EGF Turkey File, 16 February — 28 February 2013

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Insights into Turkish Domestic and International Politics

16 February — 28 February 2013

By John VanPool, EGF Turkey and Black Sea Regional Analyst

Key Points:

  • Negotiations over constitutional reform continue, with an agreement over the Chief of the General staff having been reached.
  • AKP negotiators continue to push for a more powerful presidency, but opposition parties fear a lack of legislative and judicial checks on the office.
  • Talks continue between the government and PKK leader Ocalan, though decades of conflict make a political solution remote in the short-term.
  • A tense standoff in northern Syria between Kurdish and Arab fighters resembles similar conflicts for Kurdish minorities in other countries around the region. Ankara hopes that an agreement can be reached to keep northern Syria from becoming a PKK safe haven.
  • An Israel-Turkey pipeline is impossible without Erdogan"s permission. Turkish energy firms specify their commitments in Iraq while trying to navigate the impasse between Erbil and Baghdad.

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