Turkey / by Alistair Galloway

The Turkish government has begun negotiating a new constitution, but the biggest hurdle is whether it will turn into an executive presidential system, and should cross-party negotiations fail, a referendum will be held in October. The migrant crisis continues to pose difficulty for Turkish decision makers, and a new EU proposal led by Dutch politicians may be the solution. The proposal suggests returning all refugees who come to Greece from Turkey and would in turn grant 250,000 refugees asylum in the EU. Clashes with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have continued, as have the curfews in Cizre and Silopi. Other attacks have shaken the country, as a suicide bomb was detonated in central Istanbul on 12 January, injuring tourists and threatening the industry. The attacks were conducted by a Syrian affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who entered the country as a refugee. Turkey launched retaliatory attacks, reportedly killing 200 ISIL members within 48 hours. The Turkish economy has also suffered during the past year due to low crude oil prices, a weakened currency and geopolitical risks. However, the country has recorded its smallest trade deficit since 2009. Regardless, tensions with Russia continue to drag as its costs are expected to exceed $11 billion this year.