Istanbul is too important to be left to the hands of local authorities, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, amid an ongoing war of words between the President and the city's Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu. "We won't allow the blocking of the beneficial projects that we are trying to bring to life when we support every beneficial work carried out in Istanbul," Erdoğan said.
Rahşan Ecevit, wife of late Turkish Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, died at the age of 97 at a hospital in the capital Ankara on Jan. 17. She was the founder and first leader of Turkey's Democratic Left Party (DSP).
Istanbul Mayor İmamoğlu has shed light on the content of a letter he recently gave to President Erdoğan, saying it warned him against people who are attempting to “damage” the relations between the central government and municipality. İmamoğlu also said that his letter included a demand to meet Erdoğan in person to explain the municipality's stance regarding the controversial Kanal Istanbul project.
President Erdoğan complained of not receiving enough applause as he was making a speech at the Presidential Complex on Jan. 16. Not finding the audience's enthusiasm adequate, Erdoğan said: “Applauses are not coming.”
Former Lt. Gen. Metin İyidil was arrested on Jan. 16 two days after he was acquitted and released from prison. "All of my activities on the night of the coup were aimed at preventing the coup," İyidil told the court on Jan. 16, adding that he served the state for 44 years. Three people were detained on Jan. 16 over attempting to help İyidil escape, including TFF Chair Nihat Özdemir's son Batuhan Özdemir.
Turkey's Council of State and Court of Appeals will be holding elections to replace five members and the Chairman of the Supreme Election Council (YSK). While the election will be held Jan.17, new members will not be reporting to their posts until a week later. The Supreme Election Council's new members will then elect a new Chairman.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party MP Semra Güzel presented a parliamentary question to the Health Ministry over its lack of Kurdish-language services on its hotline.
Former striker Hakan Şükür, a staunch supporter of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, has started to sells books and drive for Uber to make a living. "I have nothing," Şükür said, as he accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of "taking everything away from him." "I may be an enemy of this government, but not of the state or the Turkish nation. I love my country.," he added.
Cult actor Kadir İnanır responded to criticism from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu about his attendance at a theater adaptation of a book by Selahattin Demirtaş, jailed former co-chair of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), saying that he watched the play to "promote peace." "The issue is promoting peace. We were there for peace," İnanır said.
HDP's Istanbul office became the target of an armed attack on Jan. 15 with an unknown assailant firing his gun in the air seven times. No one was hurt in the incident. "Our party was subjected to similar attacks in the past through gangs. Our party, administrators and people are being tried to be intimidated," HDP Istanbul branch said in a written statement.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has said that the municipality found loans to continue the construction of three metro lines that have been inactive for two years, but can't do so because they can't get approval from the Treasury. "I'm calling on the President to put all the paused metro lines to use before the end of 2022-2023. Are these lines mine? Are they Erdoğan's? No, they belong to the people," he said.
A court has ruled to keep former Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Sebahat Tuncel and former co-mayor of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır Gültan Kışanak in jail. Lawyers of Kışanak and Tuncel said that their clients are politicians and their political acts can't be accepted as PKK membership or propaganda, while also demanding their release.
CHP deputy chair Aykut Erdoğdu said that Erdoğan and the AKP are about to fall from power, while urging "everyone to make preparations accordingly. "Let me say something to those trusting them [AKP and Erdoğan] This guy and his team are about to be gone. There is no way that he will stay in power. The entire business, bureaucracy and judicial world should make plans accordingly," he said.
Interior Minister Soylu got a nosebleed on live television reportedly because of the cold he was exposed to on Jan. 12 in Kastamonu, where, in a speech, he slammed a play based on former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş's book. Soylu said that Demirtaş was responsible for the violent protests of Oct. 6-8, 2014 that resulted in the deaths of over 30 people. "You can't wash the blood off your hands with theater," he said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has carried out two unannounced visits to Islamist İsmailağa community leaders late on Jan. 12. Pictures from his visit were shared by one of the members of the group, prompting criticism on social media over the government's relations with Islamic cults in Turkey.