Turkey Goes to the PollsMay 30, 2000
Ahmet Sezer is elected as the 10th president of Turkey.
Armenian Genocide RecognizedJanuary 30, 2001
French National Assembly recognizes the Ottoman Empire’s 1915-17 killings of Armenians as genocide sparking heated contention from Turkey.
AKP Wins MajorityNovember 1, 2002
Islamist Justice and Development Party (AK) secures majority in Turkish elections.
Turkey Expands Civil LibertiesJune 30, 2003
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 TurkeyJanuary 8, 2004
Assad visits Turkey, the first Syrian president to do so.
Turkey Bans the Death PenaltyJanuary 8, 2004
Turkey bans death penalty in all circumstances, in further attempt to curry favor with EU.
Turkey Begins Formal Talks for EU MembershipOctober 11, 2005
Turkey and the European Union formally begin talks about potential Turkish membership in the EU.
Turkey Court AttackMay 25, 2006
A gunman assaults Turkey’s highest court, killing a prominent judge and wounding four others.
Turkey Passes Anti-terror LawsJune 30, 2006
Parliament legislates new anti-terror initiatives. This move worries EU as an opportunity for torture.
U.S. Angers Turkey Over Armenian GenocideOctober 30, 2007
U.S. congressional committee recognizes killings of Armenians under Ottoman Empire as genocide, causing diplomatic row with Turkey.
Kurdish Initiative in TurkeyDecember 31, 2009
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 TurkeyFebruary 28, 2010
Nearly 70 members of the military are arrested over alleged “Sledgehammer” coup plot.
9 Turkish Pro-Palestinians KilledMay 31, 2010
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-electedJune 30, 2011
Ruling AK party wins general election, and Prime Minister Erdogan begins third term.
Syria Shoots Down Turkish PlaneJuly 31, 2012
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 ProtestsMay 31, 2013
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 PresidentAugust 31, 2014
Prime Minister Erdogan wins first direct popular election for president.
Turkey Shoots Down Russian PlaneNovember 30, 2015
Turkey shoots down a Russian warplane, with both countries claiming that the other acted aggressively.
Istanbul and Cinar BombingsJanuary 31, 2016
Bombs in Istanbul and Cinar kill nearly 20 people; the government blames Kurdish groups.
Refugee DeportationApril 30, 2016
Thousands of refugees are forcibly deported back to Syria from Turkey.
Erdogan declares state of emergencyJuly 20, 2016
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 coup.
Turkey Joins Fight Against ISJuly 31, 2016
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 arrestedJanuary 17, 2017
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 powersApril 16, 2017
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 MilitiaMarch 18, 2018
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-electionJune 25, 2018
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.