A meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and 30 metropolitan mayors on Sept. 11 had called for the establishment of an advisory commission set to provide advises on drafting the new local administration law in the country. But, although three months have passed since the meting, no action has been taken regarding this commission, whose members consist of 10 metropolitan mayors.
Parents of the former co-chair of The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş were transported to a hospital following an accident on the Çorlu-Edirne Highway. Demirtaş's sister Aygül Demirtaş noted that her family is in good condition. Demirtaş's parents were on their way to visit him in Edirne Prison.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that the surge in his ministry's costs was due to the fact that the salaries of the ministry's employees were denominated in foreign currencies. He added that the ministry's budget in 2018 exceeded its limit by 10 million TL due to Northern Cyprus and promotion of Turkey internationally.
The total number of people behind bars in Turkey reached 264,842 by the end of 2018, according to official data released on Dec. 5. This marked an increase of 14 percent compared to the previous year.
The district of Didim in Turkey's Western Anatolian province of Aydın made an official decision on December 4 that stipulated they would not allow animals under the protection of the municipality to be sent to experimental laboratories. In Turkey there are already licensed and official institutions that breed animals for experimental purposes.
The Diyarbakır Chamber of Architects has determined that a large number of buildings are being illegally constructed in certain neighborhoods of Diyarbakır's Sur district, which was subjected to massive destruction in 2015 after a peace process between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) collapsed, resulting in heavy skirmishes between PKK fighters and Turkish security forces that left a large section of the district in ruins.
The pro-government Sabah newspaper claimed in a story that Amazon has donated some of its Black Friday proceeds to an American organization run by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. "Did you know that you can support us through Amazon Smile?" Alp Aslandoğan, a Gülen follower who runs the American-based Alliance for Shared Values (AfSV), said in a tweet.
Five-year-old Efe Tektekin lost his life after being hit by an armored vehicle belonging to the police on Sept. 11 in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. An expert's report prepared in the aftermath of the incident said that the boy was the "primary negligent party," while the police officer was the "contributory negligent party."
The trial of Kurdish singer Ferhat Tunç continued in Istanbul on Dec. 4. The court extended the arrest warrant against the artist so as to obtain his defense. Tunç faces seven lawsuits in total, three of which have been launched on charges of "insulting the president."
The Turkish government spent a total of 130 million TL for services in Syria between 2016 and 2019. The tenders given to Gaziantep companies by the government mostly focused in Syrian towns of Jarablus, Al Bab, Bizaah and Qabasin for projects including construction and renovation of schools and hospitals.
In an attempt to lower costs, Turkish Airlines will no longer offer rakı, gin or vodka on short flights. On international flights over six hours, THY will only offer one brand of whiskey in economy class.
Main opposition CHP deputy Yavuzyılmaz claimed that various doctors have been issuing fake medical reports which deem a military staff as unfitting to qualify as a commando or which help a military staff to be qualified as a disabled retiree in exchange for money. This phenomenon started to take place after the transfer of all military medical academies and hospitals from the General Staff to the Health Ministry, according to the CHP deputy.
Iskender Erol Evrenoğlu, who passed away in the U.S., was one of the most controversial figures among the recent ‘Islamist personas’ that have recently emerged in Turkey. Evrenesoğlu’s past differs from that of other cult leaders. He had worked as an economy expert at the State Planning Organization for many years.
Inas is a woman who once left her country to become a refugee in another country. She then had to leave that country to become a refugee in yet another country.
The Istanbul 24th High Criminal Court on Dec. 2 lifted a travel ban imposed on prominent journalist Hasan Cemal after an appeal filed by his lawyer. Cemal was in Istanbul Airport to head to Berlin early on Dec. 1, when police seized his passport.
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Duvar English’s editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel and pollster Can Selçuki discuss the underlying factors behind the recent moves of Turkey's ruling alliance which paves the way for further polarization in politics as the country enters the final months of 2020. They also analyze the effects of the sharp decline of the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies over public's perception.
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.
Turkey's opposition parties have criticized the detention of HDP members CHP Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel deemed the detentions "an intimidation operation" and asked the government whether new evidence was reached regarding the Kobane protests that happened six years ago. According to Özel, the recent detentions are attempts of the government to shift people's focus from the crumbling economy.
Turkish police on Sept. 25 detained some 20 HDP members, including Kars Co-Mayor Ayhan Bilgen, over 2014 violent protests against the siege by ISIS of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane. Detention warrants were issued for a total of 82 people in seven provinces. Those sought were in the MYK of the party at the time of the protests.
A group of opposition politicians slammed the construction of a 90-million-lira prison with a lake view in the eastern province of Van which government officials deemed "an investment." The opposition noted that the region has far more pressing needs than prisons and that hundreds of jails have been already built in recent years in Turkey.
Greek women from the Women's Initiative for Peace (WINPEACE) have slammed two Greek tabloids for their reports on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan allegedly having had an extramarital relationship with an actress. "We believe the fact that two newspapers in Greece, however marginal, have in the last week decided on publishing insulting, misogynist, shameful headlines, denigrating all human values is a despicable attempt to sabotage any positive developments," they said in a statement.
Turkey's Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects Chambers (TMMOB) has said that some 14 parcels on the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) land near the university masjid (prayer room for Muslims) have been zoned for construction. The architects urged the university administration to clarify the parcels' allocation and asked whether the land in question will be used for a mosque construction.
Turkey's depletion of foreign exchange reserves and the fact that a majority of its forex reserves are swap lines has created mass distrust in the economy, Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) Chairman Simone Kaslowski said. Turkey needs to “ensure full market confidence” to attract long-term financing flows, Kaslowski said during a videoconference on Sept. 24.
Works to excavate an ancient Roman bath in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Yozgat have been stopped due to lack of financial funding. The area is now fenced off, and visitors are barred from entry.
İsmail Tarman Middle School in İstanbul's Beşiktaş district still remains closed despite four court rulings to reverse the school's status as religious İmam Hatip school. The rulings should have enabled for the school's reopening as a standard middle school, but the courts' decisions have not been enforced and the school's doors remain closed.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tore into President Donald Trump on Sept. 24 after he declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the presidential election in November. “You are not in North Korea, you are not in Turkey, you are not in Russia, Mr. President. You are in the United States of America, it is a democracy, so why don’t you just try for a moment to honor your oath of office, to the Constitution of the United States?” she said.
The governor's office in the Black Sea province of Giresun banned smoking cigarettes in public spaces on the grounds that it required removing face masks, hence risking the spread of COVID-19. The province will fine those smoking in the streets, parks or any other public spaces.
Turkey's largest seller of fish, Dardanel reportedly discriminated against Roma women who applied for positions at a factory. While the women weren't even called in for an interview, the company blamed the incident on the contracting hiring firm.
One of the Turkish Aegean Riviera's most pristine areas, Gökova Bay was rezoned to allow construction along with nearby Marmaris and Milas. Muğla Mayor Osman Gürün said that the rezoning threatens construction of 25,000 hectares of land, and that the are would effectively "cease to exist."
The Turkish parliament has failed to debate in its general session any draft bills prepared by any party other than the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the past two legislative sessions, daily Cumhuriyet reported. The AKP presented some 249 draft bills, 100 of which were reported on by the relevant commissions, while one of the CHP's 2,148 draft bills were investigated by commissions.
The Kızılırmak Delta Wetland and Bird Sanctuary in the Black Sea province of Samsun has observed raging fires since the reversal of its "protected area" status. While a part of the delta was transferred to the property of the government, environmentalists suspect the fires were started intentionally.
Local medical device companies have warned the Turkish Health Ministry that if debts owed by the government hospitals remain unpaid, there could be a “disruption in the health services” starting as early as in October. The Turkish Medical Equipment and Devices Manufacturers Association (TÜDER) has said that local medical firms have been waiting for the last 16 months to get their payment which has reached to around $26 billion Turkish Liras ($3.4 billion) in total.
Turkish Justice Ministry has dismissed a parliamentary question on the release of a rapist soldier for being "offensive." Uca in her question asked Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül to reveal the reason for why former specialized sergeant Musa Orhan was released despite raping İpek Er. The ministry said that the question can be accepted if the terms found "crude and offensive" are removed.
Turkey reportedly didn't apprehend ISIS militant Yunus Durmaz responsible for deadly attacks in Turkey despite determining his location 19 times between April 29 and May 19, 2016. Durmaz, who was sought over the attacks in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, the Suruç district of the southeastern province of Urfa, the capital Ankara and Istanbul's Taksim, blew himself up during a police raid on an ISIS cell in 2016.
Turkey's Central Bank unexpectedly hiked interest rates on Sept. 24, triggering an improvement in the lira's value against the dollar. The Turkish Lira has sunk to record lows over the past month as Ankara's currency interventions proved futile.
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.
U.S. tech giant Amazon offered up its speed-delivery subscription to Turkish consumers on Sept. 15. The monthly subscription fee was set for 7.99 Turkish Liras, about one dollar with the current exchange rates.
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.
Urban Beat
Istanbulites will select the new face of Taksim Square from among three projects as part of the Istanbul Municipality's plans to renovate the area. Şerif Süveydan, Bünyamin Derman and Kutlu İnanç Bal were the winners in the contest that was held by Istanbul Planning Agency and Istanbul Municipality's Department of Cultural Assets.
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.