What are Turkey’s chronic internal rifts?

  • Secularists vs. Islamists.
  • Turks vs. Kurds.
  • Westernised urban elite vs. religious/conservative rural masses.
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Macrosnap China single child rule?

  • Introduced 1979 off fears of runaway population growth.
  • Believed to have prevented 400m births but now problem of ageing population and shortages of workers.
  • Now 2 children allowed per couple - official approval will be required for the 2nd.
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How come EU is so soft on Turkey’s strongman Erdogan?

  • 2.3m Syrian refugees in Turkey.
  • EU scared of them slipping into Europe.
  • Therefore tolerating Turkey's slide to one-man rule.
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Anti-Assad rebels withstanding Russian-backed Assad offensive?

  • So far yes.
  • Partly attributed to recent large influx of missiles from Sunni Gulf states.
  • Gulf States + Saudi Arabia are backing the rebels, with US approval.
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US troops on the ground in Syria?

  • Tiny force (50 soldiers - special forces) going in to help anti-Assad rebels.
  • Response to Russian involvement.
  • Not substantive, but believed to send message to Russia that it does not have free-reign.
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Who are the Kurds?

  • Middle Eastern ethnic group with own language and culture.
  • Don't have their own country - inhabit contiguous area (Kurdistan) spanning N-Turkey, N-Iraq, W-Iran and N-Syria.
  • Worldwide population 30-35m, primarily Sunni.
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What is the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey?

  • Pro Kurdish political party.
  • Alliance of leftists, Kurds, women's rights and gay rights activists.
  • Won 13% of parliamentary vote in June and expected to do just as well in November rerun.
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