Turkey / by Lewis McKinnon

April was another turbulent month for Turkey, as the continued struggle to contain the Kudistan Workers’ Party (PKK) led to a large number of casualties on both sides. The PKK vowed to intensify their fight inside Turkish territory. Similarly, the campaign against Daesh in Syria and Iraq had some progress, but over 100,000 Syrians were trapped between the frontline and the Turkish border. Turkey continued to arrest opponents of the government, arresting over 100 allegedly linked to the so-called ‘Gülen movement’. Furthermore, Turkey continued to challenge European freedoms by calling for the prosecution of the German Satirist Jan Boehmermann due to his mocking poem of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Overcoming such issues will be necessary for Turkey to meet the 72 criterion for visa-free travel inside Schengen and to continue the EU-Turkey deal of returning migrants to Turkey. In contrast, Turkey converged with Qatar on military and economic issues – prompting cooperation in both realms.