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Yearbook 2016

2016 TurkeyTurkey. The deteriorating security situation in Turkey was reminiscent of the middle of January, when a suicide bomber struck and killed 13 foreigners near the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. It was the first time an attack was directed directly at the tourism industry. An Syrians with links to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist sector were identified as perpetrators.

According to countryaah, several terrorist attacks hit the country during the year. In Ankara, around 70 people died in two suicides in February and March. Both times, the radical Kurdish group TAK took action but the government pointed out the Kurdish guerrilla PKK and its Syrian counterpart YPG. In June, only 11 people died in another act near a tourist destination in Istanbul, and then three suicide bombers killed 45 people and injured over 200 in a coordinated attack on the city's Atat邦rk airport. In August, more than 50 people died in a suicide attack against a Kurdish wedding party in Gaziantep that IS suspected to be behind. The perpetrator was reported to be no more than 14 years old. In December, around 45 people were killed in a concerted attack targeting mainly police in Istanbul; TAK also took on that attack.

At the same time, the fighting between the army and the PKK continued to flourish the previous summer, mainly in the southeast, where both fire fighting and recurring minor attacks demanded many lives. The government was criticized for lack of respect for human rights, with media attacks and arrests of suspected opponents, including Kurdish politicians.

2016 Turkey

In March, Turkey signed a deal with the EU to take back all refugees traveling to Greece without a permit, in exchange for an additional € 3 billion in support and a promise that the EU would receive Syrian refugees. The agreement also contained other conditions, which included, among other things, visa freedom to the EU against respect for human rights in Turkey. As a result, the future of the agreement remained uncertain. According to the UN, the number of refugees in Turkey rose to over 3 million during the year, which was more than any other country in the world.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu resigned as head of government and party leader of the AKP government party at an additional party congress in May. It was rumored that Davutoğlu opposed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plans to change the constitution and introduce presidential rule, but in a speech he voiced his loyalty to the president. Binali Yıldırım was appointed new Prime Minister.

Members of Parliament in May decided to waive their right to prosecution immunity. According to critics, the purpose of being able to bring members of the pro-Kurdish party HDP to justice was accused of conspiring with PKK. Later in the year, several HDP members were also arrested.

Another explosion near tourist destinations in Istanbul in June claimed the lives of eleven people, including seven police officers and four civilians. Later that month, three suicide bombers killed 45 people and injured over 200 in a concerted attack on the city's international Atat邦rk airport.

On July 15, a military attempt to overthrow the government was staged. The coup makers attacked the Parliament and the Security Service in Ankara, blocking off roads both in the capital and in Istanbul. They announced in state TV that they had taken power. After a day, the coup attempt had failed. Around 250 people were killed during the coup attempt, many of them civilian, and over 1,400 injured.

President Erdoğan immediately pointed out the recent terror-stamped movement led by Muslim preacher Fethullah G邦len, a resident of the United States. The purges that have already taken place in, among other things, the military, the media and the legal and educational system have now exponentially escalated: tens of thousands of teachers, journalists, police, civil servants and others were shut down from their jobs within a week. A state of emergency was introduced and Erdoğan talked about reintroducing the death penalty.

It was obvious that the suspects had been mapped even before the coup. However, Erdoğan received strong support from large sections of the public: hundreds of thousands of Turks participated in demonstrations in support of the government and in protest against the coup makers.

By the end of the year, over 100,000 people had been laid off from their jobs and around 36,000 were detained. Nearly 200 magazines, TV channels and other media companies had been shut down, as were about 300 non-governmental organizations working for human and civil rights. Several hundred companies had been seized, accused of terrorism. More than 40 suspected cupmakers were arrested.

The outside world reacted critically, and not least the already strained relations with the EU grimaced. In November, the European Parliament voted to freeze negotiations on Turkey's EU membership. It was essentially a symbolic distance, in practice the negotiations had been down for a long time. The relationship was also complicated with the United States. After the coup G邦len, Turkey demanded extradition from the United States, with no results, causing great anger. The two NATO countries also had different views on the war in Syria, where the US in the YPG militia saw an ally in the fight against IS while Turkey saw a terrorist group.

The ambassador of the Russian Federation was murdered in December at an art gallery in Ankara. The perpetrator was a police officer who shouted slogans about the war in Syria before he was shot dead. Although the Russian Federation and Syria supported opposite sides of the war, they then jointly initiated a new ceasefire in Syria.

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