Domestic
A key member of the Union of Turkey Bar Association (TBB) resigned from his post after a call for an extraordinary general assembly made by 12 association members--including the branches of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir—was rejected by the administration. The leadership of TBB President Metin Feyzioğlu, who has increasingly developed a stance in harmony with Erdoğan and his government, has been a source of unease among union members.
More than a year following his daughter Rabia Naz's suspicious death, Şaban Vatan visited the scene of the incident with a parliamentary commission, during which he enacted the death of the child to prove that she didn't commit suicide as alleged by the authorities, but instead hit by a car and left in the area.
Turkey commemorates the 81st death anniversary of the country's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with life across the country coming to a standstill on the exact hour of his passing. Millions of people paid their respects to Atatürk on 9:05 a.m., as sirens blared throughout Turkey.
According to a recent report by the human rights commission of the Turkish Parliament, Silivri prison's inmate population more than doubled its official capacity. The commission also determined that the drinking water in the prison was coming through old and rusty pipes, which was resulting in health problems among the inmates.
A basketball player with disabilities has urged Turkish authorities to build an elevator in her "disability-friendly" house, saying that she leaves and comes back to her house with the help of her siblings carrying her. The house is the latest obstacle in her life, which is filled with hardships that she overcame with her ambition.
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.
Editor's Picks
Şenay Aydemir writes: It seems like Netflix, rather than providing resources to Turkey and contributing to the advancement of the sector, chooses to work with producers that already have a strong share in the market. Though the Netflix Turkey team claims they are open to all kinds of projects and ideas, they are obviously more open to certain ideas, projects and production companies.
duvar englis podcasts
Ankara's conflict-oriented foreign policy has received the public's support for military operations, but public opinion often fails to translate into votes. While Ankara's "enemy" in military conflict is ever-changing, the northern Syria conflict was revealed to be the only intervention that expanded the government's voter base.
Politics
Turkey's southernmost province of Hatay was rocked by an explosion on Oct. 26 and authorities said that two militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were nabbed following the blast. Hatay Governor Rahmi Doğan said that the two militants were a part of a group of four who had flown from the Syrian town of Manbij to the Amanos Mountains in Hatay using paramotors.
A report prepared by a number of civil society organizations regarding trials in Turkey prosecuting conscientious objectors to mandatory military service in the country has influenced the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers to pressure Turkey on recognizing the right to conscientious objection.
President Erdoğan and the newly-elected Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar on Oct. 26 voiced their support for a two-state solution on the divided island of Cyprus. "We believe a two-state solution must now be brought to the table with a realistic proposal," Erdoğan said. Erdoğan also said that he would visit Turkish Cyprus on Nov. 15 and expressed his desire to have a picnic at Varosha.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said that at least 78 Turkey-backed Syrian rebels were killed and dozens more were injured in Russian airstrikes on a military training camp in Idlib. Those targeted were in a camp belonging to Faylaq al-Sham, the monitor said, adding that it was the deadliest attack since the ceasefire came into force in March.
The second indictment against human rights defender and businessman Osman Kavala presents no new grounds to justify his detention and is politically motivated, said Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in a statement.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged the UNESCO to release its report on the restoration works in the iconic Hagia Sophia as soon as possible. Lavrov said that for Russia Hagia Sophia is particularly valuable from the spiritual point of view.
Twenty-eight of Istanbul's 39 districts have registered more than 50 percent increase in COVID-19 infections in the past week compared to the average of this month, said Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. “The increase rate is 50-60 percent in 11 districts, 60-70 percent in 10 districts, and 70-80 percent in seven districts,” he told reporters on Oct. 26.
A Canadian vehicle manufacturer has suspended the delivery of aircraft engines to Turkey in the wake of reports that some of those engines are being used on Turkish combat drones deployed by Azerbaijan in its conflict against Armenian forces over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Former main opposition CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu's lawyer has appealed to the Constitutional Court following two lower courts' refusal to retry him over violations of his rights to participate in politics and personal freedom.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a worker to enjoy a nice cup of tea as the latter complained of not being able to bring home bread. Erdoğan said that the worker's plea sounded like a huge exaggeration, evoking infamous French ruler Marie-Antoinette who told the people to eat cake if they can't find bread.
A dynamite blast in the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant damaged cars that were parked in the nearby lot, ANKA News Agency reported on Oct. 25. Locals have complained from the use of dynamite in the construction before, saying that the dust harms their crops, and the blasts have even cracked the walls of their homes.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has challenged the United States on a sanctions threat over Ankara’s support to Baku in its clashes with Armenia. "You [Americans] do not know who you are playing with. Go ahead with your sanctions," Erdoğan said. He also slammed the U.S. for not delivering promised F-35 fighter jets.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that Baku would use Turkish F-16 jets in case of an external attack on the country. "They've been asking me about why Turkish F-16s are here. I'm tired of answering. Everyone knows that the F-16s are waiting. They came here for a drill and our Turkish brothers kept them here for moral support. They'll see those F-16s if there is an external attack on us," Aliyev said.
Mehmet Ayışığı is a well-known and well-liked figure in Istanbul's Kurtuluş neighborhood, wandering the streets and calling out to customers with his signature voice. After Ayışığı's cart was confiscated by the Şişli Municipality due to noise complaints, area residents marched together with the vendor in a gesture of solidarity against police.
Known for its lush natural beauty, the environmental integrity of the town of Şavşat is under threat due to a hydroelectric power plant, where construction is due to continue despite being previously blocked by a regional court. “The people of the area are very determined. They will definitely not allow the construction of a hydroelectric power plant,” said Tahsin Yazıcı of the Kireçli village, saying that the villagers would use their democratic rights.
Turkish law enforcement detained some 38 journalists in the first eight months of 2020, a report by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) revealed. Meanwhile, access to 53 news stories and 75 websites was blocked. Charges of insulting the president resulted in the detention of 24 people, the arrest of three and an investigation into one person.
Istanbul police violently detained around 40 members of a pro-Kurdish youth union involving pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) Youth Assembly, Mesopotamia Agency reported on Oct. 25. Police claimed that a banner held up by demonstrators was criminal on the grounds that it displayed a photo of İbrahim Kaypakkaya, a deceased Turkish leftist.
Economy
Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has said that the economy is growing despite the tumbling Turkish Lira. The lira weakened to a record low on Oct. 26, hit by investor unease over the central bank's decision last week to keep its policy rate on hold and various sources of geopolitical concern. Strains in ties with the United States, a row with France, a dispute between Turkey and Greece over maritime rights and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh have all unsettled investors.
Turkish monthly inflation was almost four times greater than the official rate in September, according to a new model developed by a group of academics and researchers. According to the independent Inflation Research Group (ENAG)'s first published finding, consumer prices in September rose 3.61 percent from the previous month, compared to the official Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK)'s calculation of 0.97 percent increase.
Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez said on Oct. 22 Turkey will operate the gas field which it recently discovered in the Black Sea on its own, but it may cooperate with foreign firms in terms of detailed work and equipment. The minister's comments came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 17 Turkey had raised the estimated reserves of the field to 405 billion cubic meters after finding an additional 85 bcm.
The Turkish government has said that it "laughs off" boycotts imposed on Turkish products in Saudi Arabia, Morocco and United Arab Emirates. "We laugh off some countries' boycotts against Turkey. They should first learn to stand as independent countries," AKP deputy leader Numan Kurtulmuş said on Oct. 18.
Urban Beat
Turkey's southeastern city of Diyarbakır is nestled in Mesopotamia and has a deep legacy spanning millenniums and civilizations. A recent discovery on the 8000-year-old Amida Höyük archaeological site has unearthed an 1800-year-old heating system that was quite sophisticated for the time.
Kurdish artist Zehra Doğan's work that she created during her two prison sentences between 2016 and 2019 are on display in Turkey for the first time. The artist was jailed on terrorism charges and gained international fame after finishing her second sentence and holding a show at London's Tate Modern.
Turkey's Presidential Symphony Orchestra will thrive thanks to the completion of its long-awaited music hall, Conductor Cemi'i Can Deliorman said. Having been in the works for 25 years, the music hall's large auditorium can seat more than two thousand viewers.
Alterations on Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia reportedly violated guidelines mandated under the site's "UNESCO World Heritage" status. Converted within two weeks of the legal ruling that allowed Muslim worship, the ancient structure's mosaics were unlawfully covered up, and any work on it was deemed practically impossible, architectural publication Mimarlık Magazine reported.