Turkey. A police investigation presented shortly before the New Year and pointed out leading government representatives for corruption hit hard back during the year against people with ties to the investigators. In a short time, extensive purges were carried out in the judicial system, when several thousand police officers, prosecutors and judges were relocated or dismissed. According to Countryaah.com, Turkey population in 2020 is estimated at 84,339,078. The victims had ties to Muslim leader Fethulla G邦len, a former ally of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who now emerged as his sworn enemy.
At the end of the year, several dozen media representatives and other government critics were arrested, also with ties to the so-called G邦len movement. At the same time, all those who were appointed for corruption had been freed from the suspicions by government-loyal lawyers.
In the wake of the corruption charges, several legislative changes were also passed, which brought criticism of Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian methods. With reference to national security, the government increased its control over the judiciary and tried, among other things, to close Twitter and YouTube. However, the Constitutional Court upheld the ban on social media.
The most severe mining accident in Turkey’s modern history occurred in May in a coal mine in Soma in the southeast. An explosion and fire caused the disaster. Several hundred miners could be rescued, but 301 were killed in carbon monoxide poisoning. The accident triggered loud protests against both the government and the mine management. Demonstrations were held in several cities, including Ankara and Istanbul. In Soma, the authorities banned protests. A number of people were arrested the week after the accident and several in the mine management were charged with gross negligence until the death of another.
After all, Erdoğan, who ruled the country for eleven years, was still popular with many voters. He was in office when the first presidential election was held for the first time in August; According to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) own rules, he should have been forced to resign from the Prime Minister’s office no later than the 2015 parliamentary elections. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was then elected as new Prime Minister, who also took over the party leader post in the AKP.
The Syrian crisis worsened severely for Turkey during the year. When the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group took control of northern Iraq in June, 80 people were kidnapped from the Turkish consulate in the city of Mosul. 31 truck drivers were released after one month, while 49 connected to the consulate – including several children – were released only after just over three months. Many assumed that hostage concerns contributed to NATO’s refusal by Turkey to participate in the US-led military effort against IS that began in August.
In September, IS advanced in Kurdish areas in northern Syria, towards the border with Turkey. Over 200,000 Kurds fled across the border in a short period of time, and by the end of the year, Turkey was estimated to have around 1.6 million Syrian refugees. IS and Kurdish forces ended up in a drawn-out battle over the Syrian border town of Kobane. The government opposed demands to enable support for the fighting Kurds. This led to sharp protests among Turkey’s Kurds, and during a few days of unrest in October, some 30 people were killed in clashes with police. An emergency permit was introduced in five Kurdish-dominated provinces. Eventually the government gave in and allowed Kurdish forces to cross the border. Parliament also decided that Turkey could intervene militarily against IS.
Turkey’s growing isolation in the region contributed to a terrible defeat in October, when after a campaign led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the country failed to gain a seat on the UN Security Council.
Erdoğan raised several statements during the fall, such as that Muslims discovered America and that the woman is not equal to the man. More and more people accused him of rising power, too many symbolized by a new presidential palace. The 1,000-room palace was built in violation of a court decision and in a delicate nature area outside Ankara.
The rebel police Cevik Kuvvet took a prominent role twice during December. On December 10, 36 members of the police force were killed by a suicide bombing in Istanbul, and on December 19, a member of the force killed the Russian ambassador to the country as he spoke in a gallery in Ankara. Cevik Kuvvet is a partisan force built by the AKP under its 15 in power. The regime frequently puts it against demonstrations and especially against Kurds in the eastern part of the country, but it is also used for example. guarding of embassies. The regime immediately shot and killed the policeman who killed the Russian ambassador and subsequently claimed that he had been a member of or sympathized with the Gülen movement. However, it was unlikely. On the contrary, Cevik Kuvvet was also attacked against the Gülen movement and the opposition in general in the wake of the AKP coup in July 2016. The assailant shouted during the murder: “Don’t forget Aleppo”, where the jihadists were simultaneously under intense bombings from Russian aircraft. Rather, the murder reflected the strong dissatisfaction with Russia’s bombings in northern Syria and an attempt to sabotage the new Turkish-Russian alliance in the conflict. The sabotage failed. Russia failed to take independent action against Turkey or criticize the country. Rather, the murder reflected the strong dissatisfaction with Russia’s bombings in northern Syria and an attempt to sabotage the new Turkish-Russian alliance in the conflict. The sabotage failed. Russia failed to take independent action against Turkey or criticize the country. Rather, the murder reflected the strong dissatisfaction with Russia’s bombings in northern Syria and an attempt to sabotage the new Turkish-Russian alliance in the conflict. The sabotage failed. Russia failed to take independent action against Turkey or criticize the country.
In January 2017, the regime issued 3 new law decrees targeting the political opposition. They implied that an additional 8,398 civil servants and 649 academics were fired. Furthermore, an additional 83 NGOs were banned. Thirty academics fired were among the 1400 who a year before had signed a peace appeal criticizing the regime for its massacres and forced displacement of Kurds in the eastern part of the country. Human rights organizations estimated that since the July 2016 coup, 95,744 public servants had been fired and 1,487 NGOs were administratively banned. However, the regime’s numbers were even higher. It estimated that 135,000 civil servants had been fired until January. One of the new decrees gave the regime access to administratively revoke the citizenship of persons. If identified Turks do not return to Turkey within a period of 3 months, they will be administratively deprived of their citizenship. In the middle of the month, 11 MPs from the Kurdish HDP remained imprisoned – including the party’s 2 chairmen.
The witch hunt continued in 2017. By March, 125,000 public servants had been fired since the regime’s coup 8 months earlier and 45,000 jailed. Among the prisoners, 152 journalists and 173 media had been shut down. 2,500 journalists had been fired and 800 had their press cards withdrawn. Amnesty International found that Turkey is, by comparison, the country in the world where most journalists are imprisoned. (‘I feel like I’ve been buried alive’: families living in fear and isolation as Erdoğan leads a witch-hunt, Guardian 12/2 2017; Revealed: the terror and torment of Turkey’s jailed journalists, Guardian 23/3 2017)
With 51.4% of the votes cast, the regime secured a majority in April 2017 for a series of constitutional amendments that gave President Erdogan almost unlimited power. At 49.8%, however, turnout was exceptionally low. Analyzes subsequently showed that it was the peasants who voted for the changes, while the Kurds in eastern Turkey and the people of all the major cities had predominantly voted against. The election campaign was unusual in the roughness of the regime. As usual, the regime persecuted and beat supporters of a no to the changes, but it also attacked its NATO partners in Europe. Turkish nationals outside Turkey were also allowed to vote, and the regime wanted to hold elections across Europe with the participation of Turkish ministers in support of a yes. It put, among other things, Germany and the Netherlands restricted restrictions, triggering diplomatic crises when the Erdogan-led regime verbally attacked both countries and in Ankara allowed its thugs to attack the Dutch embassy. Analysts pointed out that the regime wanted to whip up a crisis to bolster Turkish nationalism and thus secure a yes to the changes.