Turkey will be including driver's license information on digital identification cards starting on Sept. 18, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said. The ministry is also contemplating merging digital signature data, bank card information and health insurance plans on IDs, Soylu added.
Turkey's Press Advertisement Agency (BİK) distributed dictionaries containing misogynistic, sexist and insulting vocabulary to media organizations. The documents also included insult words that the Turkish Language Association (TDK) removed from their dictionaries for being sexist.
An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.7 struck Turkey’s eastern province of Muş on Sept. 16. Authorities said that no damage has been reported so far.
Turkish experts have pointed out that although drug use in Turkey has doubled in recent years, the country's public rehab facilities are exceedingly insufficient and treatment rates for drug addiction remain low. “95 percent of all addicts are men. As the level of education increases, the rate of addiction declines. In particular, young people are the open targets of drug dealers," said an addiction specialist.
A 13-year-old child was sentenced to seven years in prison for sexually abusing a nine-year-old Syrian child in the southwestern province of Denizli. During a hearing of the case held at the Denizli Seventh Heavy Penal Court on Sept. 14, the court handed the perpetrator, identified only as A.B., seven years in prison, which is the highest sentence that can be given to minors for sexually abusing a child.
Eleven trash-collecting mules in the Black Sea town of Zonguldak were retired with a ceremony that the mayor attended. As the four-legged municipal employees retire this weekend, residents will be asked to place trash in containers.
An Istanbul court on Sept. 15 rejected the acquittal plea of seven defendants in a case related to the 2013 Gezi Park protests. Nine of the sixteen civil society figures were acquitted of all the charges in a hearing on Feb. 18, but the case of seven defendants - who are abroad and are being tried in absentia - was separated.
Turkey's Petroleum Pipeline Corporation, among others, have failed to reveal their offshore executives' salaries on the grounds that the inquiry violated privacy guidelines. A main opposition deputy slammed the public corporations for withholding information about companies that are 100 percent publicly owned.
Turkish businesswoman Suna Kıraç died at the age of 79 on Sept. 15, Koç Holding has announced. Kıraç had been receiving treatment for ALS and was able to communicate via eye movement only.
Some 10 villages were affected by a sand storm that hit the Turkish capital on Sept. 12, threatening local workers' well-being and destroying their tents, a committee of officials from the main opposition said.
Police have apprehended five dealers for selling drug-filled balloons in the southern resort district of Fethiye. The drugs, which included nitrogen oxide, were being sold to foreign tourists in balloons filled via a special mechanism, authorities said.
Turkish police have detained five people over charges of “spreading propaganda” of the ISIS terror group on social media. The court ruled for the arrest of four of them, while releasing the other suspect under judicial control order, Turkish media outlets reported on Sept. 14.
Road signs displaying the Kurdish names for local neighborhoods in southeastern Van's Çaldıran district were taken down by the trustee mayor appointed by Ankara. Turkey's Interior Ministry has replaced more than 45 mayors from the HDP in southeast Turkey since the 2019 local elections.
New legislation surrounding e-scooters will restrict the vehicles' access to certain roads, place an age limit on their use and allow law enforcement to write tickets for drivers. There are currently over three million users in Turkey, the Transportation and Infrastructure Minister said.
A bus traveling from the northern province of Çorum to Istanbul toppled off the highway on the latter on Sept. 14, injuring nine people. While one injury was deemed critical, the driver's identity hasn't been disclosed yet.
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Dinçer Demirkent writes: Interior Minister Soylu said that the head of the Constitutional Court would be unable to commute to work without his protection team. What he meant was that he was the Minister who assigned the security team to the judge, implying he might just remove them. By doing so, Süleyman Soylu openly violates the article 138 of the Turkish Constitution; basic principle for the independence of the judiciary.
Vural Özdemir writes: A smirk is invariably political and never innocent. Smirk undermines democratic practices and human rights. Let’s bear in mind that oppression is sometimes enacted upon us in the form of a smirk.
Merkez İlaç CEO Mehmet Şapçı has told Health Minister Fahrettin Koca that most of the sanitizers used in hospitals are fake. According to Şapçı, these fake products have around 3.3 percent povidone-iodine, whereas the standard is at 10 percent. He also named the fake products in the letter he sent to the minister.
In a not-so-veiled message to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Constitutional Court President Zühtü Arslan has said that although the top court is open to criticism of its decisions, remarks which focus on judges and "go beyond criticism will not bring any benefit.” Arslan's comments came after he was targeted by Soylu over the top court's decision to permit inter-city demonstrations and marches.
A report prepared annually by the Hrant Dink Foundation showed that Armenians were the most targeted group in hate speech in Turkish media in 2019. According to the report, there were 5,515 instances of hate speech in local and national media and 803 of them targeted Armenians. Syrian refugees followed Armenians with 760 instances, Greeks ranked third with 754 and Jews were targeted 676 times.
Turkey's premier petrochemical company Petkim has been involved in illegal oil business with Syria, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Files, which said that Petkim and its associate Petrokim completed over $90 million in "suspicious transactions" between March 2010 and January 2016.
Handan Bul, a 23-year-old woman was shot dead by a coworker she turned down in the western province of Bilecik. The 30-year-old assailant, Yusuf Uğur also shot and killed himself on site.
After the suspicious death of Kurdish soldier Mustafa Araz in the province of Kırklareli in May was ruled a suicide by military officials, Araz's family has stated that they believe their son was murdered. The family also disputes that the suicide note which was added to his file actually belongs to Mustafa Araz.
A young man is offering unique codes provided by the government to visitors of the Diyarbakır Courthouse, as the codes are required to enter public buildings. Initially created as a traveling precaution during the pandemic, HES codes are available online, but not everyone knows g-how to get them, the young man said.
The HDP has conducted an online meeting with representatives from 26 EU member states regarding Turkey-EU relations, human rights, and the Kurdish issue. HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan said that the EU needs to take a more consistent stance against Turkey's "increasingly authoritarian government."
The founders of private Altınbaş University were detained on charges of fraud in Istanbul. The brothers allegedly reported buying boat fuel to benefit from tax exemptions regarding marine transportation.
An Ankara court has ruled for the continuation of imprisonment of former HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ on charges related to 2014 Kobane riots. The Kobane investigation was launched in 2014 and reopened in 2019, and has failed to produce an indictment for Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ since. Lawyer Levent Kanat has said that new charges were brought against the politicians over the same incident to make sure that they remain in prison.
Heavy machinery entered the sacred Alevi grounds of Munzur Springs in eastern Dersim, despite promises from the governor's office that landscaping in the area wouldn't involve construction machinery. The state-run project will reportedly cost eight million liras, and was allegedly approved by a natural resources protection board.
Future Party chairman Ahmet Davutoğlu has said that the party will nominate its own presidential candidate in the upcoming elections, amid rumors that opposition parties are contemplating of coalescing behind a joint candidate. Davutoğlu said that although Future Party is open to cooperation with other parties concerning various issues, it still aims for the rulership on its own.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has announced that its 72nd Great Congress will no longer be held at CerModern, but instead at Bilkent Hotel. The change came after CerModern notified the TTB that it could not meet the COVID-19-related safety guidelines designated by the Ankara Governor's Office.
Run by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), the Islamic Research Center (İSAM) has seen a 600-percent increase in its budget over the last 16 years. Known for holding a symposium about Islamic fatwas on medical issues, the foundation is chaired by a founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
A group of health workers in Ankara had to barricade the door of an emergency room when loved ones of a patient wanted to push their way in to see the deceased gunshot victim. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the workers had been afraid of a violent attack, as health workers in Turkey are often targeted by patients' families.
Turkey's Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK) got into a brawl with an actor over a complaint from an 11-year-old viewer who said the actor's show "affected him a lot." After RTÜK shared the message on social media, the actor protested the council's reporting of his show to the public.
Climate activists who have been living in western Kaz Mountains in protest of destructive mining activities were detained as gendarmerie raided their campsite on Sept. 22. One activist said that the detentions were prompted by the wishes of Cengiz Holding, a company known for their close ties to Ankara who recently signed a tender for mining in the Kaz Mountains.
An initiative launched by lawyers close to the government has announced that it has collected the minimum number of signatures need to establish its own bar association in Istanbul. The founding member of the Istanbul No. 2 Bar Association, Cavit Tatlı has said that they will submit their application to the Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) on Sept. 23.
Turkey's state-owned Halkbank has urged a judge to dismiss a U.S. indictment accusing the bank of helping Iran evade American sanctions. At a hearing in Manhattan federal court on Sept. 18, a lawyer for Halkbank said its status as a Turkish “instrumentality” shielded it from prosecution because of sovereign immunity.
Turkey's unemployment rate rose to 13.4 percent. and participation edged up in the May-July period in which a coronavirus lockdown was lifted and a ban on layoffs remained in place, data showed on Sept. 10, painting a clearer picture of the pandemic's fallout.
Turkish Airlines (THY) observed a drop of almost 65 percent in the number of August travelers compared to the year before. Domestic flights saw a smaller drop of 47.1 percent, while international flights shrank by 75.4 percent, THY said.
Urban Beat
The Odunpazarı Modern Museum in western Eskişehir won the award for "international project of the year over £1m" at the London Museums+Heritage Awards. The museum opened its doors just over a year ago in the city's ancient Odunpazarı neighborhood.
The 48th Istanbul Music Festival will be held online, streaming pre-recorded performances in historical venues. Starting on Sept. 18, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) will make available the performances that honor composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
Heavy presence of the Asian tiger mosquito was detected in four Istanbul districts, concerning locals as the bug can carry malaria, the Zika virus and encephalitis. The invasive species have been increasing in population around Istanbul in the past decade, an Istanbul University veterinarian said.
Ali Demir writes: So the property of the local non-Muslims collapsed, and what happened? Nothing! The whole country is now composed of non-local foreigners. The greedy tailor apprentice that murdered his master could not sew a jacket, and will never be able to.