Turkey / by Alistair Galloway

Turkey continues to face domestic unrest as its campaigns against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) intensify. A large scale operations took place in southeast Turkey in Mid-December, reportedly killing over 70 PKK members. In a move to bolster its security against the threat of ISIL, Turkish troops entered Iraq near Mosul. The move triggered an angry reaction among Iraqi leaders, calling for Turkey to remove its unauthorized troops. Tension between Turkey and Russia continues with verbal conflicts after a Russian jet was downed in Turkey last month. Both Turkey and Russia have seized naval vessels in what appears to be an increasingly tense situation. Russian allegations of Turkey purchasing oil from ISIL have been echoed by other states, including Iraq and Iran. Amidst Russian economic sanctions, Turkey has moved closer to Qatar in an effort to diversify its energy supply. In addition Turkey joined a military alliance with 34 other Islamic states on 15 December, and officially launched its renewed bid for European Union (EU) membership the same day.