Turkey profile - Timeline

date event
2015 07 Suspected Islamic State suicide bomber kills 32 young socialist activists at rally in Suruc, on Syrian border.
2015 06 Pro-Kurdish leftwing People's Democratic Party (HDP) clears 10% threshold at parliamentary elections, depriving governing AK party of majority and scuppering plans for a referendum to grant executive powers to President Erdogan.
2015 03 Parliament approves controversial security bill giving police sweeping new powers. “Sledgehammer” coup plot trial collapses when a court clears 236 military officers accused of involvement in an alleged conspiracy to remove former Prime Minister Erdogan from power in 2003.
2014 12 Police raid media outlets close to Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen and arrest 24 journalists on suspicion of plotting to seize power.
2014 10 Parliament approves a motion authorising possible Turkish military operations against militants in Iraq and Syria who threaten Turkey, as well as the use of Turkish military bases by foreign forces for the same purpose.
2014 08 Prime Minister Erdogan wins the first direct popular election for president.
2014 05 Turkey's worst ever mine disaster in Soma claims at least 282 lives. Trade unions accuse Prime Minister Erdogan of complacent response.
2014 03 Parliament passes a bill to shut down private preparatory schools, many run by Mr Gulen's Hizmet (“Service”) movement.
2013 12-01 Police detain dozens of people, including the sons of three ministers, as part of an investigation into corruption allegations. The government responds by sacking numerous police chiefs, and Prime Minister Erdogan denounces the inquiry as a “dirty operation” by political rivals, fuelling speculation about a feud between him and a former AK Party ally, influential US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
2013 10 The EU announces that membership talks with Turkey will restart in November.
2013 09 Trial begins of former senior military officers accused of plotting to overthrow an earlier pro-Islamist government led by Necmettin Erbakan in 1997.
2013 08 Former armed forces chief Gen Ilker Basbug and at least five other generals receive life sentences for plotting to overthrow the Islamist government, in the culmination of the trials of the government's secularist opponents that began in 2008.
2013 06 At Germany's instigation, the EU puts membership talks with Turkey on hold.
2013 05-06 Mass anti-government protests spread to several cities, sparked by plans to develop one of Istanbul's few green spaces. The police respond with violence, and two protestors die. Prime Minister Erdogan responds with defiance.
2013 04 The military leader of the Kurdish rebel PKK group, Murat Karayilan, says fighters will begin to withdraw from Turkey in early May, responding to a call by jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan for a ceasefire in March as part of peace negotiations with the government.
2012 10 Tension rises with Damascus. After Syrian mortar fire on a Turkish border town kills five civilians, parliament authorises military action inside Syria, and the armed forces respond with artillery fire into Syria. An EU Commission report on Ankara's progress towards EU membership highlights numerous concerns about democracy and human rights.
2012 09 A court jails three generals for 20 years for plotting the alleged Operation Sledgehammer (Ergenekon) coup against the Islamist government in 2003. Another 330 officers receive lesser sentences. All maintain their innocence.
2012 07 Turkey changes its rules of engagement after Syria shoots down a Turkish plane, saying Syrian troops will be seen as a military threat if they approach Turkey's borders.
2012 06 Turkey permits schools to offer the Kurdish language as an optional course.
2012 03 Former armed forces chief Gen Ilker Basbug goes on trial on charges of attempting to overthrow the government, which he denies as “tragicomic”.
2012 01 A court jails three people for incitement over the 2007 killing of prominent Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, one of them for life.
2011 12 Relations with Paris are soured after French MPs pass bill making it a criminal offence to deny that the mass killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire amounted to genocide. The bill is struck down by France's Constitutional Court.
2011 10 PKK rebels kill 24 Turkish troops near the Iraqi border, the deadliest attack against the military since the 1990s.
2011 08 President Gul appoints top military leaders after their predecessors resign en masse. This is the first time a civilian government has decided who commands the powerful armed forces.
2011 06 Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) wins resounding victory in general election. PM Erdogan embarks on third term in office. Thousands of refugees fleeing unrest in Syria stream into Turkey. Ankara demands reform in Syria.
2010 11 The whistle-blowing website Wikileaks publishes confidential cables revealing that France and Austria have been deliberately blocking Turkey's EU membership negotiations.
2010 09 Referendum on constitutional reform backs amendments to increase parliamentary control over the army and judiciary.
2010 07 Istanbul court indicts 196 people, including serving and former senior military officers, accused of plotting to overthrow the government as part of the alleged anti-Islamist Ergenekon organisation. PKK leader Murat Karayilan says it is willing to disarm in return for greater political and cultural rights for Turkey's Kurds. Turkey refuses to comment.
2010 05 Relations with Israel come under severe strain after nine Turkish activists are killed in an Israeli commando raid on an aid flotilla attempting to reach blockaded Gaza.
2010 04 Parliament begins debating constitutional changes proposed by the government with the stated aim of making Turkey more democratic. The opposition Republican People's Party says the Islamist-leaning ruling AK Party is seeking more control over the secular judiciary.
2010 03 US House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee passes resolution describing killing of Armenians by Turkish forces in World War I as genocide, prompting Ankara to recall its ambassador briefly.
2010 02 Nearly 70 members of the military are arrested over alleged “Sledgehammer” plot. Thirty-three officers are charged with conspiring to overthrow government.
2010 01 Newspaper carries report on alleged 2003 “Sledgehammer” plot to destabilise country and justify military coup. Armed forces head Gen Ilker Basbug insists that coups are a thing of the past.
date event
2009 12 The government introduces measures in parliament to increase Kurdish language rights and reduce the military presence in the mainly-Kurdish southeast as part of its “Kurdish initiative”. The Constitutional Court considers whether to ban the Democratic Society Party over alleged links to the PKK, in a move that could derail the initiative.
2009 10 The governments of Turkey and Armenia agree to normalise relations at a meeting in Switzerland. Both parliaments will need to ratify the accord. Turkey says opening the border will depend on progress on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
2009 07 President Abdullah Gul approves legislation proposed by the ruling AK Party giving civilian courts the power to try military personnel for threatening national security or involvement in organised crime. PM Tayyip Erdogan holds a rare meeting with the leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, Ahmet Turk, as part of efforts to solve the Kurdish problem politically. Turkey and Armenia began edging towards a restoration of ties in 2009 Turkey, Armenia split on new ties
2009 06 Trial starts of a further 56 people in connection with the alleged ultra-nationalist Ergenekon plot to bring down the government.
2009 02 Protesters marking the 10th anniversary of the arrest of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the banned Kurdish PKK movement, clash with police in south-east Turkey. Prominent Kurdish politician Ahmet Turk defies Turkish law by giving speech to parliament in his native Kurdish. State TV cuts live broadcast, as the language is banned in parliament.
2008 10 Trial starts of 86 suspected members of shadowy ultra-nationalist Ergenekon group, which is accused of plotting a series of attacks and provoking a military coup against the government.
2008 07 Petition to the constitutional court to have the governing AK Party banned for allegedly undermining the secular constitution fails by a narrow margin.
2008 02 Thousands protest at plans to allow women to wear the Islamic headscarf to university. Parliament approves constitutional amendments which will pave the way for women to be allowed to wear the Islamic headscarf in universities.
2007 12 Turkey launches a series of air strikes on fighters from the Kurdish PKK movement inside Iraq.
2007 10 Diplomatic row with United States after a US congressional committee recognises the killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as genocide. Parliament gives go-ahead for military operations in Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels. Voters in a referendum back plans to have future presidents elected by the people instead of by parliament.
2007 08 Abdullah Gul is elected president.
2007 07 AK Party wins parliamentary elections.
2007 05 Parliament brings forward national elections to 22 July to try end the standoff between secularists and Islamists over the choice of the next president. Parliament gives initial approval to a constitutional change allowing the president to be elected by a popular vote, but the amendment is vetoed by President Sezer. Tension mounts on Turkey-Iraq border amid speculation that Turkey may launch an incursion to tackle Kurdish rebels. Bomb blast in Ankara kills six and injures 100. PKK denies responsibility.
2007 04 Tens of thousands of supporters of secularism rally in Ankara, aiming to pressure Prime Minister Erdogan not to run in presidential elections because of his Islamist background. Ruling AK Party puts forward Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as its candidate after Mr Erdogan decides not to stand. He narrowly fails to win in the first round.
2007 01 Journalist and Armenian community leader Hrant Dink is assassinated. The murder provokes outrage in Turkey and Armenia. Prime Minister Erdogan says a bullet has been fired at democracy and freedom of expression.
2006 12 EU partially freezes Turkey's membership talks because of Ankara's failure to open its ports and airports to Cypriot traffic.
2006 09/30 Kurdish separatist group, the PKK, declares a unilateral ceasefire in operations against the military.
2006 08-09 Bombers target resorts and Istanbul. Shadowy separatist group Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAC) claims responsibility for some attacks and warns it will turn “Turkey into hell”.
2006 07 Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline opened at ceremony in Turkey.
2006 06 Parliament passes new anti-terror law which worries the EU and which rights groups criticise as an invitation to torture.
2006 05 Gunman opens fire in Turkey's highest court, killing a prominent judge and wounding four others. Thousands protest against what they perceive as an Islamic fundamentalist attack.
2006 04 At least a dozen people are killed in clashes between Kurdish protesters and security forces in the south-east. Several people are killed in related unrest in Istanbul.
2005 11 Multi-billion-dollar Blue Stream pipeline carrying Russian gas under the Black Sea to Turkey opens in the port of Samsun.
2005 10 EU membership negotiations officially launched after intense bargaining.
2005 07 Six killed in bomb attack on a train in the east. Officials blame the PKK.
2005 06 Parliament overturns veto by secularist President Sezer on government-backed amendment easing restrictions on teaching of Koran.
2005 05 Parliament approves amendments to new penal code after complaints that the previous version restricted media freedom. The EU welcomes the move but says the code still fails to meet all its concerns on human rights.
2005 01 New lira currency introduced as six zeroes are stripped from old lira, ending an era in which banknotes were denominated in millions.
2004 12 EU leaders agree to open talks in 2005 on Turkey's EU accession. The decision, made at a summit in Brussels, follows a deal over an EU demand that Turkey recognise Cyprus as an EU member.
2004 09 Parliament approves penal reforms introducing tougher measures to prevent torture and violence against women. Controversial proposal on criminalising adultery dropped.
2004 06 State TV broadcasts first Kurdish-language programme. Four Kurdish activists, including former MP Leyla Zana, freed from jail.
2004 05 PKK says it plans to end a ceasefire because of what it calls annihilation operations against its forces.
2004 01 Turkey signs protocol banning death penalty in all circumstances, a move welcomed in EU circles.
2003 11 25 people are killed and more than 200 injured when two car bombs explode near Istanbul's main synagogue. Days later two co-ordinated suicide bombings at the British consulate and a British bank in the city kill 28 people.
2003 06-07 Eyeing future EU membership, parliament passes laws easing restrictions on freedom of speech, Kurdish language rights, and on reducing political role of military.
2003 03 AK Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins seat in parliament. Within days Abdullah Gul resigns as prime minister and Erdogan takes over. Parliament decides not to allow deployment of US forces ahead of war in Iraq but allows US use of Turkish air space. It authorises dispatch of Turkish forces into Kurdish areas of northern Iraq.
2002 12 Constitutional changes allow head of ruling AK Party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to run for parliament, and so to become prime minister. He had been barred from public office because of previous criminal conviction.
2002 11 Islamist-based Justice and Development Party (AK) wins landslide election victory. Party promises to stick to secular principles of constitution. Deputy leader Abdullah Gul appointed premier.
2002 08 Parliament approves reforms aimed at securing EU membership. Death sentence to be abolished except in times of war and bans on Kurdish education, broadcasting to be lifted.
2002 03 Turkish and Greek governments agree to build a gas pipeline along which Turkey will supply Greece with gas.
2002 01 Turkish men are no longer regarded in law as head of the family. The move gives women full legal equality with men, 66 years after women's rights were put on the statute books.
2001 11 British construction firm Balfour Beatty and Impregilo of Italy pull out of the controversial Ilisu dam project. Swiss bank UBS follows suit in February 2002.
2001 06 Constitutional Court bans opposition pro-Islamic Virtue Party, saying it had become focus of anti-secular activities. New pro-Islamist party Saadet is set up by former Virtue Party members in July.
2001 05 European Court of Human Rights finds Turkey guilty of violating the rights of Greek Cypriots during its occupation of northern Cyprus.
2001 01 Diplomatic row with France after French National Assembly recognises the killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as genocide.
2000 Ahmet Necdet Sezer takes over from Suleyman Demirel as president.
20th century
date event
1999 11 Second quake in same region kills hundreds more.
1999 08 Devastating earthquake with epicentre at Izmit in Turkey's heavily populated northwest kills 17,000 people.
1999 07 Ocalan receives death sentence, later commuted to life imprisonment.
1999 02 PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan captured in Kenya.
1998 01 Welfare Party - the largest in parliament - banned. Yilmaz resigns amid corruption allegations, replaced by Bulent Ecevit.
1997 Coalition resigns after campaign led by the military, replaced by a new coalition led by the centre-right Motherland Party of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz.
1996 Centre-right coalition falls. Welfare Party leader Necmettin Erbakan heads first pro-Islamic government since 1923.
1995 Major military offensive launched against the Kurds in northern Iraq, involving some 35,000 Turkish troops. Ciller coalition collapses. Pro-Islamist Welfare Party wins elections but lacks support to form government - two major centre-right parties form anti-Islamist coalition. Turkey enters EU customs union.
1993 Tansu Ciller becomes Turkey's first woman prime minister, and Demirel elected president. Ceasefire with PKK breaks down.
1992 20,000 Turkish troops enter Kurdish safe havens in Iraq in anti-PKK operation. Turkey joins Black Sea alliance.
1990 Turkey allows US-led coalition against Iraq to launch air strikes from Turkish bases.
1987 Turkey applies for full EEC membership.
1984 Turkey recognises “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” Kurdistan Workers' Party launches separatist guerrilla war in southeast.
1983 General election won by Turgut Ozal's Motherland Party (ANAP).
1982 New constitution creates seven-year presidency, and reduces parliament to single house.
1980 Military coup follows political deadlock and civil unrest. Imposition of martial law.
1978 US trade embargo resulting from invasion lifted.
1976 Earthquake kills more than 5,000 people in western Van province.
1974 Turkish troops invade northern Cyprus.
1971 Army forces Demirel's resignation after spiral of political violence.
1965 Suleyman Demirel becomes prime minister - a position he is to hold seven times.
1963 Association agreement signed with European Economic Community (EEC).
1961 New constitution establishes two-chamber parliament.
1960 Army coup against ruling Democratic Party.
1952 Turkey abandons Ataturk's neutralist policy and joins Nato.
1950 Republic's first open elections, won by opposition Democratic Party.
1945 Neutral for most of World War II, Turkey declares war on Germany and Japan, but does not take part in combat. Joins United Nations.
1938 President Ataturk dies, succeeded by Ismet Inonu.
1928 Turkey becomes secular: clause retaining Islam as state religion removed from constitution.
1925 Adoption of Gregorian calendar. Prohibition of the fez.
1923 Assembly declares Turkey a republic and Kemal Ataturk president.