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Yearbook 1998

1998 TurkeyTurkey. The year was marked by crises both domestic and foreign policy. The Islamic Welfare Party (Refah Partisi, RP) - whose government had been forced to fall by the military in 1997 and succeeded by a coalition led by the Motherland Party (Anavatan Partisi, ANAP) - was declared illegal in January when it was considered to have violated the secular principles of the constitution. Party leader Necmettin Erbakan was banned from holding any political office for the next five years. When the verdict fell in 1998, however, the party had already been reformed under the name Dygdpartiet (Fazilet Partisi, FP). The vast majority of the welfare party's MPs joined the Virtue Party, which thus became the largest party in parliament.

According to Countryaah, the military's pressure on the Islamists continued. Islamic schools were closed, female students were forced to take off their shawls and several politicians belonging to the Virtue Party were sentenced to prison, including Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan. Playwright and actor Mehmet Vahi Yazar was sentenced in August to 24 years in prison for putting up a play about a country where the military oppresses Muslims.

However, it was revelations about politicians' contacts with the mafia that caused the greatest dissatisfaction. In August, a wanted murder suspect, Alaattin Cakici, was arrested in France equipped with a Turkish diplomatic passport. It was discovered that he had contacts within the government, and a minister, Eyup Asik, was forced to resign. When it emerged that the Prime Minister and Leader of the Motherland Party, Mesut Yilmaz, likely helped one of Cakiki's contacts to buy the state bank T邦rkbank, the Republican People's Party (CHP, Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi) stopped supporting Yilmaz. The government fell in December, just before Yilmaz planned to step down to pave the way for the new election to be held on April 18, 1999. The government crisis was unresolved by the New Year.

Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK (Partia Karkaren Kurdistan; Kurdistan Workers Party), pleaded several times during the year to cease fire and announced several unilateral ceasefires. Turkey took no notice of these plays. But in November, a turning point was reached in the Kurdish question: Öcalan was arrested in Rome. There he had come via Moscow since Turkey, with military pressure, had forced Syria to evict him from his many years of refuge in Syria-controlled territory.

Öcalan sought asylum in Italy at the same time as Turkey requested him extradition. Italy announced that both cases would be investigated but that Öcalan could not be extradited as long as Turkish law provides room for the death penalty. Mass demonstrations against Italy erupted in Turkey. What would happen to Öcalan was unclear at the end of the year.

The leader of the Human Rights Association (IHD), Akin Birdal, was subjected to a murder trial in May that he survived with little need. In July, a one-year prison sentence was set against him for "provoking hatred" in connection with his statement for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue.

In July, Parliament approved new measures against inflation. new tax legislation. This meant lower income tax, which the government hoped would lead to better income reporting. Inflation fell in 1998 but was still 77% towards the end of the year.

1998 Turkey

2014 AKP/Gülen power struggle

On December 17, 2013, a comprehensive corruption scandal started. While the prime minister was on a state visit to Pakistan, police struck in Istanbul, arresting 47 people - predominantly officials of various ministries and almost all affiliated with the ruling AKP party. They were charged with corruption, money laundering and gold smuggling.

On January 7, 2014, the government struck again. With a decree, 350 policemen were removed from their posts - including the heads of the police departments dealing with financial crime, smuggling and organized crime. Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen described it as purging within the police, while Prime Minister Erdogan described arrests as an attempt at a "legal coup" targeting the AKP of those who were envious of Erdogan's own success. Erdogan appointed Gülen as the person responsible for the coup attempt. When interviews were posted on the internet that implicated Erdogan in the corruption scandal, Turkish authorities shut down YouTube and Twitter.

The full extent of the scandal was never revealed. Apparently there was talk of corruption - several of the responsible ministers resigned from office - but also of a power struggle between Gülen and the AKP - a number of the police officers who had carried out the arrests subsequently committed suicide.

In May, the coal mine in Soma was hit by a fierce fire that over two days cost 301 miners life. The miners had already demonstrated in 2013 against the life-threatening working conditions in the mine, and a proposal by the opposition a few weeks earlier to investigate the working conditions in the mines had been voted down by the AKP in parliament. Turkey is one of the countries in the world with the worst working environment.

Israel's staffing of its embassy in Ankara and the consulate in Istanbul had only just returned to normal levels after several years of work to improve Israel-Turkey relations when Israel launched a war against Gaza in June 2014. The war triggered a series of violent demonstrations in front of the embassy and consulate. threw stones at the buildings. Israel then cut back on its staffing for security reasons. Prime Minister Erdogan sharply criticized Israel's war: "Ever since [Israel's] establishment in 1948, we have witnessed every day and every month these attempts at systematic genocide... But first and foremost, every Ramadan we have witnessed these attempts at systematic genocide ”. He added that Israel's war derailed the attempts to establish links between the two countries.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan of AKP won the August 2014 presidential election with 51.8% of the vote. In 2nd place, independent Islamic candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu got 38.4%, while leftist Selahattin Demirtaş from HDP got 9.8%. Demirtaş won big in Kurdistan, thus reflecting the fierce polarization in the country. Erdogan inaugurated Ahmet Davutoğlu as new prime minister.

In 2011, Turkey played a key role in the West's efforts to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya, and has since made significant efforts to ensure a viable moderate Islamic government in the country. In vain. In December 2014, as the last country, Turkey canceled its flights to Libya. It had become far too dangerous after the country was de facto in civil war.


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