Human Rights
Lawyers of former employees of daily Cumhuriyet have asked for a repetition of the hearing held on Nov. 21, saying that the court failed to act in accordance with the procedures despite the lawyers' application for recusal. Following the ruling, lawyer Bülent Utku, who was being tried in the case, and his lawyers appealed for recusal and thus repetition of the hearing, while citing the article preventing the appointment of the same judge in cases of retrial as one of the reasons for their move.
3,000 minors in Turkey are serving prison sentences, and more than half of them are jailed at adult penitentiaries, according to a report prepared by the Civil Society in the Penal System (CİSST) association. The report also indicated that children were being held in solitary confinement, despite the fact that this is illegal.
Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled the state to pay 20,000 Turkish Liras as compensation to sculptor Mehmet Aksoy, whose 35-meter-tall "Monument to Humanity" was demolished after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed it as being a "freak." The top court has said that Aksoy's freedom of expression was violated with the demolition, adding that the work of art could have been transferred somewhere else.
Pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party mayor İrfan Sarı of the district of Yüksekova in Turkey's eastern province of Hakkari was stripped from office by the government earlier this year and subsequently arrested. His family claims Sarı has been subjected to poor treatment in solitary confinement and has been unable to receive his medications.
The case of 12-year-old Uğur Kaymaz, who was shot and killed by police alongside his father outside of their home in the Kızıltepe district in the southeastern province of Mardin in 2004 has been moved by lawyers to the European Court of Human rights after Turkish courts rejected applications for a retrial against the police who were acquitted in the shootings.
Children in the province of Adana as young as 11 are being put to work in clothing factories for long hours, low wages and around chemicals that are specifically labeled to not be sold or given to children.
The European Court of Human Rights has sentenced Turkey to pay compensation to a former pro-Kurdish politician over violation of his right to freedom of expression. The court ruled that attending PKK militants' funeral and the subsequent demonstrations doesn't constitute a crime.
The mother of an 8-year-old boy with bone cancer is unable to take her son to Germany to receive treatment due to a travel ban preventing her from leaving Turkey. Ataç's mother Zekiye Ataç was taken into custody after the July 2016 coup attempt for being a follower of Fetullah Gülen, and was subsequently released but with a travel ban.
PEN Center Germany has declared Ahmet Altan an honorary member, calling on the Turkish authorities to immediately release the journalist. Altan's "continued detention is solely political and therefore neither acceptable nor justified," said the statement signed by Ralf Nestmeyer, the vice president of the PEN Center Germany.
A 19-year-old seasonal agricultural from the southeastern, predominantly-Kurdish province of Diyarbakır succumbed to his injuries after being attacked and shot earlier this year in the northwestern province of Sakarya for waving at a vehicle that was bearing the Diyarbakır license plate code.Şirin Tosun spent 51 days in the hospital after being shot in August, before passing way on Oct. 13.
U.S. actress Mia Farrow has shown solidarity with the prominent Turkish journalist Ahmet Altan, who was re-arrested by a court order on Nov. 13. Farrow shared The New York Times' article “Turkey Detains a Top Journalist Again, Signaling a Continuing Crackdown” on her Twitter account.
Serhat Language, History and Scholarly Research Education Association (SER-DER) President Mehmet Bulgan has called upon the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) to make efforts to increase Kurdish language courses in majority-Kurdish cities, underlining that the language is under threat.
A journalist and a documentary filmmaker were detained as they attempted to follow a story regarding the suspicious death of a child, while police also took the child's father into custody. The detention of 11-year-old Rabia Naz's father Şaban Vatan was condemned by numerous social media users.
The European Union has criticized Turkey for the rearrest of prominent journalist Ahmet Altan a week after his release. "Media freedom and freedom of expression are key to a functioning democracy," the EU said.
A court has arrested journalist Ahmet Altan a week after he was released from prison in a case related to the botched coup of 2016. The decision to rearrest Altan was slammed internationally, with press and rights groups criticizing the judicial system and media freedom in Turkey. "Law has been buried under concrete," Altan's lawyer said.
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.