Domestic
Four middle-aged siblings living together in the same home in Istanbul's Fatih district died of cyanide consumption. While some reports have described the incident as a collective suicide, according to others, Oya Yetişkin was the last of the siblings to die, which has led to speculation that she poisoned her siblings by putting cyanide in their fruit juice, and killed herself last.
Following his release from prison after 490 days, former main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Eren Erdem said that the current jailing tactic of the government is "to isolate and demoralize" people. "Those with a weak political stance might be afraid but they cannot terrorize me with pressure", Erdem told in an interview with Gazete Duvar.
Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry reportedly plans to introduce a regulation that allows cell phone operators to inform Turkish authorities on the whereabouts of local tourists.
After statements of repeated encouragement from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan prior to the elections urging for the increase in the land alotted for the planting of hemp, the total area of land in Turkey in which hemp has been planted for the purpose of producing hemp seeds, fibers and oil has risen fivefold year on year. While hemp was planted on 20 hectares last year, that number rose to 100 this year.
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.
After many calls from society to "apologize to the Zaza people", including from Justice and Development Party (AKP) Vice-President Cevdet Yılmaz, Turkish TV host Müge Anlı refused to apologize.
According to Turkey's Ministry of Internal Affairs, there are 1 million 721 thousand 717 children among Syrian refugees living in Turkey. In spite of policies instituted by the Ministry of Education that are geared towards the education of young Syrians, many obstacles are in their way, such as child labor, child marriage, and peer bullying.
Eight people were detained on suspicion of being members of ISIS and preparing "sensational" attacks following the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The suspects were reportedly planning to attack Republic Day celebrations on Oct. 29.
Turkey marks the 96th anniversary of Republic Day with celebrations across the country throughout the day. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan released a message to mark the day, saying that the country is conducting a struggle similar to the Independence War.
Turkish authorities on Monday detained 20 foreign nationals with suspected links to ISIS. The detentions come a day after President Donald Trump announced that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria, near the Turkish border. It was not immediately clear whether Monday's detentions were related to Baghdadi's death.
Turkey-based Japanese earthquake expert Yoshinori Moriwaki says the possible strong earthquake expected near Istanbul could have a magnitude of 8 or 8.5.
Many Syrians in Turkey have been living with fears of being sent back to their homeland. Yusuf Abbas came to Turkey by himself illegally in 2012. His older sister and uncles live in the Syrian city of Manbij. When asked about the possibility of being sent back to Syria to the safe zone that Turkey intends to establish, Yusuf said: “I'll go to Izmir and take the first boat across to a Greek Island."
'They dismissed us to employ their close friends. If there was a surplus, why hire new workers? This means they had to create space for their own people and they did.'
According to the 'New Tax Liabilities Draft' presented by the Finance Ministry, the Tax on Institutions is to be lowered while the Income Tax is to be raised. Three new taxes are also introduced, and the ceiling for the Income Tax is increased. The Income Tax for football players was set at 20%.
On Monday, nine suspects being tried for murder were acquitted in an Istanbul court. The suspects were being charged in the 2014 murder of the daughter and driver of Iranian drug kingpin Naji Sherifi Zindashti. The decision marks the end of a major showdown, which includes everything from drug smuggling to murders that crossed borders. Even a summary of what transpired is striking enough to make Pablo Escobar jealous.
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
A prominent health expert has said that about 3,000 people are believed to have been infected with the COVID-19 virus during the prayers held at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia on July 24. "There were about 1,000 asymptotic patients there, based on forecasts. If we think of the transmission rate, those patients have infected 2,000-3,000 others. I believe that gathering will increase the cases in Istanbul,” Assoc. Pro. Dr. Üner said on Aug. 8.
Turkey's parliament speaker Mustafa Şentop, from the ruling AKP, has said that there is no need for Turkey to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, an international accord designed to protect women. Şentop's comments came as the AKP is considering whether to pull Turkey out of the convention, alarming campaigners who see the pact as key to combating rising domestic violence.
Turkey's Arab Alawite community has celebrated the Gadir Hum holiday amid concerns of rising cases of coronavirus in Turkey. Mehmet Ali Dönmez, who organized Gadir Hum festivities in the Samandağ district of Hatay, which is prominently Arab Alawite, said that the celebration of the festival is in defiance of cultural assimilation.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has voiced support to Finance Minister Berat Albayrak amid the country's worsening economy. Several AKP officials, including Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, defended Albayrak on Twitter via using the hashtag "We stand with Berat Albayrak."
Amnesty International has called on the Turkish government to "fully implement" the Istanbul Convention rather withdraw from it. The prominent organization said that Turkey's withdrawal from the convention would have "disastrous consequences" for millions of women and girls in the country.
Rights organizations will take the case of Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal -- who have been on a hunger strike since April 5 to support their demand for a fair trial -- to the Constitutional Court. The move comes after an Istanbul court in July denied the release of Timtik and Ünsal, despite a medical report that says it is not “suitable” for the two lawyers to remain in jail.
Some 64 percent of Turkish people are of the belief that it is not safe to allow schools to reopen on Aug. 31 amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a recent survey conducted by Metropoll. The survey also looked at how supporters of different political parties view this issue, finding that 53 percent of AKP voters do not support the government's planned move.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that the country's economy is on the fast lane, downplaying Turkish Lira's sharp fall against dollar and euro. "No one should try to deceive the public. We're stronger than yesterday," he said. While experts voice concern on the situation, Erdoğan claimed that the "zigzags" in the economy can be seen around the world following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Two people were detained for shooting the car of a restaurant owner over late takeaway delivery in the southern province of Adana on Aug. 6. E.K. and his friend Ö.T. opened fire on the restaurant owner with a pump rifle and blank cartridge following an argument.
The Turkish Interior Ministry on Aug. 7 announced that coronavirus quarantines are currently underway in 83 residential areas in 32 provinces. The areas are home to some 54,053 people. The ministry's comments came as the country's daily COVID-19 cases have recently shown a sharp rebounding trend, with more than 1,000 daily jump in successive days.
The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) has protested a factory run by the tuna fish company Dardanel in the province of Çanakkale after it imposed a closed-circuit working system on some of its employees after they contracted coronavirus. The workers have been forced to stay in quarantine dormitories since July 26.
Congolese opposition politician Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko has disappeared in Ankara after flying to the Turkish capital for health treatment in late July. He boarded a plane belonging to Qatar and landed at Ankara's Esenboğa airport on July 30, and has not been heard from since.
Employees of Turkish Airlines (THY) have been facing an uncertain future due to the salary crisis that has been ongoing for five months in the company. According to Sözcü, talks between the THY and Hava-İş, the Turkish union representing a large number of workers in the civil aviation sector, have failed to reach a conclusion.
Turkish steeplechaser Gülcan Mıngır has been banned for two years after a re-test of her samples from the London Olympics in 2012 revealed the presence of a prohibited substance, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Aug. 6. The 31-year-old's ban has been backdated to Feb 3, 2020.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Aug. 6 that return of Germans from holiday destinations such as Western Balkan countries and Turkey is increasingly contributing to the rise in new coronavirus cases. Spahn also said that everyone arriving from high-risk areas will be tested for the disease unless they can produce a negative test certificate no more than two days old.
Former MHP deputy Cemal Enginyurt has said it was him who started the legal process that led to the cancellation of a dissident-led congress back in 2016 aiming to challenge the leadership of Devlet Bahçeli. “When Meral Akşener won the congress with 715 votes on June 19, it was me who took the case to the court. It was me that led to the cancellation of the congress, which they had won," Enginyurt said on Aug. 5.
Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener has said that the majority of the Turkish people want to return to a parliamentary system, adding that the current "freakish" system can't govern the country. "Turkey's economy has worsened, the youth doesn't have hope to find jobs, agriculture and industry have collapsed. The people are suffering from not being able to find food and fear being unemployed," she said.
Twitter has announced that it is introducing a new label for government officials and state-backed media organisations to help users make informed decisions. The labels will initially be added to officials representing the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – Russia, China, France, the UK, and the US, the company said.
Turkish women did four times as much household and care work as men during lockdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), research supported by the United Nations Development Programme showed on Aug. 6. The gender gap in paid work narrowed under lockdown as a result of changes in work patterns and a fall in men's paid work hours, the research found.
Economy
The Turkish Lira has devalued drastically against the dollar, reaching almost seven liras on the dollar. Ankara has invested almost $60 billion in currency interventions in 2020 to no avail, Financial Times reported on July 28.
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.