U.S. President Donald Trump said on Nov. 13 that Turkey's purchase of a Russian missile defense system had created a "very serious challenge" for the U.S. Turkish President Erdoğan said the two countries could only overcome their dispute on the S-400s and F-35s through dialogue.
Senator Mitch McConnell has urged the U.S. not to "turn a cold shoulder to Turkey" and work with its NATO ally. "Turning a cold shoulder all together would be a major strategic mistake and would jeopardize our national security and our interests,” McConnell said.
A group of protesters held a demonstration at noon on Nov. 13 at Lafayette Park, across from the White House, to protest Turkish President Erdoğan's visit to the U.S. The last time Erdoğan visited Washington, his bodyguards were caught on video beating demonstrators at Sheridan Circle.
Turkish-Soviet relations expanded from economic to military affairs only when the U.S. Congress imposed an arms embargo on Ankara in 1975. The White House and the State Department opposed actions that would alienate a NATO ally, but Congress sought to punish Turkey for its operation on Cyprus in 1974. Today more sanctions from the Trump administration, especially if they are cast broadly enough to significantly harm the Turkish economy, will dramatically strengthen anti-Americanism.
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton has accused U.S. President Donald Trump of making his personal interests guide his foreign policy decisions, as he said that there is a personal or business relationship dictating Trump’s position on Turkey because none of his advisers are aligned with him on the issue. The Trump Organization has a property in Istanbul, and the president's daughter Ivanka Trump attended the opening with President Erdoğan in 2012.
Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have once again been accused of committing human rights violations, with military officials of the U.S. having drone footage that appear to show several incidents that civilians were executed. Some in the U.S. military who saw the American drone footage said the video, combined with initial, internal military reports, raised strong concerns about apparent war crimes, several U.S. military officials said.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has voiced his support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying that "our prayers are with the Turkish delegation in the U.S." Bahçeli's remarks came hours before the meeting between Erdoğan and Trump, which was described as "meaningful and important" by the MHP leader.
The United States has urged Turkey to look into the reports of human rights violations and war crimes that took place at the hands of Ankara-backed rebels during Turkey's Operation Peace Spring, while citing the killing of Syrian Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf as an example of the incidents. Washington also asked Ankara to investigate the reports of usage of chemical weapons, specifically white phosphorus.
The European Union has criticized Turkey for the rearrest of prominent journalist Ahmet Altan a week after his release. "Media freedom and freedom of expression are key to a functioning democracy. The EU has at all levels and in all fora expressed its opposition on the persistent erosion of press freedom in Turkey and, in particular, at the high number of journalists imprisoned there," the EU said.
France's foreign minister said on Nov. 12 that the country will take back 11 suspected French ISIS militants from Turkey. The deportations will be conducted within the framework of a 2014 agreement with Turkey, said Christophe Castaner.
An ISIS militant has been waiting in the buffer zone between Turkey and Greece after being deported by the former and rejected by the latter. The U.S. citizen militant is among the first jihadists that Turkey deported, as the repatriation of ISIS members has become a subject of debate due to the European countries stripping them of their citizenship in order not to take them back.
The city council of the Karabun district has voiced its opposition a plan devised by the Izmir governorate to launch a tender for the rental of a geothermal field in the area. Reminding that Karaburun is home to around 120,00 olive trees, the council said geothermal energy plants in the nearby provinces of Aydın and Denizli have led to environmental destruction.
A key member of the Union of Turkey Bar Association (TBB) resigned from his post after a call for an extraordinary general assembly made by 12 association members--including the branches of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir—was rejected by the administration. The leadership of TBB President Metin Feyzioğlu, who has increasingly developed a stance in harmony with Erdoğan and his government, has been a source of unease among union members.
Former President of Turkey's Constitutional Court Hasim Kılıç has stated that the judiciary in Turkey is under political siege. Kılıç noted that a great majority of the Supreme Election Board and the Council of Judges and Prosecutors are appointed by President Erdoğan, who is the leader of a political party.
President Erdoğan has slammed the European Union for its decision to sanction Turkey in relation to the country's drilling activities off the coast of Cyprus, saying that the bloc should "reconsider" its attitude towards Turkey, "which keeps ISIS militants in prisons and under control in Syria."
The district of Beytüşşebap is in the southeastern province of Şırnak, which is the province with the second-highest birthrate in the country, lacks a single obstetrician or gynecologist. Doctors appointed to districts in Şırnak frequently have resigned from their positions.
From the editor
Since its establishment in Aug. 2016, Gazete Duvar has been one of the most successful examples of a new wave of soul-searching in Turkey’s media. We now have the honor of joining the family with a new online publication in English which intends to bring a new breath for Turkey-watchers throughout the world.
Police have detained a woman for throwing a Molotov cocktail into her husband's business in the Black Sea province of Amasya. The woman cited her husband's abusive behavior as the motive of her attack.
Former British intelligence officer and a major White Helmets backer James Gustaf Edward Le Mesurier was found dead in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district. His death came just days after Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova accused him of being a spy in the Balkans and the Middle East.
The Uzbek Foreign Ministry has summoned Turkish Ambassador Mehmet Süreyya Er to inquire about the ongoing investigation regarding the death of Nadira Kadirova. The Uzbek woman was working in the house of a Turkish deputy from the ruling AKP when she allegedly committed suicide.
Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey have repeatedly violated an arms embargo on Libya, the United Nations Security Council Libya sanctions committee has said, adding that the three countries "routinely and sometimes blatantly supplied weapons with little effort to disguise the source."
A court has arrested journalist Ahmet Altan a week after he was released from prison in a case related to the botched coup of 2016. The decision to rearrest Altan was slammed internationally, with press and rights groups criticizing the judicial system and media freedom in Turkey. "Law has been buried under concrete," Altan's lawyer said.
European Union foreign ministers agreed on economic sanctions over Turkey's drilling off the coast of Cyprus, setting up the legal framework for travel bans and asset freezes but leaving names until a later date. The move was slammed by Turkish Foreign Ministry, which said that the country "will not cease to protect our rights stemming from international law and rights and interests of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus."
Main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is to pay President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a settlement of 50,000 TL after Erdoğan filed a lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu over comments he made during a speech in parliament last year. Erdoğan's lawyers had initially requested a sum of 1 million TL.
A court has ordered the arrest of the co-mayors of the eastern province of Van's İpekyolu district over “terror charges.” Yacan and Kurt were previously removed from their posts to be replaced with a trustee.
According to a recent report by the human rights commission of the Turkish Parliament, Silivri prison's inmate population more than doubled its official capacity. The commission also determined that the drinking water in the prison was coming through old and rusty pipes, which was resulting in health problems among the inmates.
The killing of a Syrian Kurdish politician in northern Syria during Turkish military offensive has raised criticism worldwide, with the murder reportedly committed by Ankara-backed rebels. The Amnesty International said Khalaf was dragged out of the car by the Ahrar al-Sharqiya militia, beaten and killed in a cold-blooded manner.
The European Court of Human Rights has fined Turkey to pay over 295 million Turkish liras in cases of rights violations in the past 16 years, Justice Ministry said in response to an opposition deputy's parliamentary question.
An official from the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), Turkey's broadcast authority, has said that amendments will be made regarding the content that is considered admissible in ice cream adds, which he said “exceeded moral boundaries."
For the first time in Germany’s history, a politician with Turkish descent has won the mayor’s office in a major city. Belit Onay, a 38-year-old parliamentarian from the Green Party, claimed nearly 53 percent of the votes in a runoff ballot on Nov. 10.
Finding a building to rent in order to set the place up as headquarters turned into a major struggle for former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, with over 10 building owners turning him down over concerns of "getting into trouble afterwards."
Both Erdoğan and Trump have utilized their sons-in-law as "back channels" to foster the relationship between the two countries, especially during critical times, says an article penned by The New York Times. Berat Albayrak and Jared Kushner "have developed an informal, next-generation line of communication" between the two leaders, says the newspaper.
Following Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan's remarks regarding government support for all areas of exports, a new regulation was published in the Official Gazette, stipulating granting green passports, which ease visa requirements for plenty of countries, to exporters with an annual volume higher than 500,000 dollars.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Faik Öztrak has blasted the latest official inflation figures provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), claiming that the actual figures are much higher. Öztrak urged TÜİK to reveal the details of their research.
Fitch has revised Turkey's outlook from "negative" to "stable" and affirmed its “BB-“ rating. “Turkey has continued to make progress in rebalancing and stabilizing its economy," Fitch analysts said.
A labor watchdog has announced that nearly 24,000 workers were killed in work-related accidents in the past 17 years, while slamming the government for its policies regarding workplace security.
Halkbank's lawyer Andrew Hruska has said that they will seek dismissal of the U.S. indictment, while also calling on Judge Berman to recuse himself over the court's impartiality.
Urban Beat
A parliamentary commission on technology addiction has prepared a report recommending certain methods geared towards combating this addiction, which include preventing parents from giving their children tablets or smartphones while at restaurants and malls, and encouraging that the concept of internet addiction be addressed in the Friday sermons at mosques.
Selda Bağcan, who in recent years has achieved international acclaim and is among Turkey's most beloved and renowned singers, will be performing in concert alongside the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra on Dec. 11 at the city's expansive Bostancı Gösteri Merkezi venue.
Acclaimed Turkish film director Ferzan Özpetek received the Italian Order of Merit, the country’s highest honor in Rome on Monday. Özpetek, born in Istanbul but a longtime resident of Italy, enjoys a large audience in Italy, Turkey, and worldwide.
The train stops at the Erzincan, İliç and Erzurum stations on the way to Kars, and at the Divriği and Bostankaya stations on the way back to Ankara. Stopping times are arranged so passengers can enjoy the sites and museums near the stations.
Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir published a correction and apology after a translation mistake was made in an earlier interview given by Turkish author Aslı Erdoğan to an Italian newspaper.
Municipalities in the capital Ankara have decorated pavement stones with mathematics, physics and chemistry formulas in a district due to the area being heavily student populated.
Environment and City Planning Minister Murat Kurum has stated that the purpose of recent draft legislation outlining the transfer of authority of several Bosphorus-adjacent districts to the central government was not to zone the areas around the strait for development, but to protect them and increase green spaces. Critics fear that if the legislation passes, a Bosphorus Ministry would be established, the president and deputy leaders of which would be appointed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.