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Flag of Turkey
  1. Turkey Main Page
  2. A New Republic and President
  3. Oppression of Kurds and Kurdish Culture and Deadly Clashes
  4. Terrorism; Attempts to Improve the Government
  5. Improvements for Civil Rights and the Secular Movement
  6. Turkey Takes on Bigger Role on the World Stage
  7. 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Turkey
  8. Relations Between Syria and Turkey Deteriorate
  9. Israel Formally Apologies to Turkey for 2010 Commando Raid
  10. Anti-Government Protests Call for Erdogan's Resignation
  11. Erdogan Elected President
  12. Erdogan Resists the Fight Against ISIS
Relations Between Syria and Turkey Deteriorate

Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, threw its support behind opposition groups during the uprising against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, which began in March 2011. Turkey endorsed the Syrian National Council, an organization of dissidents and opposition leaders, and allowed members of the Free Syrian Army to set up camp within its borders.

Relations between Syria and Turkey deteriorated in 2012, reaching a nadir in the fall. In October, a cross-border mortar attack from Syria killed five Turkish civilians, and Turkey launched retaliatory attacks on targets in Syria. The following day, the Turkish Parliament passed a motion that authorized military action as long as Syria continued to shell Turkey. If the fighting does persist, NATO may intervene to protect Turkey, a member nation. The Turkish government said it did not want to go to war with Syria, but it would protect its borders as necessary militarily.

On March 13, 2013, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (P.K.K.) released eight Turkish soldiers and civil servants. The captives were kidnapped in 2011 and 2012 and held by the Kurdish militants in the mountains of northern Iraq. The P.K.K. has been using forms of guerrilla warfare against Turkey for almost three decades.

The P.K.K.'s leader, Abdullah Ocalan ordered the release of the eight captives. A prisoner himself since 1999, Ocalan has been in peace talks with Turkish government officials since 2012. If peace between the Kurdish rebels and Turkey could be achieved it would end a war that has so far claimed 40,000 lives.

Next: Israel Formally Apologies to Turkey for 2010 Commando Raid
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