Domestic
Archaeologist Merve Kaçmış, who was employed at Gaziantep's Zeugma Mosaic Museum, committed suicide by jumping off the 8th-floor of her family's home in the Bağlar district of Diyarbakır earlier this week. In a suicide note that the 33-year-old Kaçmış left behind, she claimed that she faced bullying at work and was being pressured to take responsibility for 150-200 missing artifacts.
Lawyers who have been members of a bar association of Turkey for more than 15 years are now eligible to apply for a green passport, a special type of passport that allows entry into European Union countries without a visa. A green passport was granted to public servants only originally.
Two soldiers died during shooting practice in the southeastern province of Hakkâri. Two other soldiers were transported to the hospital to receive treatment for injuries inflicted during shooting practice.
Three Turkish soldiers have been killed in an area covered by Turkey's military operation in northeastern Syria dubbed "Operation Peace Spring." The soldiers were killed when a car bomb was detonated during the soldiers’ road controls, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.
The İzmir Metropolitan Municipal Council has designated seven cemevi buildings as official places of worship in the zoning plans. The AKP and MHP councillors have voted against the proposal, but as CHP councillors hold the majority in the municipal council, the proposal was accepted.
The lawsuit concerning the 2018 high-speed train crash in Ankara started on Jan. 13. The first hearing was held at the Ankara 30th Heavy Penal Court and two of the three jailed defendants were released. Murat Yıldırım, who failed to switch the rails on the day of the accident, said that there were no control mechanisms to check that the switch had been completed, and added that there were no signaling systems to alert him about the error.
HDP deputy Beştaş has asked in a parliamentary question why Kurdish was excluded from a newly launched translation service at Istanbul Airport, which currently supports 36 languages. "Citizens who do not know Turkish face numerous difficulties from hospital to transportation services. Especially, the exclusion of Kurdish from instant translation services on a very critical platform where airport announcements are made is in need of explanation,” Beştaş said.
A newly appointed research assistant at Ankara University has apologized after a 2016 photo of him holding a gun in front of a university building surfaced. Varol said that the gun was a toy gun and the picture was “meant to be joke.” The incident however put the university in spotlight, with even a deputy of the main opposition CHP taking the issue to the parliament's agenda.
As thousands of passengers suffered from delays and cancellations in flights during last week's storms at Istanbul's new airport, Atatürk Airport continued to function properly, with Russian President Vladimir Putin using it. Atatürk Airport started to be used for cargo planes following the transfer of flights to the new airport - a move the opposition continues to criticize due to continuing disrupts in flights at the new one.
Passengers can now rent 'sleep pods' in the International Departures area of the Istanbul Airport. The pods are nine euros an hour and come with clean sheets, USB and electric sockets, and a special luggage compartment.
A magnitude 4.8 earthquake shook Istanbul on Jan. 11, causing panic among residents of the megacity. Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said so far authorities were not yet aware of any "negative impacts."
President Erdoğan's criticism of young people for “getting married late” has stirred the social media, with several people saying that people first need to be financially independent before thinking about marriage. The opposition also criticized Erdoğan's remarks, saying that first the government should tackle the high unemployment level among the youth before suggesting them to get married.
A fishing boat clashed with a tanker in Northern Istanbul, resulting in the death of three fishermen.
A Turkish court on Jan. 14 released Assyrian priest Sefer Bileçen on judicial control, four days after his arrest on charges of "aiding and abetting" the outlawed PKK. Bileçen is said to be the only caretaker of the Mor Yakup Monastery in Turkey's southeastern province of Mardin.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called for a joint attitude against those promoting life without marriage, as he criticized the decrease in the number of people getting married. "The marriage age of our youth is increasing. Unfortunately, they don't get married at a young age. Most of them get married after the age of 30 or never do so. How can such a thing happen!" he said, adding that he recommends marriage.
Editor's Pick
duvar englis podcasts
Duvar English’s editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel and pollster Can Selçuki are joined by Robert Bosch Academy's Galip Dalay to discuss the impact of Turkish government's recent domestic policy moves on Ankara's international relations. They look for answers to whether there is any possibility that Turkey's relations with the West might change for the better any time soon.
Taner Akçam writes: The regime’s bold stroke vis-a-vis Hagia Sophia should not be seen as stemming from desperation. Rather, it is simply meant to relay the not-so-subtle message of the path to be followed by the "New Republic", and that message is that the “annihilationist tradition” of the old regime, inherited by the Republic’s founders, will be retained in the era to come.
Politics
The European Union has said that it's "extremely worried" about the escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean. Also on Aug. 11, Turkish Coast Guard Command announced that three people were injured when Greek navy opened fire on a private boat off the coast of Muğla.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) didn't ask to borrow money from Turkey, former Central Bank head Durmuş Yılmaz said to refute President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's claim. "This is a lie. The issue is technical. In short, the IMF didn't ask to borrow money from us. A commitment was made to a contingency fund and it wasn't realized. The proof: There is no such record on the Central Bank balance," Yılmaz tweeted on Aug. 11.
Women from the ruling AKP's women branches across Turkey have simultaneously filed criminal complaints against pro-government Islamist columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak for referring to defenders of the Istanbul Convention as “prostitutes.” Lawyer Rabia İlhan, who is the chairperson of the AKP's Istanbul women branch, said that AKP women will never stay silent against “dirty- and narrow-minded journalists.”
A new report to Congress by the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Defense has criticised Turkey over being a “major facilitation hub” for ISIS militants even as the country simultaneously engages in “counter-ISIS activities.” The report also pointed to allegations of human rights abuses by Turkish-backed “hardline Islamist militias” in northern Syria.
A large piece of air conditioning equipment was removed from the chimney of an ancient palace in Istanbul following public outcry about its installment. The 16th century palace was commissioned by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificient.
A construction project that will damage the Munzur Springs, considered sacred in the Alevi faith, has started in the eastern province of Dersim. Munzur River is a stream that runs through the Munzur Valley National Park, which is also home to the sacred goats of Dersim.
Turkey's Human Rights Association (İHD) observed dozens of deaths caused by rights violations in the first six months of 2020. Fourteen women were killed by men, two inmates died in prison and three law enforcement officers were found dead under suspicious conditions in the southeast.
President Erdoğan has once again given sales of white goods as an example to the economy’s current “climb," saying that it was thanks to the AKP that people now enjoy an "increased level of welfare." Erdoğan's comments came after Turkish Lira hit all-time lows against the euro and dollar as the coronavirus pandemic triggered massive capital outflows from the country.
Turkey’s state-run Halkbank, facing trial in the U.S. over charges of breaking sanctions on Iran, said on Aug. 10 that it was immune from prosecution and that U.S. laws did not cover its alleged misconduct. In a Manhattan court filing, Halkbank said its status as an "instrumentality" of Turkey shielded it from prosecution under principles of sovereign immunity.
Turkish hotels will cover COVID-19 testing and isolation costs for Russian tourists if they show symptoms of the disease at the airport, Sputnik Turkey reported. Hospitalization costs will fall upon the traveler's insurance.
Turkish Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has said that the occupancy rate of Islamic schools - Anatolian İmam Hatip high schools - has reached 99.8 percent. The statistics drew ire on social media, with hundreds of users pointing to the fact that students who fail to enroll in a high school are automatically placed in İmam Hatip schools.
Turkey announced on Aug. 10 that it dispatched a vessel named Oruç Reis to conduct a seismic survey in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean, a move that Greece said was "illegal." Turkey dismissed the Greek objections, with President Erdoğan saying that Ankara was ready to cooperate in finding "an acceptable formula that protects the rights of all."
Some 40 percent of youth aged between 25-29 are financially dependent on their parents, said a deputy of main opposition CHP. "Some 40 percent of our 6.1 million young people in the age group of 25-29, i.e. 2.5 million, are neither in unemployment nor in education. Due to the ruling government's policies, our youth in this age group are unfortunately living in a way that is depending on their parents,” Veli Ağbaba said.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is planning to make changes in the electoral system when parliament reopens in October. Various commissions were formed to work on the changes on the Law on Political Parties, Elections Law and Parliament Bylaws, sources told Duvar, adding that the first draft bills of the next legislative year will concern them.
The U.S.' health protection agency CDC has designated Turkey as a risky place for COVID-19, urging Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to the country. "COVID-19 risk in Turkey is high. If you get sick in Turkey and need medical care, resources may be limited," the CDC said.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has named the party's new top brass, the Central Executive Board (MYK), after its 37th ordinary congress. The number of individuals in the CHP MYK was decreased to 16 from 18. Tuncay Özkan and Ünal Çeviköz were left out, while Böke, Ali Öztunç, Yüksel Taşkın and Ahmet Akın were handed posts.
The Ankara branch of Turkish Health Workers' Union (SES) has said that there are currently approximately 50,000 coronavirus patients in the capital, 3,500 of whom are receiving treatment at hospitals. The SES based this figure on the number of patients each family physician in the capital is monitoring for suspected coronavirus infection.
All passengers travelling from Turkey to Germany are required to take COVID-19 tests and those who do not submit a negative PCR test result will not be allowed to leave the country. However many questions are still unanswered regarding this new implementation as travelers still do not know where they will be placed under quarantine, who will cover the cost of their accommodation should they stay at a hotel and how their treatment will be actualized in Turkey.
Turkish archaeologist Dr. Vuslat Müller Karpe was buried in the ancient city of Samuha where she has led excavation work for the past 15 years. The 3,800-years-old settlement was a political hub in the Hittite civilization.
Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) data revealed that seasonally adjusted unemployment in May rose by 0.2 percent from May 2019. Some 4,166,000 people reported unemployment in May.
Economy
Goldman Sachs revised its periodic forecasts for the Turkish lira, anticipating that it will continue to fall and will reach 8.25 to the dollar by next year. The lira has been the world's second-worst performing currency thus far this month, dropping four percent for a total of an 18 percent decline in 2020.
Economist and former Treasury advisor Mahfi Eğilmez has said that the Turkish economy is no longer predictable. "In an unpredictable economy, due to the fact the risks increase, this means that expenses will also increase,” Eğilmez wrote in a column on Aug. 5.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 15 that companies involved in construction of the TurkStream pipeline will be subject to the U.S. penalties unless they stop their works. “It’s a clear warning to companies. Aiding and abetting Russia’s malign influence projects will not be tolerated. Get out now or risk the consequences,” he said.
The Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation (TÜPRAŞ) ranked as Turkey's largest industrial business with 87.9 billion liras in annual production revenue. The oil company was followed mostly by automotive producers.
On the second anniversary of Turkey's transformation into a presidential system, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has prepared a report detailing how the country stands in the ensuing years, finding that the Turkish lira has lost four times its value since 2007.
Urban Beat
Mois Gabay writes: Do you think the Camondo family will be included in the Beyoğlu Culture Road project conducted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism? What about Arif Ergin’s “Tekvin” novel, in which he imagined that there would be a “Camondo Museum” one day?
Artifacts from Istanbul's ancient Hagia Sophia will be displayed in a nearby public building that will be transformed into a museum. Formerly used as a land office, the late-19th-century building in historical Sultanahmet will be converted on the president's orders.
Luke Frostick writes: Edanur Kuntman’s Tales from Behind the Window has been nominated for an Eisner Award. If she wins, she will be the first Turk to win an Eisner. The story is a piece of creative-nonfiction and its main narrative is drawn from the memories of Kuntman’s grandmother growing up in the Çarşamba district of Samsun.