Two years of living dangerously

The World Today Published 9 February 2017 Updated 24 November 2020 1 minute READ

July 2015
Turkey announces air strikes against Islamic State group after suspected IS suicide bomber kills 33 activists at a rally in Suruc, on the Syrian border.

Syrian war tensions cause breakdown of ceasefire between government and Kurdish PKK guerrillas.

October 2015
Turkey accuses Islamic State of twin suicide bomb attacks on Ankara peace rally by Kurds that kill 100 people.

November 2015
Neo-Islamist AKP regains parliamentary majority in snap election, but falls short of numbers needed for referendum to boost President Erdogan’s powers.

Turkey shoots down a Russian military jet on a Syria bombing mission. Russia, Turkey’s second-largest trading partner, imposes economic sanctions.

EU strikes a deal whereby Turkey restricts flow of migrants into Europe through its borders in return for €3 billion and concessions on stalled EU accession talks.

February 2016
Bomb attack on military convoy in the capital Ankara kills at least 30, claimed by PKK splinter group, Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK).

March 2016
Suicide car-bomb attack in Ankara kills 37 people. TAK again claims responsibility.

Turkey’s largest newspaper, Zaman – linked to Erdogan’s self-exiled rival Fethullah Gulen – is brought under state control.

May 2016
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, architect of the deal to restrict flow of migrants into Europe, resigns. Erdogan says deal could collapse if Turks not granted visa-free access to the EU.

June 2016
Turkey recalls its Berlin ambassador after German parliament adopts resolution declaring the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces during First World War genocide.

A shooting and suicide attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport kills 45 people. Turkish authorities claim the attack resembles those of Islamic State.

July 2016
A faction within the Turkish armed forces mounts an overnight coup attempt that Erdogan says was inspired by his exiled opponent Gulen. Over 300 people killed and more than 2,100 injured.

Mass arrests follow, with at least 40,000 detained –including 2,745 judges – on suspicion of involvement in the coup attempt. 15,000 teachers and university professors suspended.

The government shuts down dozens of media outlets – including 16 TV channels – during a continuing crackdown following the failed coup attempt.

August 2016
Erdogan visits Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg and the two pledge to restore economic ties damaged after Turkey shot down a Russian bomber in November 2015.

December 2016
Off-duty policeman shouting ‘Don’t forget Alleppo, don’t forget Syria!’ kills Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov in revenge for the Russian air campaign in Syria. He is later shot dead by police.

January 2017
Gunman kills 39 people celebrating New Year at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul. The Islamic State group says it was behind the attack.

Turkish parliament approves a bill to create an executive presidency in which post Erdogan would be able to rule until 2029.