Turkey / by Michelle Ryan

Turkish Parliament passed the constitutional reform package set to give President Erdogan expanded power. UK Prime Minister Theresa May visited Turkey on 27 January, to discuss potential trade agreements. May also responded sternly to the actions of the Turkish government following the failed July 2016 coup. The Turkish government called on United States (US) President Donald Trump, to stop supporting Syrian Kurdish forces if the US wants to continue its strategic partnership with Turkey. The government also issued statements threatening the US’s use of a key strategic airbase in Turkey. President Erdogan stated that Turkey will only withdraw troops from Northern Cyprus if Greece reciprocates the move by withdrawing some of its own troops. Russia, Turkey, and Iran agreed to jointly monitor the ceasefire in Syria. Turkey and Russia conducted their first joint airstrikes against Islamic State (IS), marking a highly rare military partnership between Russia and a NATO member. Turkish jets and tanks hit 100 IS targets in Syria. The suspect behind the New Year’s Eve nightclub attack in Istanbul was captured, following a two-week manhunt. The Turkish tourism industry has suffered following a string of extremist attacks and political uncertainty in the country. According to the Financial Times, Turkey is closer to a full-blown currency crisis than at any point since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came into power in 2002.

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