Turkey mourns the death of its 13 unarmed citizens, who were executed by the PKK terrorist organization in a cave on Mt. Gara, northern Iraq. The most recent security operation, during which three Turkish troops lost their lives, not only demonstrated anew the PKK’s bloodthirsty nature but also revealed the unbearable double standards that apply to the condemnation of terror attacks at home and abroad.
Whether it be de-escalating tensions with Greece through negotiation, jump-starting the Cyprus talks, organizing a regional conference on the Eastern Mediterranean, renegotiating the refugee deal, visa liberalization or updating the customs union, Turkey will persistently pursue diplomacy as it attempts to make a fresh start with the European Union. All of these points are on Ankara's agenda as it awaits the upcoming visit of the presidents of the European Council and Commission to Turkey.
The United States reached its long-anticipated decision on sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air defense system from Russia. Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump imposed Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions on NATO ally Turkey's Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) under pressure from U.S. Congress. The sanctions, as they stand, are not necessarily severe, although there is the possibility of additional steps being taken. However, what is important is that there is now room for the incoming U.S. administration to reengage with Turkey.
As predicted, the administration of Donald Trump has announced sanctions against Turkey because of its procurement of Russian S-400 air defense missile systems. Sanctions were imposed against Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) and four individuals, including SSB head Ismail Demir.