The Week in Turkey (April 24 – May 1)
Military units deployed in Kilis: The Turkish military has increased its presence in the country’s southeastern border province of Kilis. DAESH has recently been targeting the province by firing rockets from the territory it controls in northern Syria. At least 17 people have died and scores of others have been wounded in 46 rocket attacks in Kilis since the beginning of this year. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the United States will also deploy a missile system in Turkey along its border with Syria. The US aims to seal off a region around the DAESH-held Syrian town of Manbij while Turkey continues its anti-terror operations. The Turkish Armed Forces have killed almost 900 DAESH terrorists since January 9. Suicide bombing injures 13 in Bursa: A suicide bomb attack injured 13 people near a mosque in Turkey’s northwestern Bursa Province on Wednesday. The female suicide bomber is the only casualty. No group has claimed responsibility, and officials have yet to confirm who was behind the attack. A day after the attack, police detained 17 suspects they linked to the attack in operations in six Turkish provinces. Two police officer die in bomb attack in Gaziantep: Two police officers have died in a car bomb attack that hit Turkey’s southeastern Gaziantep Province. The attack took place in front of the police headquarters. It injured 22 people including four civilians. The governorate has announced that an investigation is underway. Gaziantep is close to Turkey’s border with Syria. It has been hit by artillery fire launched from DAESH-held areas in Syria several times in the past. Gaziantep police department has launched an extensive operation against DAESH network in the province. On Monday, Turkish police arrested eight foreign nationals in Gaziantep while they were trying to cross into Syria to join the terror group. Turkey to fulfill EU visa criteria by deadline: Turkey’s Ministry of European Union Affairs has announced that Turkey will fulfill all EU criteria for visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens by the deadline. So far around 60 of 72 expectations have been completed. If Turkey completes all of them, Turkish citizens will be able to travel freely throughout Europe’s 26 nation Schengen Zone. Turkey expects the EU commission to propose lifting visas for Turkish citizens on May the fourth. Turkey and the EU signed a deal that aims to stem the flow of refugees into Europe. Under the deal Turkey has promised to take back refugees who cross into Europe illegally from Turkish soil. In exchange, the EU has pledged to enable visa-free travel for Turkish citizens, give more financial aid, and restart negotiations on Turkey’s EU membership. Published on May 3, 2016.
The Week in Turkey (April 18 – 24)
Kilis comes under rocket fire: The week began with rocket attacks by Daesh. They were fired at Turkey from across the border, in Syria, and hit in the southeastern province of Kilis. Four civilians, including three children, died in the latest attack. The town often comes under rocket fire from the Syrian side that’s controlled by Daesh. At least 19 people have been killed in the town by shelling by Daesh since mid-January. There are more than one hundred thousand Syrian refugees in the area. Court of Appeals drops ‘Ergenekon Case’: Turkey’s Court of Appeals has rejected the so-called Ergenekon Case, which involved a suspected military coup. It dates back to August 2013 when an Istanbul criminal court ruled to convict more than 200 defendants. The appeal court says the case has several contradictions in areas that include the investigation, trial, and evidence collection. The case had been filed against 274 defendants. 64 have been sentenced to life imprisonment. The former chief of the army, Ilker Basbug and nine other generals were among them. Many of the defendants have argued the case was manufactured by courts linked to the Gulenist Movement, which the Turkish state says has infiltrated state institutions. Turkey’s National Security Council considers the movement a major threat to the state. Merkel & Tusk visit Turkey: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the president of the EU Commission Donald Tusk paid a visit to Turkey. Their arrival coincided with the recent implementation of the refugee deal between Turkey and EU, The head of the bloc and Merkel both praised the deal and Turkey, despite it coming under fire by some EU leaders. Tusk says . “No one has a right to lecture Turkey on what it should be doing.” “This is not only a political and formal assessment..this is also my very private and personal feeling.” Before the conference, Merkel visited a refugee camp in border town of Nizip in Gaziantep accompanied by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Turkey marks Children’s Day: Turkey celebrated the 96th anniversary of the first season of its Grand National Assembly. The day was dedicated to children in 1927 and since then it has been celebrated as National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. Every year, heads of the state hand over their chairs to children. This year the president’s chair went to an eleven-year-old primary school girl named Basak, and the prime minister’s chair went to another. Published on Apr 25, 2016.
The week in Turkey (April 10 – 17)
13th OIC summit held in Istanbul: The thirteenth Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit was held in Istanbul under the leadership of Turkey. Delegates from 57 OIC member states attended the summit, whose theme was “Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace.” It ended with the adoption of a joint resolution on Palestine, and a statement criticising Iran’s interference in Yemen and Syria. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did not attend the closing session of the summit in protest against the statement. But he accepted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s invitation to a bilateral meeting. After the closed-door talks, Erdogan and Rouhani announced that they have agreed to strengthen ties between the two countries, co-operate against terrorism in the Middle East and improve trade relations. Germany to prosecute Boehmermann: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed Turkey’s request to prosecute German satirist Jan Boehmermann – for reciting a defamatory poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on television. Merkel had previously described the poem as deliberately offensive during a phone call she had with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Germany’s State broadcaster ZDF has already removed the video of the poem from its website, saying it did not meet the standards expected of its satire shows. Bill to lift lawmakers’ immunity sent to parliament: Turkey’s governing AK Party submitted a bill to remove immunity from 129 deputies on Tuesday. The bill concerns all the four parties currently in parliament. The deputies are facing a total of 562 criminal proceedings. The leaders of the Nationalist Movement Party and the main opposition Republican People’s Party have announced they would support the bill. The debate on immunities began when members of the HDP were accused of making statements in support of the PKK terror group. New Besiktas stadium opened: After a three-year wait, Besiktas fans have returned home – to the club’s new stadium, Vodafone Arena. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and several state officials attended the opening ceremony. The stadium has 42-thousand seats and is in the same historic location as the old Inonu stadium. It’s on the shores of the Bosphorus and overlooks the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce Palace. Published on Apr 18, 2016.