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Kurdish crisis

April and May saw an escalation in the Turkish civil war, with government forces and Kurdish PKK guerrilla fighters both increasing their levels of violence. During May, the Turkish government also sponsored a new ‘Northern Army’ coalition of anti-government forces in northern Syria to contain the Syrian PYD Kurdish insurgency, and to create a ‘security zone’ bordering Turkey.

Meanwhile, the Aachen Peace Prize has been awarded to the group of 1,128 academics who called in January for an end to Turkish state violence against the country’s Kurdish population.

Academics for Peace, from universities inside and outside of Turkey, were condemned by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called for them to be prosecuted for ‘treason’ and ‘terrorism’. Dozens of signatories have since lost their university jobs, and many have been put on trial.