Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Turkey

Academic journal article The Middle East Journal

Chronology: Turkey

Article excerpt

See also Regional Affairs

Apr. 25: After months of delay, Turkey's cabinet approved a US request for access to the strategic southern Incirlik Air Base for one year beginning in June. Turkey had refused to allow US troops to stage an invasion of Iraq from Turkish territory in March 2003. [AP, 4/25]

Apr. 30: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would pursue political relations with Armenia. Earlier in the week, Armenian President Robert Kocharyan had said he would accept Erdogan's proposal for a joint commission to probe the killings of Armenians during World War I, but demanded the normalization of relations first. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in response to the Armenian conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. [BBC, 4/30]

May 27: The Turkish Parliament approved changes to a new penal code due to come into effect on June 1. The code is one of the key reforms identified by the European Union as a condition for opening accession talks with Ankara in October 2005. The new code liberalizes the country's criminal justice system by increasing penalties against human rights abuses and torture. It also improves the rights of women and children. However, the paragraphs concerning the media continue to attract criticism from newspapers and press organizations, which say that the revised law remains vague enough to allow for arbitrary court decisions, and this in turn may threaten freedom of expression. [BBC, 5/27]

June 3: Turkey's President Ahmet Necdet Sezer blocked a law that he said could have given Islamic extremists more freedom. The law was a late addition to a new penal code. The proposed change would have cut the penalty for anyone found guilty of teaching the Qur'an in unauthorized centers. [BBC, 6/3]

June 20: A Turkish court sentenced Metin Kaplan, leader of the Caliphate State, to life in prison for plotting to overthrow Turkey's secular government. …

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