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

Tensions with Greece continued to mount amid maritime incident, while military targeted Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and affiliates in Iraq, Syria and south east Türkiye.

Tensions persisted with Greece amid maritime incident and escalating rhetoric. President Erdoğan 3 Sept warned Greece would pay “heavy” price if it went “too far” and warned: “We may come suddenly one night”. Greek PM Mitsotakis 13 Sept responded: “We wait in the daylight for those who claim that they may come suddenly one night”. Ankara 10 Sept claimed two Greek Coast Guard boats opened harassment fire on Turkish ship in international waters, immediately protested; Greek Coast Guard next day said it opened fire when captain did not comply with orders. Turkish media outlets 25 Sept reported that Greece had deployed tactical armoured vehicles to some eastern Aegean islands, which Ankara asserts ought to be demilitarised under international treaties; Ankara next day summoned Greek ambassador and protested to U.S. over reported deployment of U.S.-supplied vehicles. Greece 29 Sept said Türkiye has no right “to flagrantly violate international law and threaten Greece with war” and Athens “is in favour of dialogue”. Tensions also rose after U.S. late Sept lifted decades-old arms embargo on Republic of Cyprus, prompting stern Turkish response (see Cyprus).

Military continued operations against PKK and its affiliates. Operations during month held primarily in northern Iraq’s Duhok region, where clashes with PKK 11 Sept killed four Turkish soldiers and wounded two (see Iraq). In northern Syria, military 7 and 11 Sept struck villages near Tal Tamer; suspected Syrian Democratic Forces cross-border attack 18 Sept on Turkish border post in Suruç district of Şanlıurfa province killed Turkish soldier. In south east Türkiye, defence ministry 18 Sept announced it “neutralised” two “PKK/YPG members” in Hakkari province. In southern Mersin province, two PKK militants 26 Sept opened fire on police residence and later killed themselves by detonating suicide bombs.

In other important developments. Security forces 2 Sept arrested Semra Güzel, pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP, on PKK membership charges. Police during month detained at least 90 individuals with alleged Islamic State (ISIS) links across country, majority of them foreigners.

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In The News

27 Jun 2022
Ankara has been infuriated, quite frankly, with U.S. support for Kurdish groups in northern Syria in the fight against ISIS. Time

Alissa de Carbonnel

Deputy Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
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, Türkiye
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, Türkiye
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

Senior Analyst, Türkiye

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Nigar Göksel

Project Director, Türkiye
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Alçay Akay

Office Manager, Türkiye
 Nisa Gilit

Nisa Gilit

Compliance and Operations Manager, Türkiye

Berkay Mandıracı

Senior Analyst, Türkiye
Berkay Mandıracı