Germany is ready to help drive forward Turkey’s European Union accession process, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday (18 October), extending support to Ankara in exchange for Turkish help in stemming the flow of refugees to Europe.
The EU and Turkey have agreed on an action plan for reducing the number of refugees arriving in the EU. Ankara is to improve its border control measures and in return the country will be declared a safe country of origin. The deal is a farce in view of all the human rights violations committed in Turkey, some commentators argue. Others lament that a common asylum policy is still a distant goal for the EU.
The recent and ongoing clashes taking place between members of the Kurdish and Turkish diasporas in Europe reflect the violent transnationality of this conflict.
Demonstration against the Turkish president Erdogan. Demotix/Elena Aquila. All rights reserved. The violent attack on a peaceful pro-Kurdish rally in Ankara on 10 October is shocking, heinous and not an anomaly. It is part of a broader historical and contemporary trend: Kurds have long been exposed to different forms and degrees of violence in Turkey and the wider Middle East.
Kurdish experiences of secular-Kemalist and Islamist rule in Turkey show that Kurds cannot rely on the current political framework in Turkey to achieve their political rights. This is because their political voices and claims are widely interpreted as undermining the forces that are assumed to maintain the unity and territorial integrity of Turkey. Kurdish voices – including those expressed in peaceful rallies – are perceived by many to be a direct challenge to ethnic Turks, unsettling their ability to be the spatial managers or governors of the Turkish state and the Turkish nation. Indeed, Turkey’s principle of political organization is best categorized as an ethnocracy: it ethnicizes citizenship and stipulates rights on ethnic bases.
Jacqueline Sutton, 50, who worked for the UN and the BBC, died at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport en route to Iraq
Tributes have been paid to a British journalist who has died in Turkey in suspicious circumstances.