Turkey / by Michelle Ryan

Turkey continues to be a central player in international politics as the Syrian conflict continues to push people towards Turkey’s borders. Whilst Russian airstrikes and Syrian governmental forces have been gaining ground in Aleppo province, Turkey has lashed out against the Syrian Kurds fighting alongside them. Ankara and Washington have butted heads over the Popular Protection Units (YPG) involvement in Syria, with the former labeling them terrorists and the latter believing they represent a valuable ground force in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It was also the YPG that were blamed for the 17 February car bomb in Ankara, which killed 28 people. On the same day, 17 February, the group negotiating a new constitution in Turkey was dissolved. Turkey has been crucial for the EU as a $3.3 billion deal was secured, and Turkey is set to receive support from NATO ships in the Aegean Sea. However, tension between Turkey and Russia continues to persist as both conduct air strikes around Aleppo. The tension, and wider security issues have spilled into the economic sphere, as Russian Gazprom cuts gas supply by 25 per cent. Tourism numbers are down in Turkey, but the government has launched a plan to combat it by restructuring tourist companies’ debt.