Iraq and Syria. 

Govt and Iraq laid groundwork for upgraded security and economic cooperation. Senior Turkish delegation led by FM Fidan 14-15 March visited Iraqi capital Baghdad and jointly met senior Iraqi ministers as well as leader of Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces and Kurdistan Regional Govt’s Interior Minister. Meeting established joint Iraqi-Turkish permanent commissions on counterterrorism, water governance, trade, oil trade and transportation, and Baghdad also designated PKK as “banned organisation”, which Turkish officials hailed as pivotal diplomatic win. In addition to bolstering fight against PKK, Ankara hopes improved ties can advance Development Road Initiative, a major trade infrastructure project aiming to connect Iraq’s Basra city to Türkiye; Ankara and Baghdad are reportedly in talks for joint summer offensive against PKK along part of the project’s planned route. 

Authorities targeted alleged Islamic State (ISIS) members. Security forces detained over 400 individuals during March; following ISIS-claimed attack in Moscow 23 March, security forces detained nearly 150 individuals across 30 provinces (see Russia).

Relations with Greece remain on course for enhancement. Erdoğan 4 March conveyed birthday wishes to Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Greek vice-FM Alexandra Papadopoulou 11 March met Turkish vice-FM Burak Akçapar in Ankara as part of Turkish-Greek Political Dialogues format.

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In The News

13 ديسمبر 2023
Especially after the elections in Turkey, the EU is looking for new ways of having a more constructive and less acrimonious relationship with Turkey. P.A. Turkey

Berkay Mandıracı

Senior Analyst, Türkiye
20 أكتوبر 2023
The success of Ankara's mediation [over Gaza] will depend on how much influence the political wing of Hamas has on the armed wing. Frankfurter Allgemeine

Berkay Mandıracı

Senior Analyst, Türkiye
15 يونيو 2023
Ankara remains intent on further pushing back against the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] and its affiliates in the region. Arab News

Berkay Mandıracı

Senior Analyst, Türkiye
10 فبراير 2023
If the UN fails to extend its operation [in Syria] via these [Turkish border] crossings, donor states should bypass the UN and do bilateral assistance themselves. The Guardian

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Adviser for Dialogue Promotion
10 فبراير 2023
Less escalation in the conflict with the PKK may give authorities [in Türkiye] struggling with how to respond to this unprecedented crisis one less thing to worry about. AFP

Berkay Mandıracı

Senior Analyst, Türkiye
28 نوفمبر 2022
Attacks [from the PKK] this year show that they still have the capacity to carry out sensational attacks in Türkiye’s cities. The Times

Berkay Mandıracı

Senior Analyst, Türkiye

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Our People

Nigar Göksel

Project Director, Türkiye
Nigar Göksel
Sema Güçlü

Sema Güçlü

Office Manager

Berkay Mandıracı

Senior Analyst, Türkiye
Berkay Mandıracı

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