Adnan Tanrıverdi, a close advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and member of the Presidency's Security and Foreign Policy Committee, has resigned from his post. He had recently raised attention for claiming the Mahdi - a "redeemer" in Islam who is to descend on earth and rule on judgement day - will return.
Öztürk Yılmaz, a former envoy and deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), is set to found his own opposition party. “Rather than forming a classic party, we are establishing a new structure. We will meet with the people, and concern ourselves with their real problems,” said Yılmaz, who made headlines in 2014 following an ISIS attack on Turkish Consulate in Mosul, adding that there has been significant interest from the CHP in his new initiative.
Former member of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) Sırrı Süreyya Önder said the Kurdish-Turkish peace process went downhill after former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu got involved in it. In what was his first time speaking to the press after being released from prison, the former MP and film director said he'd been out of the public eye because of his own health and that of his mother's.
Turkey's former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, the leader of the newly established Future Party, has said that he tried to make Erdoğan meet the youth and talk to them during the 2013 Gezi Park protests. “During Gezi, I tried to take Mr. Tayyip to Taksim, among the youth, and get him in touch with them, but I could not convince him," he said.
A Turkish court has ordered former HDP co-leader Figen Yüksekdağ to pay 1,740 Turkish Liras ($291) for “insulting” President Erdoğan. "As a politician, I can make harsh criticisms. This should not be a crime,” Yüksekdağ told the court on Jan. 7.
Main opposition CHP group deputy chair Engin Altay has criticized the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) for sending out invitations to only AKP officials for the inauguration ceremony of its new complex in Ankara. “An opening ceremony with only AKP officials is nothing but recklessness on the path to building a one-party government,” Altay said.
Former HDP leader Demirtaş has said that his lawyers cannot access the updated version of his case file, which prevents them from coming to the court hearings prepared in advance. He said that he has suspicions that the Justice Ministry is behind this implementation. “This is a violation of right to a fair trial. It is restricting the right of defense in an explicit way,” he said.
Meral Akşener, leader of the opposition İYİ (Good) Party, has criticized the government's Syria policy, saying it is time Turkey “made peace” with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “If Mr. Erdoğan, you cannot get over your anger and be rational, then I am ready to go to Syria, talk with Assad and solve this problem,” she said.
Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül has criticized defining Kurdish as an "unknown language" in courts, saying that policies of denial and assimilation were common in Turkey's history, but significant lessons were derived from the past to prevent these policies from occurring again. "Kurdish is recorded as 'an unknown language.' How can you call a language that has been spoken for a thousand years that?" Gül said.
A survey conducted in the southeast of Turkey revealed that 70 percent of the population there opposes the replacement of elected mayors with trustees. Conducted by the Center for Sociopolitical Field Research, the survey featured 5,100 participants, 16 percent of which said they condoned the policy, while 14 percent remained undecided. The government has assigned trustee mayors to more than 20 municipalities that had been won by the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP).
Police forces are no longer enough to ensure the security of cities in Turkey, President Erdoğan has said. “We have come to a point where we can longer ensure the security of our cities with fortifications and maintain the order inside with police forces. In the face of this new situation, we need to develop new methods,” he said.
The Istanbul Municipality (IBB) rejected allegations on social media, which suggested that maintenance and cleaning of some mosques have been halted.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has shared a series of tweets to mark the beginning of 2020. "There are no problems that we can't overcome with courage, self esteem, determination, cooperation, dialogue and common sense," Babacan, who quit the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in July and who has been working on founding a new political party, said.
Future Party leader and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu joined the social media network TikTok. He said in his first video that he joined the network to connect with his younger supporters and added "We are wherever the youth is." Davutoğlu isn't following anyone yet, and has 9,100 followers. The social media mobile app allows you to create short videos with added audio and visual effects and is used by millions of people.
Ekrem İmamoğlu's second victory in the repeated elections for the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has been voted as the most remarkable event of 2019 in an online survey conducted by journalist Murat Yetkin.