Below is a selection of articles on Turkey we have been following, covering the most important issues over the past week.
Turkey over the weekend announced that is was launching a major offensive against the Syrian regime forces in response to an airstrike which killed at least 36 Turkish soldiers in Idlib on February 27. Turkey’s response has come int he form of artillery and drone strikes on Syrian army and regime proxy forces in Idlib and beyond. The offensive has shifted momentum on the ground, stalling a regime offensive which was closing in on reclaiming Idlib, the last rebel held province in Syria.Read More
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will visit Moscow on Thursday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake of last week’s deadly airstrike on Turkish soldiers in Idlib and Turkey’s offensive against Syrian regime interests in Syria. In a speech on Monday, Erdoğan said he hopes to reach a ceasefire deal with Putin and “find a solution to this affair”.
A high-level American delegation headed by US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft and U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey landed in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Monday for talks on the escalation of violence in Idlib. A statement released by the US laid the blame squarely on the Assad regime , which “backed by Russia and Iran, have unleashed a brutal military campaign in Idlib”, killing hundreds of citizens and displacing millions.
Refugees have been flocking to Turkey’s border with Greece following Turkey’s announcement that it will not longer stand in the way of refugees traveling to Europe. The development has prompted Greece to close its border and asylum system and call for EU talks on refugees. Over the weekend, Turkish President Erdoğan claimed some 18,000 refugees had crossed into Greece with many more moving across Turkey, by bus, taxi and on foot to the border.
Former European Parliament Turkey Rapporteur Kati Piri on Twitter criticized the EU for not fulfilling its pledges under the 2016 EU-Turkey refugee deal. Piri noted that that visa requirements for Turkish citizens had not been lifted, the Customs Union had not been upgraded and new accession chapters had not been opened, as stipulated by the deal, while only 25,000 refugees have been resettled in the EU. On the other hand, Turkey was largely successful in stopping the flow of migrants into Europe.
The Atlantic Council in Turkey promotes dialogue through research and programming addressing critical issues around energy, economics, migration, and security.