Domestic
Ankara's 34th Heavy Penalty Court has been established, and the court will initially solely try the cases of suspects who were former employees of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT). The court has yet to decide as to whether hearings will be open to the public, and a member of the court's committee has said that some hearings could be closed to the public for security reasons.
A report by the Ministry of Interior on sexual assault of migrant children went up by 736 percent, said, the Vice Chair of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Gamze İlgezdi. According to the report, the total number of children in Turkey including Turkish citizens who were victims of sexual violence increased by 43 percent in 2017 as compared to 2016.
Organized by the Hrant Dink Foundation, the conference titled "Social, Cultural and Economic History of Kayseri and the Region," to be held at the Hrant Dink Foundation's Havak Hall on Oct. 17-18, has been banned by Istanbul Şişli District Governorship.
The Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) has won a lawsuit it filed against the popular hotel booking website booking.com. In 2017, the website was blocked in Turkey on the basis that it violated competition laws, and the injunction was granted. However, users within the country were still able to book international hotels, while it has also been possible to use the site to book hotels within Turkey with the use of a VPN.
Four years after twin bomb attacks in Ankara that killed over 100 people, survivors are still seeking medical treatment and psychological support. The trials of the 16 fugitive suspects are ongoing.
Three suspects have been released in the murder trial of Andrey Karlov, Russia's former ambassador to Turkey who was assassinated in the capital of Ankara in 2016 while attending an art exhibition.
28-year old Iraqi national Hadiya Hussein Zandinan is in a court battle to gain custody of her two siblings, aged 9 and 11, who were kidnapped by an ISIS-supporting family before being released on the street and taken in by state services.
A new finding was uncovered at the Büyük Höyük excavations which have been ongoing for eight years. A second monumental gate was found, suggesting the existence of a local kingdom which reigned over the region for a while.
Son of Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and Etnosports Confederation Head Bilal Erdoğan spoke to CNN Turk on Oct. 2. Erdoğan spoke about the Etnospor Culture Festival, which will be organized at Atatürk Airport between October 3-6. In response to criticism about the relationship between the state and non-profit foundations, Erdoğan said that the government does not directly transfer funds to such institutions.
Miners who lost their jobs after the Soma mine disaster of 2014 have staged a protest in demand of their still-unpaid severance pay from the Soma holding and Uyar mining companies. Following the disaster, 3,500 miners were left without jobs and were unable to receive severance or retirement benefits.
While Istanbul awaits a huge earthquake, architects say the city’s century-old buildings in historical districts can be safer than reinforced concrete if they are retrofitted and maintained. But what kind of steps are required to make them safe?
Millions of people have the same question in their minds after the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Istanbul last week: Is my building safe? How can I test the safety of my home? Here are eight key questions and answers about how to check the safety of one's building.
Cyber rights experts in Turkey warn that social media platforms are being used as informant mechanisms. In 2018, a legalized informant system was brought to life via an omnibus bill composed of 50 articles. The practice of awarding informants within the scope of the struggle against terrorism was expanded.
The lawyer for the family of Nadira Kadirova, an Uzbek national who was found dead in the home of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Şirin Unal last week, has said that Kadirova's death is suspicious and Unal is being protected by the state.
An earthquake in the Marmara Sea 70 kilometers west of Istanbul causes citywide distress as schools and some businesses close down for the day. Experts warn Avcılar-Silivri section of North Anatolian Fault may be on move as earthquakes become number one on country agenda after 20 years.
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.