Domestic
Lawyer Mahmut Kaçan has filed a lawsuit against the Van Governor's Office and demanded that the ban on demonstrations be lifted. The Van Governor's Office said in its defense that the province accommodated many people from two polarized political views, which in return might result in clashes during such demonstrations. The complainant's approach to the issue "overlooks the society's health and peace, is monistic and at one point sadistic,” the governor's office said.
The Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services has told the father of one of the victims killed in the 2016 Beşiktaş bombing that money raised after the attack went to the Solidarity with Martyrs' Relatives and Veterans Foundation of Turkey. A mystery revolves around this foundation as the main opposition CHP previously determined that no one works at the foundation's declared address in Ankara, filing a criminal complaint regarding this issue.
Four years have passed since the murder of Diyarbakır Bar Head Tahir Elçi, with no suspects being named in the investigation. Forensic Medicine Institute employee Mehtap Altuğ reiterated her remarks from 2016 regarding evidence being covered up in the unsolved murder of Elçi, which was followed by her remarks being included in the investigation file.
Responding to a parliamentary inquiry from main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Mehmet Bekaroğlu regarding what the ministry was doing to combat youth unemployment, Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoğlu responded by saying that they conducted a personal development workshop that was attended by 59,292 people. Overall unemployment rates have stubbornly remained in the double digits for the past several, currently standing at 14 percent.
Police witnesses in the ongoing murder trial of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was killed by 17-year-old Ogün Samast in front of his office in Istanbul's Şişli neighborhood in 2007, said that restructions came from up to take a photograph of Samast while holding a Turkish flag and posing between two members of the security forces following his arrest.
Unknown assailants wrote "Go away Alevi!" and painted an "X" on the wall of a house that Alevis live in the Gaziemir district of the western province of İzmir, sparking concerns among the Alevi community. An investigation was launched into the incident, which bared similarities with the past attacks on Alevis.
76-year-old retiree Adem Yalçın spent decades in Diyarbakır's central district of Bağlar, before recently purchasing a home from Turkey's Mass Housing Administration (TOKİ), something that he now regrets due to the location and poor quality of the home. Since his home does not have heating, he also does not have hot water, which forces Yalçin and his wife to shower at their children's house.
Istanbul's police department and the Green Crescent (Yeşilay) organization, whose primary goal is to combat tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption and drug use, conducted a workshop at Istanbul Airport that was attended by 1200 police. It was announced during the workshop that police on duty at the airport who vow to quit smoking will be awarded 1.75 gram gold coins, currently valued at 442 TL.
A French woman was detained for allegedly trying to join ISIS in the southern province of Adana. She denied trying to join the jihadists in Syria and said that she was in the province as a tourist. The 21-year-old was later repatriated to her country.
Six state broadcaster TRT employees are facing charges of being members of the Gülenist organization in the case into the killing of Russian envoy Andrei Karlov in 2016 via broadcasting the moment that the ambassador was assassinated by Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş. The fact that the employees recorded the moment of killing via 3G and aired it is a planned propaganda act of the Gülenists, the indictment said.
Ekrem İmamoğlu, an opposition candidate elected this past summer as mayor of Istanbul, has said that state banks are refusing to extend loans to the municipality. İmamoğlu said the city was in need of some $3.5 billion, more than half of it for stalled metro projects.
Minister of Environment and Urban Planning Murat Kurum said that following a 2012 zoning plan aimed at protecting the Sur district, the population decreased by one-third after thousands of homes were built for residents in the Çölgüzeli and Üçkuyular districts of Diyarbakır. He defended that no one was forcibly removed from the Sur district.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has taken a loan from Deutsche Bank in order to complete a metro line on the Anatolian side of the city that has been stalled for two years. Construction works for the Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe-Sultanbeyli line will resume with an official ceremony on Nov. 26, with the participation of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu.
A legislative proposal allowing thermal power plants to continue to operate without modernized filters until the end of 2021 has passed the Turkish parliament. A main opposition CHP deputy said that the proposal was approved by the votes of the deputies from the ruling AKP and its ally MHP, while another CHP deputy said they will take the issue to the Constitutional Court due to the harm caused to public health and environment.
In a striking development in the case into Oct. 10, 2015 ISIS suicide attacks, missing files were found in the prosecutor's office, showing that one of the suspects who escorted attackers to the site of the massacre was known by authorities following a phone call from a fertilizer seller. "This massacre could have been prevented if he was apprehended," one of the lawyers of the complainants said.
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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.
Politics
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.
Economy
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.