Turkey / by Lewis McKinnon

August was a tense month as the failed coup crackdown continued. United States (US)-Turkish relations strained as calls for Fethullah Gulen to be extradited from the US were denied. Amidst these calls, police raided 44 companies suspected of financing Gulen. Tension arose between the European Union (EU) and Turkey as well as the visa-free travel has not yet been approved. Austrian and Swedish criticism towards Turkey was answered in kind, leaving relations sour and the migrant deal on thin ice. A boy suicide bomber allegedly linked to the Islamic State (IS) killed 54 people at a wedding in Gazantiep, whilst 12 Turkish tanks entered Syria. Despite calls for Kurdish militia to withdraw, clashes ensued but a ‘ceasefire’ was reportedly established, however, actors on both sides deny this. The US announced it was moving nuclear weapons from Turkey to Romania as a result of deteriorated relations and proximity to the Syrian conflict. In the economy, the interest rate was cut further in hopes to boost lending and thereby consumption-led growth. Two vessels collided in the Bosphorus and the new Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge was opened.