Turkey's ruling AKP has submitted a legislation proposal to the parliament which seeks to expand the scope of the security investigations launched into candidates for state employee positions to include students in higher education. The opposition has blasted the proposal as a means of the state getting rid of candidates that it deems problematic from the start.
President Erdoğan on June 26 addressed students via livestream videconference -- ahead of this weekend’s university entrance exam. A newly emerged video shows Erdoğan not being happy with the way his jacket looks on him ahead of the livestream, as he does not want to have his "belly" out in the open.
Ex-military judge gets 6-month suspended sentence for accusing Hulusi Akar of negligence in coup attempt
Former military judge Ahmet Zeki Üçok has been handed a six-month suspended prison sentence on charges of "insulting" Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who was the chief of staff during the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016. Üçok had said that Akar needed to "stand trial" for negligence in the coup attempt.
The ruling AKP's nationalist ally MHP has said that a change in laws pertaining to elections and political parties is "must" and the legal work regarding this amendment has been already launched. The AKP-MHP plan is expected to make it more difficult for members of parliament to join newly formed opposition parties, mainly DEVA and Future Party.
AKP Group Deputy Chair Özlem Zengin has said that "women had no name" before the AKP came to power, prompting surprise among the opposition. "Women had no name in this country until the AKP came to power. Women built the AKP and that's why we, as the women and men in the party and our President, try to make life easier for women with the works that we carry out," Zengin said in parliament.
HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar has said that the calls on the party to distance itself from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are "unfounded" because the party "has no links" to the militant group. "The issue is not distancing ourselves because we have no relations and there won't be," Sancar said, while asking, "So if the HDP is an extension of the PKK, six million people voted for the PKK. Will you accept that?"
CHP Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel submitted two written parliamentary questions to Vice President Fuat Oktay on the donations collected as part of a coronavirus campaign, asking the total amount and where they were spent. Surprisingly, Oktay referred the question to the Family and Social Policies Ministry, even though the whole campaign was carried out by Erdoğan himself.
Journalist Ender İmrek appeared in court on June 24 in the case that he is accused of "insulting" First Lady Emine Erdoğan "by not attributing nice qualities to her" in a piece that he criticized her for using a Hermes handbag worth $50,000. "This is a crime that doesn't exist. According to the indictment, not praising Emine Erdoğan is equal to insulting her," İmrek told the court.
Lawyers of former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş have filed for their client's release, citing a recent Constitutional Court ruling. "We ask you to end his imprisonment that violates his rights to freedom an security," the lawyers said.
The Istanbul Regional Courts of Justice has upheld the nine-year prison sentence handed to CHP's Istanbul chair Kaftancıoğlu. Kaftancıoğlu was last year sentenced to prison for old tweets that allegedly "spread terrorist propaganda and insult the President." The CHP says the conviction is politically motivated.
CHP Istanbul deputy Erdoğan Toprak said that MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli's remarks on the next elections bring election fraud to mind. Bahçeli on June 19 said that elections will be held as scheduled in 2023, while also using a Turkish proverb that roughly translates as fooling the devil.
Opposition İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener has slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's financial policies, accusing him of personally being responsible for the worst decade of Turkish unemployment in the country's history. The opposition leader also criticized the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) for narrowly defining unemployment, only to count individuals who made job applications in the last four weeks.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has urged the release of former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, citing four court rulings into him. "Demirtaş is a politician for whom release rulings were issued four times and who was jailed despite them," he said, while deeming the practice "unjust and unlawful." "What's the reason for why the release rulings are not applied?" he asked.
The Albayrak and Erdoğan families share similarly modest lifestyles, said Finance Minister Berat Albayrak's father Sadık in an interview with the Hürriyet daily over the weekend.
The pro-Kurdish HDP has referred its Doğubeyazıt co-mayors to the party disciplinary committee to probe people's complaints against them. The party said that once the disciplinary process is completed, it will share the details and results with the public.