Turkey / by Lewis McKinnon

Domestic politics have been at the forefront during May, as the controversial bill removing Members of Parliaments' (MPs) immunity from prosecution was passed on 20 May. Earlier in the month, on 6 May, Prime Minister Davutoglu resigned due to a non-convergence of views with President Erdogan. His successor, former Transport Minister, Yildirim, was an expected choice, adding to Erdogan’s loyalists in the Turkish government. Turkey and the European Union (EU) are still in discussion about the possibility of removing, but according to Angela Merkel, meeting 67 of 72 conditions is not enough. Domestic security operations in the southeast have continued throughout May, with air strikes at Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Daesh positions being met with increased vehicle bombs, armed clashes between security forces and PKK, and cross-border fire from Syria. In economic affairs, tourism continued to struggle, and this may become more apparent as Turkey moves into the tourism high season. In an attempt to increase energy security and reduce dependence on Russian natural gas, a new deal between Israel and Turkey is underway. However, it is expected that Russia will work hard to oppose this deal, as a new pipeline from Israel to Cyprus is being planned.