Lawyers of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan have called upon the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to contact Turkey's Ministry of Justice to demand and ensure that the authorities take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to the Imralı prison where Öcalan is imprisoned. The lawyers have also demanded that Turkish authorities allow them as well as family members to speak with Öcalan on the phone.
Karakurt residents forced to leave homes amid virus outbreak as dam project set to submerge their village
Residents of the Karakurt village in the eastern province of Kars have been for years fighting against a dam project preparing to flood their houses. However, their efforts have gone in vain. They have been asked by the local governor's office to evacuate their houses despite the coronavirus outbreak.
U.S. President Donald Trump has called Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew to express his good wishes for Easter. Trump and Bartholomew were scheduled to meet in May, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting has been postponed to next year.
Istanbul Airport will be opening a third runway in June, making it the second airport in Europe to function three independent runways. The third runway is expected to lower taxi times and increase the number of flights that can land and take off hourly.
Turkish news anchor Fatih Portakal assured his audience April 16 that he would continue to deliver the news despite the fine of a three-time cancellation of his news show. Portakal was fined for his criticism of the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some 400 Turkish trucks, most of which are loaded with vegetables and fruits, have been stuck at a border gate between Turkey and Iran since Ankara stopped traffic flows with its neighbor in the wake of its severe coronavirus outbreak. Drivers have said that they are constantly being threatened by unknown assailants who are stealing the deliveries in the trucks.
Firefighters in the southern province of Muğla have used CPR on kittens to bring them back to life after a fire erupted in a container used by a supermarket. "When we saw that the kittens were back to life, we were so happy. There's nothing more beautiful than a living being holding on to life after nearly dying," one of the firefighters said.
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has blasted the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government's decision to build one of its two recently-announced pandemic hospitals on the site of Istanbul’s Atatürk airport, alleging that the damage caused to the runways amounts to $2 billion. “Two long runways have been broken, and thus have been brought to a state in which they can no longer be used," said CHP Istanbul deputy Özgür Karabat.
Istanbul Municipality demolished illegal construction carried out by Turkey’s Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, daily Cumhuriyet reported April 14. Meanwhile, pro-government journalist Ersoy Dede claimed that the construction was only a gazebo, and so its removal could not be called demolition.
New legislation in Turkey to allow Council of Higher Education to dismiss academics for ‘propaganda’
Former legislation that was dismissed by Turkey’s Supreme Court in 2019 was voted back into effect, allowing the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) to layoff academics for conducting propaganda for a terrorist organization. “The concept of ‘propagating a terrorist organization’ is the most commonly used tool to limit freedom of speech in Turkey,” said an opposition lawmaker.
The remains of a PKK militant have been delivered to the family three years after his death. The family received their son's body in a PTT cargo package.
The judicial reform package of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will allow courts to fine social media portals instead of individual users. The new law will allow officials to carry out on-location inspections into hosting service providers by officials from Turkey's Information Technologies and Communications Institution (BTK), according to daily Sözcü.
Halis Bayancuk -- believed to be ISIS' most senior operative in Turkey -- was re-arrested on April 9, upon an appeal of prosecutors, just hours after a court ruled to free him. The re-arrest order came after the decision to release Bayancuk caused an uproar among Turkish citizens.
Twitter has exploded after a hint that one of the main characters of the new Turkish series Netflix Aşk 101 (Love 101) will be LGBT. Twitter in Turkey on April 8 headed the hashtag #netflixadamol (which translates as "Netflix, be a man").
Thousands of prisoners are soon set to released over fears of the novel coronavirus spreading through jails. However, bus operators have turned this into an opportunity, demanding outrageous prices from them, reaching as high as 1,200 liras ($188) for one-way ticket. Some of the inmates who could not afford to pay such prices applied to jail management officials regarding this issue, but they have been told: “You are on your own.”