Jointly prepared by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the social media bill passed the Parliamentary Justice Commission last week. It is now expected to be debated and approved by the General Assembly of the Parliament this week.… Read the rest
- President Tayyip Erdogan’s renewed threat to severely restrict social media platforms comes amid growing signs that his popular support is in long-term decline, particularly among young voters.
- Legislation requiring social media companies to establish a legal presence in the country is expected be introduced before the start of parliament’s summer recess on 15 July.
Ankara declared on 20 May “mission accomplished” against the coronavirus outbreak, claiming that the pandemic had been contained. The health ministry has so far recorded 152,587 confirmed cases – which places Turkey in the global top 10 for infections according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University – and 4,222 deaths.… Read the rest
● Political considerations – not science or sound economic analysis – are driving the government’s approach to the Covid-19 outbreak and the related economic challenges.
● An erratic, politicized approach to the health emergency has undermined Covid-19 containment efforts but has so far not affected President Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity.… Read the rest
● President Tayyip Erdogan continues to resist calls to enact a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19 – fearing the impact on the economy.
● Meanwhile, there are more signs that the country’s health system is struggling to cope with the outbreak amid growing misgivings with the government’s opaque information policy.… Read the rest
● Ankara announced on 19 March that the number of confirmed cases had nearly doubled over the previous 24 hours to 191.
● The lack of transparency and the government’s efforts to tighten the control of information over the Covid-19 outbreak raise concerns about the country’s ability to tackle the pandemic.… Read the rest
At least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed and 32 wounded in the Syrian province of Idlib on 27 February in an escalating confrontation between Russian-backed Syrian forces on one side and Turkish forces and their Sunni militia allies on the other.… Read the rest
The 5 March meeting between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, has brought the issue of Idlib to an uneasy standby. The negotiations lasted almost six hours, suggesting that the encounter did not go all smoothly.… Read the rest
Turkey announced on 1 March the launch of a military offensive – operation Spring Shield, the fourth military offensive in as many years – against the Moscow-backed Syrian regime. The escalation follows the 27 February airstrike that killed around three dozen Turkish soldiers in Idlib.… Read the rest
- On 22 February, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced plans for a four-country summit in Istanbul on 5 March to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Syrian governorate of Idlib
- Erdogan’s call for international negotiations represents a significant climbdown from his repeated threats earlier in the month for Damascus to voluntarily surrender all the territorial gains that it has made since the beginning of the month.