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Crisis Group has worked in Turkey 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 Turkey 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 Turkey

Unchanged Situation

Military operations continued against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in south-eastern Turkey and northern Iraq, killing eight soldiers. Turkish military 25 April announced new land and air operation against the PKK in northern Iraq’s Dohuk area and 29 April in rural areas of Turkish south-eastern provinces of Şırnak and Hakkari. Fighting in rural Siirt in south east 9 April killed one soldier; rocket attack in Hakkâri province 30 April killed another. Rocket attack attributed to paramilitary coalition Popular Mobilisation Front 14 April targeted Turkish military base in Bashiqa in northern Iraq, killing one Turkish soldier; clashes late month in northern Iraq killed four soldiers, and helicopter accident 30 April left one soldier dead (see Iraq). Govt continued efforts to criminalise pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP); court 2 April sentenced HDP MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu to two years and six months imprisonment on terrorist propaganda charges, and 6 April sentenced HDP deputy mayor of Kars to six years and ten months imprisonment for “membership of a terrorist organization”; court case to ban the HDP and 600 of its members is ongoing. Security forces continued operations against Islamic State (ISIS) operatives; police throughout month detained over 80 individuals for alleged links to ISIS. Meanwhile, U.S. sanctions on Ankara for its acquisition of S-400 Russian air defence system 7 April came into force. U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken and Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu in 12 April phone call discussed bilateral issues, including Turkey’s role as mediator in planned Afghan peace talks (see Afghanistan). Erdoğan 26 April denounced U.S. President Biden’s 24 April decision to recognise Armenian genocide, calling decision “groundless and unfair”. Ankara 15 April hosted high-level Greek delegation for first time in over two years to discuss regional issues (see Eastern Mediterranean).
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

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
22 Aug 2020
Turkey is also one of the candidates to rebuild Beirut harbour. There is also a section within Lebanese society – amongst Sunni Muslims – who have some sympathy for Turkey’s neo-Ottoman project. Cyprus Mail

Heiko Wimmen

Project Director, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon
22 Jul 2020
The use of drone technology appears to have significantly shifted the balance of power on the ground, allowing Turkish forces to go after militants in areas previously difficult to penetrate. WTVB

Berkay Mandıracı

Analyst, Turkey

Latest Updates

Turkey Flexes Its Foreign Policy Muscles

In this week’s episode of Hold Your Fire!, Nigar Göksel, Crisis Group’s Turkey director, dissects Turkey’s assertive moves in places ranging from Syria and Iraq to Libya, the eastern Mediterranean, and now Nagorno-Karabakh.

How is Turkey dealing with its ISIS returnees? (Online Event, 2nd July 2020)

Online Event to discuss International Crisis Group's report "Calibrating the Response: Turkey’s ISIS Returnees".

The Regionalisation of Libya's Civil War (Online Event, 5th May 2020)

Crisis Group's Libya Senior Analyst Claudia Gazzini and Turkey Project Director Nigar Göksel held a panel moderated by our Communications & Outreach Director Hugh Pope to discuss Crisis Group's 29 April report on outside intervention in Libya.

Turkey's Gamble in Libya


In this interview, Crisis Group's Libya Expert Claudia Gazzini try to provide some insight into Turkey's relation with Libya and the Mediterranean neighbourhood.

Turkey Wades into Libya’s Troubled Waters

Turkish intervention in Libya’s war stopped the besieged Tripoli government from collapsing. But fighting with Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces has since escalated, threatening a protracted conflict. Both Ankara and Haftar’s regional backers should urge their allies toward a return to negotiations and a ceasefire.

Also available in العربية, Türkçe

Our People

Alçay Akay

Office Manager, Turkey

Nigar Göksel

Project Director, Turkey

Berkay Mandıracı

Analyst, Turkey