Renowned Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran said that right-wing populist leaders in the world are failing in their leadership skills regarding the struggle against the novel coronavirus. “They [right-wing leaders] are all retreating, we don't see them as often as before. They love to speak normally,” she said during an interview with pan-European political movement DiEM25.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun has shared a video showing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan listening to the Muslim call to prayer in Granada. "May Allah make us reach days that we perform prayers in mosques altogether, shoulder to shoulder," Altun said.
An ousted HDP mayor is facing terrorism charges over her support for a women's agricultural cooperative that was planting green beans in Mardin's villages. The prosecutors said that activities of Saray Women's Cooperative are to be considered within the framework of the KCK, which the government says is the urban wing of the PKK.
Turkey's Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan has been removed from his post by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Several social media users alleged that Turhan was removed from duty over criticism of the timing of a recently held tender related to the controversial Kanal Istanbul project.
Turkey's High Election Board (YSK) has annulled the mandate of a mayor from the main opposition CHP on the grounds of his previous conviction of two offenses. Kadir Aydar said that the YSK had previously seen his criminal record while registering him as a mayor candidate and had not raised an objection to his application.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has criticized the Constitutional Court for issuing rulings belonging to Norway and not Turkey when he was talking about the widespread operations against those determined to be sharing "provocative" social media posts. Some of the rulings issued by the Constitutional Court don't belong to Turkey, they belong to Norway," Soylu told broadcaster A Haber on March 26.
Turkish President Erdoğan on March 25 held a cabinet meeting to discuss a legal amendment seeking to reduce the sentences issued to inmates, except for terror, narcotics and sex offenders. Erdoğan attended the video conferencing from Huber Mansion in Istanbul's Tarabya neighborhood. No statement was released following the meeting.
MHP Group Deputy Chair Erkan Akçay shared a picture of a man badly beaten by a group of ultra-nationalist MHP supporters, as he also bragged about the incident. "Who is this handsome man?" Akçay asked sarcastically in his Twitter post. "They say that his test for being undignified was positive," he also said.
Pro-government businessman Ethem Sancak's brother-in-law Mehmet Akarca was elected as the head of the Court of Cassation on March 24. A total of 332 court members cast votes in the elections that took place under coronavirus precautions. Akarca gained 267 of the votes.
Ankara's removal of eight mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is an example of the government using the coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity, HDP Co-Chair Mithat Sancar said in a press conference March 23. He also criticized the government's economic stimulus package for failing to fulfill the needs of healthcare workers.
Turkey's Interior Ministry on March 23 appointed trustee mayors to eight more municipalities run by the HDP in the southeastern provinces. Including this latest move, the government has appointed trustees to a total of 40 municipalities won by the HDP since the 2019 March local elections.
Children in Turkey were on March 23 shown an animated cartoon depicting the execution of former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes as part of their home schooling during the coronavirus outbreak. Following widespread criticism, the Education Ministry has launched an investigation into the incident.
Former Land Forces Commander Gen. Aytaç Yalman died at the age of 80 in a hospital that he was receiving treatment late on March 16. Yalman's name made headlines frequently with the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot case, which was marked by top generals accusing each other. Former army general Özkök accused Yalman of formulating the idea of issuing a memorandum against the AKP, while Yalman questioned the portayal of Özkök as being the sole actor in preventing the coup plot.
Three of Turkey's political parties have either cancelled, pondered cancelling or have taken preventative measures regarding their upcoming events light of the first coronavirus case announced in Turkey early on March 10. Meanwhile, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) decided to forbid entry of children and elderly people into their group parliamentary meetings.
All new parties reiterate the need for AKP, Erdoğan says after former ally launches opposition party
President Erdoğan has said that all the new parties reiterate the need for the ruling AKP, as he commented on former deputy prime minister Ali Babacan's DEVA Party. "Those who don't have the people and their country as their cause are always doomed to fail," Erdoğan told AKP members on March 11. He also reportedly deemed one of DEVA Party founders a "secret Gülenist."