Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Asia > Turkey

Turkey

Yearbook 1999

1999 TurkeyTurkey. Despite an eventful year in Turkey with an extreme right that advanced in the parliamentary elections, government troops defeating the PKK guerrillas and the EU accepting Turkey as a candidate for membership, it was the most shocking for many yet the summer earthquake that claimed 17,000 lives.

The election on April 18 was held more than a year in advance since the government had fallen in November 1998. The largest party was the Kemalist DSP (Democracy Sol Partisi, Democratic Left Party) with 22% and 136 of 550 seats. But the winner of the election became the right-wing extremist MHP (Miliyetçi Hareket Partisi, Nationalist Action Party), whose military branch the Gray Wolves have made themselves known for murdering left-wing politicians, Islamists and Kurdish activists. From not even being represented in Parliament, the MHP took home 18% of the vote and 129 seats. The party went ahead at the expense of the Islamist FP (Fazilet Partisi, the Virtue Party) and the two right-wing parties ANAP (Anavatan Partisi, the Fosterland Party) and DYP (Doğru Yol Partisi, The Right Way Party). After lengthy negotiations, DSP leader B邦lent Ecevit succeeded.

One reason for the MHP's success was considered to be the Turk nationalist cheer that was triggered after the arrest of Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdish guerrilla PKK (Partya Kerker谷n Kurdistan, Kurdistan Workers Party). The arrest led to widespread Kurdish protests, including among PKK critics who believed that Öcalan should have been brought to trial on neutral ground.

On June 29, Öcalan was sentenced to death for treason. The court also considered him personally responsible for the deaths of 30,000 people in fighting between the PKK and government forces since 1984. From his cell, Öcalan ordered his rebels to lay down weapons, while Turkey stepped up its offensive against the remaining PKK units.

In the late autumn, according to Digopaul, Turkey was judged to have won the guerrilla war. A higher court upheld the verdict against Öcalan in November, but it was highly uncertain whether he would be executed. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg began to review the judicial process, and Turkey promised to follow the court's ruling. An execution was also considered to put an end to Turkey's approach to the EU.

In December, the EU accepted Turkey as a candidate. The background was that Greece voiced its previous veto against Turkish membership as the EU opened the possibility of a Cypriot EU membership without reaching a solution to the island conflict. In addition, the EU had called on Turkey to agree to Greece's demand for the International Court of Justice in The Hague to resolve the disputes between the countries. Turkey had implemented a number of legislative changes during the year to adapt to the EU: the Banking Inspectorate was strengthened and international arbitration was approved in the event of disputes between foreign investors and Turkish companies. In addition, the retirement age was increased from 43 years to 60 for men and from 38 to 58 for women. However, Turkey was not expected to become a full member of the EU until the earliest in 2010. The earthquake at night until August 17 in northwestern Turkey was the worst in the country since 1939.

Buildings in Istanbul were also damaged. The government received a lot of criticism for the fact that building standards, which were used to provide safer houses, were not followed and that the military was not used more efficiently during the rescue work. One of the first countries to have rescue teams in place was Greece. The earthquake was followed by a series of aftershocks during the autumn.

1999 Turkey

On the first day of the war, the Islamist government sent 20 aircraft into northern Iraq, bombing PKK bases. The following day, 75 aircraft were dispatched. Furthermore, Turkish tanks bombed Kurdish villages around Kobane to hit the YPG/YPJ. The government of Iraqi Kurdistan called on Turkey to halt the bombings and respect Iraqi sovereignty. In vain.

EU Foreign Coordinator Frederica Mogherini responded to the Turkish war activity by declaring that the EU supported attacks against IS, but urged Turkey to maintain the peace process with the PKK. The Islamist government ignored the call and instead intensified the war.

Turkey conducted siege of many Kurdish cities. The worst was the siege of Cizre, which was under siege in the first half of September. The military interrupted the water supply and food supply, dismissed the mayor as he claimed was a member of the PKK and implemented curfew. About 40 Kurds were killed. No Turkish police or soldiers were killed.

After 3½ months of war, the Islamist government had buried the ceasefire and peace talks with the PKK, some 1-2,000 Turkish soldiers, PKK peshmergas and civilians had been killed, significant parts of Kurdistan put in military state of emergency, and IS had the opportunity to win terrain in Syria. The AKP was now ready for "new elections". It was implemented on November 1 and, as expected, the AKP made great progress. The Islamist party rose 8.6% to 49.5%, gained 330 of the parliament's 550 seats and thus absolute majority. The number was not random. The AKP should have so many seats to unilaterally implement constitutional amendments. AKP had gone after HDP was not above the threshold, but with 10.76% it just entered. This happened despite widespread terror on the part of the AKP. The 6th. Doğan Media Center, which includes housed the renowned daily newspaper Hürriyet. The following months leading up to the election, AKP members conducted hundreds of fire bomb attacks on media and HDP offices across the country. The attacks culminated during an HDP demonstration in Ankara on October 12, during which the Turkish intelligence service brought two bombs to the blast that killed over 120 people and wounded hundreds more. The Turkish state security forces were withdrawn from the area just minutes before the bombs burst.

In addition to the election campaign marked by the Islamist government's open war on the opposition and especially the Kurds, the election itself was marked by extensive scams. The Electoral Commission's electoral system "collapsed" so that the electoral figures could not be verified. In many Kurdish villages in the eastern part of the country, where the population in June had 100% voted on the HDP, the electoral commission now announced that the population had 100% voted on the AKP. The November elections laid the grave for Turkish democracy.

On November 13, IS conducted a series of attacks in Paris that cost 130 people their lives. The consequence was that France and other European countries sought to build an alliance with Russia to step up the fight against IS. This approach wanted Turkey to slow down. On November 25, Turkey shot down a Russian bomber over northern Syria. It was a planned attack in which the military had already invited a film crew to film the shooting. Turkey claimed that the plane had overpowered Turkey and had been warned 10 times, but subsequently the claim was reduced to the fact that the plane had been over Turkey for 17 seconds. The Islamist government declared lamentable that it had the right to defend the country's sovereignty, but failed to mention that Turkey itself had conducted hundreds of flights over Iraq in previous months, bombing alleged PKK camps. At a subsequent NATO meeting in Brussels, several NATO alliance ambassadors shook their heads at Turkish allegations. There is no precedent for an alleged over-flight of 17 seconds leading to the shooting. A normal reaction in such situations is that fighter jets are sent up to escort the alien aircraft, and at worst, fire warning shots.

Russia reacted violently to the downturn, declaring it would have financial consequences. 2 million Russians had until then annually visited Turkey as tourists and Russia also supplied gas to Turkey. Turkey is expected to respond again by stepping up its arms supplies and financial support for IS and al-Nusra in Syria.

 

Other Countries in Asia

Countries and Learners Copyright 1999 - 2020 All Rights Reserved