Turkey

Turkey Goes to the Polls

May 30, 2000
Turkey Goes to the Polls

Ahmet Sezer is elected as the 10th president of Turkey.

Armenian Genocide Recognized

January 30, 2001
Armenian Genocide Recognized

French National Assembly recognizes the Ottoman Empire’s 1915-17 killings of Armenians as genocide sparking heated contention from Turkey.

AKP Wins Majority

November 1, 2002
AKP Wins Majority

Islamist Justice and Development Party (AK) secures majority in Turkish elections.

Turkey Expands Civil Liberties

June 30, 2003
Turkey Expands Civil Liberties

In ongoing appeal to gain EU membership, parliament eases restrictions on freedom of speech and Kurdish language rights; AKP moves to reduce military influence on politics.

Assad Visits Turkey

January 8, 2004
Assad Visits Turkey

Assad visits Turkey, the first Syrian president to do so.

Turkey Bans the Death Penalty

January 8, 2004
Turkey Bans the Death Penalty

Turkey bans death penalty in all circumstances, in further attempt to curry favor with EU.

Turkey Begins Formal Talks for EU Membership

October 11, 2005
Turkey Begins Formal Talks for EU Membership

Turkey and the European Union formally begin talks about potential Turkish membership  in the EU.

Turkey Court Attack

May 25, 2006
Turkey Court Attack

A gunman assaults Turkey’s highest court, killing a prominent judge and wounding four others.

Turkey Passes Anti-terror Laws

June 30, 2006
Turkey Passes Anti-terror Laws

Parliament legislates new anti-terror initiatives. This move worries EU as an opportunity for torture.

U.S. Angers Turkey Over Armenian Genocide

October 30, 2007
U.S. Angers Turkey Over Armenian Genocide

U.S. congressional committee recognizes killings of Armenians under Ottoman Empire as genocide, causing diplomatic row with Turkey.

Kurdish Initiative in Turkey

December 31, 2009
Kurdish Initiative in Turkey

Turkey’s government introduces the “Kurdish Initiative”, which expands the linguistic and cultural rights of the Kurdish minority, while also curtailing Turkish military presence in the Kurdish southeast.

Crackdown after Coup Attempt in Turkey

February 28, 2010
Crackdown after Coup Attempt in Turkey

Nearly 70 members of the military are arrested over alleged “Sledgehammer” coup plot.

9 Turkish Pro-Palestinians Killed

May 31, 2010
9 Turkish Pro-Palestinians Killed

9 Turkish pro-Palestinians are killed when several civilian ships attempt to break Gaza blockade as part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Israel apologizes to Turkey in 2013.

Erdogan Re-elected

June 30, 2011
Erdogan Re-elected

Ruling AK party wins general election, and Prime Minister Erdogan begins third term.

Syria Shoots Down Turkish Plane

July 31, 2012
Syria Shoots Down Turkish Plane

Syria shoots down a Turkish plane and Turkey respond by stating that Syrian troops will be seen as a military threat if they approach Turkish borders.

Gezi Park Protests

May 31, 2013
Gezi Park Protests

Through June, plans to construct on one of Istanbul’s few green spaces stirs mass anti-government protests, known as the Gezi Park or Taqsim Square protests. Police respond with violence, and two protesters die. PM Erdogan remains stubborn over issue. At Germany’s direction, the EU puts membership talks with Turkey on hold.

Erdogan Elected President

August 31, 2014
Erdogan Elected President

Prime Minister Erdogan wins first direct popular election for president.

Turkey Shoots Down Russian Plane

November 30, 2015
Turkey Shoots Down Russian Plane

Turkey shoots down a Russian warplane, with both countries claiming that the other acted aggressively.

Istanbul and Cinar Bombings

January 31, 2016
Istanbul and Cinar Bombings

Bombs in Istanbul and Cinar kill nearly 20 people; the government blames Kurdish groups.

Refugee Deportation

April 30, 2016
Refugee Deportation

Thousands of refugees are forcibly deported back to Syria from Turkey.

Erdogan declares state of emergency

July 20, 2016
Erdogan declares state of emergency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declares a three-month state of emergency as a way to obtain special powers to pass laws as officials investigate individuals suspected of an attempted coup. Prior to this declaration came the removal and suspension of thousands of soldiers, educators and civil servants allegedly complicit in the

Turkey Joins Fight Against IS

July 31, 2016
Turkey Joins Fight Against IS

Breaks neutrality concerning Islamic State by opening Turkish military airports for U.S. aircraft and conducts airstrikes itself. However, Turkish military also begin targeting Kurdish forces.

Istanbul Reina nightclub attacker arrested

January 17, 2017
Istanbul Reina nightclub attacker arrested

Turkish authorities arrest the main suspect in the New Year’s Eve attack on Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Abdulkadir Masharipov. The Islamic State has taken responsibility for the attack, justifying it as revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.

Erdogan wins narrowly in referendum to expand powers

April 16, 2017
Erdogan wins narrowly in referendum to expand powers

President Erdogan wins by razor-thin margins in a referendum to expand his powers, with 51.3% of the votes in favor while 48.7% of the votes oppose the action. This change allows the winner of the 2019 presidential election to essentially embrace total control of the government and accordingly terminating the current parliamentary political system.  

Turkish forces rid Afrin of Kurdish Militia

March 18, 2018
Turkish forces rid Afrin of Kurdish Militia

Turkish-backed forces take full control of Syrian-Kurdish city of Afrin, which was held by a Kurdish militia Turkey considers a terrorist group.

Erdogan wins re-election

June 25, 2018
Erdogan wins re-election

Erdogan wins re-election as president with nearly 53% of the votes. He now enjoys sweeping new powers gained from the passage of a referendum he led last year, including the abolishment of the position of prime minister.