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06/23/2020

Last week in Turkey: March of the Judicial bar associations, operations against the PKK, rising tensions in Libya

Last week in Turkey: March of the Judicial bar associations, operations against the PKK, rising tensions in Libya

The political agenda in Turkey last week included the march of the Bar Associations organized by lawyers,air strikes and field operations against the PKK by the Turkish Armed Forces, and new events in Libya.

ELECTION PROTESTS OF THE JUDICIAL BAR ASSOCIATION

The most striking topic of last week was a march from Istanbul to Ankara which was organized to protest a bill that focuses on changing the election systems of the Bar Association by Mehmet Durakoglu, who is the president of the Istanbul Bar Association, the world’s largest bar association by number of lawyers.

While the main opposition party, the CHP, supported the march, government officials stressed that the timing of the march was suspicious, and claimed that it was a provocation.

On the other hand, Metin Feyzioglu, the president of the Turkish Bar Association, also made several statements criticizing the march.

While most of Turkey’s Bar Associations are led by lawyers that are affiliated with the opposition, it has been claimed that this new bill was signed to change their electoral methods.

It is intriguing to consider what the outcomes of the protests will be.

OPERATIONS AGAINST THE PKK TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

The Turkish Armed Forces’ military operations against the PKK terrorist group dropped like a bomb on Turkey’s agenda last week.

While everyone turned their eyes on Libya, the first phase of the operations were launched entitled Operation Eagle-Claw, while the second phase was called Operation Tiger-Claw.

Operation Eagle-Claw began on the night of June 14 with air strikes on PKK encampments in Northern Iraq. The Ministry of National Defense announced in an official report that while the PKK terrorist organization has recently increased their harassment and attacks on the outpost and base areas, the right to self-defense has been invoked to protect Turkey’s borders and neutralize terrorist elements.

The terrorist organization’s encampments in Sinjar, Karacak, Qandil, Zab, Avasin-Basyan and Hakurk Regions in Northern Iraq, were hit by F-16s.

On June 17, the Ministry of National Defense announced that the second phase of the operation had been launched.

As part of the operation, Turkish commandos crossing the Northern Iraqi border carried out operations at several encampments of the PKK terrorist group, particularly in the Haftanin Region.

The PKK’s heavy losses against the Turkish Army resonated in the press.

Calls to organize a protest march against the operations from the PKK-affiliated HDP political party had no results.

RISING TENSIONS IN LIBYA

Another agenda item in Turkey last week were the recent events in Libya.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi’s statements of a possible intervention in Libya, while he conducted an inspection on the military units at their western border, was debated among the Turkish public opinion.

While the relations between Turkey and Egypt have been tense since 2013, when former President Mohammad Mursi was thrown, the idea of two countries coming back together using a backdoor diplomacy came up again in the media in recent weeks.

After the media’s coverage of the backdoor diplomacy, Turkey rejected Al-Sisi’s call for a ceasefire in Libya, which had shown signs of a military intervention in Libya by al-Sisi immediately after, leading to new tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Now it’s not only Turkey, but the whole world which is discussing the next possible steps in Libya.

 
United World International

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