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RELATIONS WITH TURKEY: VERY SIMPLIFIED

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

TURKEY'S INVASION OF SYRIA

  • Turkey houses a political party named the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that fights for Kurdish rights within Turkey and has led to thousands of deaths 

    • With the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) winning battles against ISIS in northern Syria, Erdogan began fearing that the success of the Kurds
      in Syria would translate into Kurdish opposition within Turkey, which is where the "Safe-Zone" proposal came from

  • Turkey has attempted to turn a strip of land in northern Syria into a "Safe-Zone" for years

    • As a result of the wars in Syria, over 3.6million refugees fled to Turkey​

      • During an economic downturn, politicians and citizens began blaming the influx of Syrian refugees, Erdogan's disapproval rating sky-rocketed,
        so to regain popularity he doubled down on the general distaste for new refugees by re-proposing the "Safe-Zone"

        • Erdogan claims this "Safe-Zone" would be used for deporting Syrian refugees​.

        • Both Russia and the United States declined working with Turkey on this project 

        • Turkey took this land the second Donald Trump removed United States' forces from the area, which were originally stationed there
          to help the Kurds fight against ISIS

SIMPLE FACTS

  • Turkey is a member of NATO

  • Turkey houses United States' military equipment, including missiles

  • The Bosporus water-way connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara and hosts the transport of over three percent of the global supply of oil
    every day 

    • An estimated 48,000 ships pass through the strait annually ​which is about 3-4 times more than through the Panama Canal

  • The possibility that Turkey will activate the S-400 air defense system they purchased from Russia or pursue any deeper corporation with Moscow
    in response to U.S. sanctions continues to threaten relations