Politics
CHP U.S. Representative Yurter Özcan visited the area that the controversial Türken Foundation is constructing a student dormitory, saying that the area is New York's most expensive district. "We have revealed the construction plan of this dormitory. The first two floors will be hired to restaurants and shops. So the Türken Foundation will make major gain from them as well," Özcan says in a video he shared on Twitter on Feb. 25.
Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into the fourth ordinary congress of the Kurdish-issue focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) over the display of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan's pictures in a slideshow. "Detention warrants were issued for 15 people who were determined to have prepared the slideshow in question," the office said, adding that 14 people were detained.
KONDA General Manager Bekir Ağırdır has said that support for the AKP is in its lowest level in 17 years. "If elections were held this weekend, the AKP would receive the lowest support in its 17 years in government," Ağırdır told Duvar English. He also said that he thinks elections will be held earlier than it's scheduled. "As soon as the MHP withdraws its support, there will be snap polls," he said.
Iconic member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Leila Khaled said at the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) congress that the Palestinian people and the Kurdish people are members of the same struggle. "Our people have embraced your party, our people are elevating the party. We struggle together against Zionism, against imperialism and bigotry," said Khaled Feb. 23.
The HDP has renewed 80 percent of its party assembly during its fourth congress in the capital Ankara on Feb. 23. The reshuffle stemmed from the party's strict two-term rule, which led to former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been in jail since Nov. 4, 2016 to be left out as well. The new party assembly also included 12 lawmakers, including Meral Danış Beştaş, Garo Paylan, Feleknas Uca and Filiz Kerestecioğlu.
HDP has elected Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar as its co-chairs in a congress held in the capital Ankara. "This country is ours. We will govern it" and "Grand politics, grand hope, grand change" were the slogans of the congress. "Freedom" and "Peace" were written on the walls of the hall in different languages. Messages from the party's former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ were read in the congress.
AKP lawmakers have downplayed any possibility of a coup attempt following debates over a report by the RAND Corporation. The lawmakers couldn't make sense of the debate, since significant changes were made following the July 15 takeover attempt. "The conditions of today are very different from July 15," an AKP official told Duvar, as he listed four differences.
The ruling AKP and its ally MHP have lost respectively 12.56 percentage and 2.3 percentage points of support since the last parliamentary election and would receive respectively 30 percent and 8.9 percent of the votes if Turkey headed to the ballot boxes for another election today, a pollster found.
The son-in-law of the former Istanbul Mayor from the ruling Justice and Development Party, Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı is facing 7.5 to 15 years for affiliation with the Gülen organization, Ankara's prime suspect for the botched coup attempt of 2016. Kavurmacı worked for TUSKON, an alleged business affiliate of the Gülen organization, but turned in a notarized resignation prior to the charges against him.
Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu disagreed with former President Abdullah Gül's comment that political Islam had collapsed, saying that this was a "parroted concept." Davutoğlu's response came after Gül's public declaration of support for former deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan's new party in the making, an alternative to Davutoğlu's Future Party.
A deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a photo showing him with businessman George Soros, Ankara's main suspect for having funded the 2013 anti-government Gezi protests. "What does this leg belong to?" said CHP group deputy chairperson Engin Altay as he held up the photo. This was a response to comments made by Erdoğan about Osman Kavala being "Soros' arm in Turkey."
The Turkish Parliament has received 10 summaries of proceedings against six deputies of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including Sezai Temelli and Pervin Buldan, the party’s co-chairs. If the Parliament votes to strip the deputies of their immunity from prosecution, they will be tried by Turkish courts.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has urged deputies of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to have at least three children. "You stick with having one child. I'm saying at least three. I don't want one child for the vitality of our country," he said, before turning to the deputies with a single child to ask, "Am I right?"
Felicity Party chair Karamollaoğlu has urged the Turkish government to study the suicide theory of French sociologist Durkheim amid growing economic hardship in the country. “Durkheim says, 'If suicides in a society show a sharp increase in a very short period of time, their reasons are not personal but social.' You [gov't] are not giving an ear to us, but listen to Emile Durkheim," Karamollaoğlu said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that a court "attempted" to acquit prominent businessman, human rights activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala with "a maneuver." "We respect all decisions of courts, but our and our people's judgement about Gezi and who supported it will never change," he said.
Editor's Picks
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.
Ahmet Murat Aytaç writes: The recent inhumane attack against migrant workers that took place in the Mazıdağı district of Sakarya should be analyzed within the framework of economic oppression. No matter what triggered the assaults, the general tendency in Turkey right now is to deny the ethnic dimension of the conflict.
Politics
A Turkish court has sentenced Halis Bayancuk, who is described as the leader of ISIS in Turkey, to 12 years and six months in jail. Bayancuk, who goes by the name Abu Hanzala, has been detained several times before in Turkey, but only to be freed later because of a lack of evidence or problems involving the charges against him.
Gli the Hagia Sophia cat has fallen ill two months after the site was converted into a mosque and will live away from people in a private room. Caretakers of the 16-year-old cat, who was born at Hagia Sophia, previously warned worshippers to not overwhelm Gli after footage of them taking pictures of Gli with flashes and feeding him unhealthy food emerged on social media.
Islamist cult leader Ahmet Mahmut Ünlü has said that he is ready to name a total of 150 Salafi associations taking up arms as part of their preparations to fight in Turkey. "I've made a list of these associations and in which provinces they are located. If the prosecutors summon me and ask me what I know, I'm ready to name at least 150 of them," a journalist cited Ünlü as saying.
İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener has slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for "giving the youth a massive prison," as she commented on the unemployment figures and the economy. "You gave them unemployment, hopelessness and depression," Akşener said. Your gift to the youth is a country that they don't feel belonging to and that they can't breathe in," she added.
AKP Group Deputy Chair Bülent Turan has praised President Erdoğan for "making" French President Macron tweet in Turkish. "Macron tweeted in Turkish and said that he is ready for dialogue. The name of the man who made a French President tweet in Turkish is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan," Turan said. Erdoğan also responded to Macron's gesture, saying that Turkey intends to listen to all sincere calls and make room for diplomacy.
Turkey has strongly condemned a Greek daily for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın deeming the move "a provocation." Another government official to condemn the headline was Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who said that the headline "will remain as a document of shame" in the history of the Greek press.
The HDP has said that its MYK member Serhat Aktemur was abducted in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır by individuals claiming to be National Intelligence Organization (MİT) members. Aktemur said that the three individuals in question threatened to kill him by saying, "If we see you around, we'll shoot you."
Turkish paraglider Hasan Kaya took to the skies in southern Turkey with a bed pretending to sleep. Kaval has previously attached a metal-framed red leather sofa with wheels and a television to a parachute and took to the skies in Turkey’s southwestern Ölüdeniz neighborhood.
Some 40 medical chambers affiliated with the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) have released a joint statement reiterating their support for the organization. “We are fortunate to have our professional organization that prioritizes and defends the right of public health, and does not compromise when it comes to scientific and free thinking," the chambers said, following MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli's call for the TTB's closure.
Since early summer, forest fires have been raging in the Cudi Mountains in Turkey's southeastern province of Şırnak amid claims that the blazes erupted due to deliberate military operations in the area. Ecologist Asrın Keleş from the People's Democratic Congress (HDK) said that it was abundantly clear that the fires did not erupt due to natural causes. "We received information that the forests were being shot with gunfire at night,” Keleş said.
A Turkish court sentenced former co-chair of Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Sebahat Tuncel to 11 months in prison on charges of "insulting" the president, because she said Erdoğan was "an enemy of women and Kurds."
Turkey's Court of Cassation, the top appeals court, has found a male employee at fault for using the women's toilet at the store where he was working at. The court rejected the employee's demand for a compensation after he was fired from his job.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has determined that dozens of firms and restaurants in Turkey use fake ingredients in their products to cut down on costs. With the Turkish lira continuing to decline in value as the country experiences a serious economic downturn, some food producers and restaurants are cutting on costs and cutting corners, and deceiving their customers in the process.
Several Turkish citizens have sent petitions to the parliament, raising their concerns about the safety of 5G technology. The parliament's committee on petition has asked the issue to the Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTK) and was told that Turkey was “working to produce the 5G infrastructure locally.”
Bursts of steam rising from Mount Nemrut have raised concern among locals, amid speculations that the dormant volcano can become active again if triggered by earthquakes. “There are many fault lines arund Mount Nemrut. If these fault lines are ruptured, theoretically a [volcanic] movement can occur in Mount Nemrut. This is always a possibility,” Prof. Dr. Aydın Büyük Saraç said.
Enis Berberoğlu's lawyer has called for the reinstatement of his client's deputy status after the Constitutional Court ruled that the former CHP lawmaker's rights were violated when he was dismissed from parliament earlier this year.
President Erdoğan has said that the government is preparing to introduce new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, since "people have not complied with the rules." The virus infections began increasing after Ankara loosened restrictions on public activity, starting in June. Critics have also accused the government of hypocrisy with regards to the measures, pointing out that social distancing measures were being overlooked in several occasions, such as the rallies of the AKP.
Islamic communities that are known to have close ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have recently speeded up efforts to establish their own foundations. On Sept. 17, two more such foundations have been established, one of which has close ties to the İsmailağa community, while the other has close ties to pro-government KİHMED.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 18 Turkey was saddened by news that Libya's internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj wants to quit next month. "A development like this, hearing such news, has been upsetting for us," Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul, adding that Turkish delegations may hold talks with Sarraj's government in the coming week.
Various rights groups have said that human rights violations recorded in prisons have spiked during the COVID-19 outbreak. As a recent example of the rights violation, the groups said that authorities had confiscated several personal belongings of a group of inmates during their transfer to two newly opened Diyarbakır prisons.
The mother of a murder suspect was found dead with a single bullet to the back of her head on Sept. 17. Her son, a suspect in his girlfriend's death, her husband and the family's attorney blamed her death on TV host Müge Anlı because she had said the mother had "failed to raise a son."
Economy
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.
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.
Turkish Airlines (THY) observed a drop of almost 65 percent in the number of August travelers compared to the year before. Domestic flights saw a smaller drop of 47.1 percent, while international flights shrank by 75.4 percent, THY said.
Urban Beat
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.
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.
The tomb and gold jewels of a woman dubbed the "Carian Princess" can now be seen in the Aegean province of Muğla's Bodrum Castle. Recovered in 1989, the body is thought to belong to a woman in her 40s.
Turkey's news agenda has focused on "renovations" that resulted in dramatic results, often adding incoherent elements. Most recently, footage of "renovation" in Istanbul's Galata Tower had shown workers drilling into original walls.