EGF Turkey File, June — September 2015

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Insights into Turkish Domestic and International Politics

June — September 2015

By Ben McPherson, Principal Editor and Standing Expert on the Black Sea Region

Key Points:

  • Surprising 7 June election results have led to extreme political measures, as President Erdoğan forces a do-over in an attempt to get a better result
  • The PKK/government ceasefire breaks down, which offers political opportunity for Erdoğan and the AKP but comes at a steep price:
    • The outbreak of violence has killed between 150-500 soldiers and police, and reportedly over 2,000 PKK members
    • Sources differ on whether Erdoğan or the PKK deserve blame for the re-ignition of hostilities, while all parties attempt to use it to their advantage
  • The Kurdish HDP and Selahattin Demirtaş walk a tightrope as they try to maintain their place as an accepted political party, while keeping their base of support
  • The situation over the border in Syria threatens to overwhelm all plans, as both the US and Russia make recent moves that are taking the conflict out of Erdoğan"s control
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