Human Rights
According to a report prepared by a chamber, some 400,000 people were displaced during clashes between Turkish security forces and the PKK. The report gave a detailed analysis of the destruction that took place in seven districts, with some neighborhoods reportedly erased from the map during months-long curfews.
Reactions have mounted following the arrest of an 11-year-old Syrian child in the southeastern province of Batman, who was filmed while being taken in custody by police as he cried and while bystanders lamented that he was just a child. In a statement, the Batman governorate claimed that the child was taken into custody for his own protection during a routine operation focusing on children in the area who were begging or were being put to work.
Prominent journalists Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak were released from prison and Mehmet Altan was acquitted in a case that's related to the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt. The journalists were accused of aiding the movement of Gülen and attempting to abolish the constitutional order.
A labor watchdog has announced that nearly 24,000 workers were killed in work-related accidents in the past 17 years, while slamming the government for its policies regarding workplace security.
A local court has failed to comply with a Constitutional Court ruling regarding Academics for Peace. The local court denied retrial for one of the academics, despite the top court's ruling for "rights violations."
In its new report, Amnesty International has criticized Turkey for its wave of detentions and arrests that began following the country's military offensive in northeastern Syria.
A healthcare worker, who was dismissed with a state of emergency decree, was reinstated to his post after he passed away. The incident was criticized by opposition lawmakers, with a HDP deputy saying that his party will keep following the developments on the issue.
Prominent philanthropist and businessman Osman Kavala has described his two years in jail, saying that the charges listed in the indictment don't constitute solid evidence.
After being threatened by pro-government journalist Nedim Şener who was speaking on a live television program, Human Rights Association (İHD) co-leader Eren Keskin recalled the killing of lawyer Tahir Elçi, saying that for the first time she felt that she herself was going to be killed. “I received horrifying threats on social media. Unbelievably disgusting things were said about my mother. We are living in a society where everyone is an enemy except for the Turks", she told.
Turkey intends to establish a safe zone in northern Syria alongside its border in which it aims to resettle at least 1 million Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey. According to Research Center on Asylum and Migration (İGAM) President Metin Çorabatır, for a safe zone to be established, the requirements include international approval and the consent of the refugees who are intended to be resettled in the area.
Istanbul prosecutors have decided not to pursue an investigation into high school students who were beaten police last year as they held a demonstration in the district of Kadıköy. In spite of images showing the police using violence against the students, prosecutors determined that the police acted within scope of their powers.
While at the bus station in the northwestern province of Edirne en route to visit his family in Adana, a young Kurdish man was beaten and threatened by local police.18-year-old Ozan Okur, originally from the eastern province of Hakkari, has appealed to the Human Rights Association (İHD) and has filed a criminal complaint with prosecutors against the police in question.
In response to a inquiry regarding squalid conditions in an Izmir prison where inmates were sleeping on the floor and where 23 people sharing the same toilet, the Ministry of Justice responded by saying that a cell holds an average of 18 people, so prisoners individually have 65 minutes of bathroom time in a 24-hour period.
Banners including hate speech against Jews and Christians were posted near bus stops in central Turkey, prompting social media uproar. 'Don't befriend Christians and Jews,' read the banners posted by religious youth organizations.
An investigation into an attack on a 74-year-old man in the province of Çanakkale has been dropped after the provincial government and prosecutor determined that he was not attacked due to speaking Kurdish, contrary to the man's statement.
Editor's Picks
duvar englis podcasts
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.