Politics
Turkey has introduced a new dress code to visit Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, which was converted into a mosque last month. Following the code's introduction, authorities started to distribute overalls and headscarves in front of the sixth-century site.
Turkish Family, Labor and Social Policies Ministry has said that it doesn't accept the lack of love as a reason for divorce. "These days, couples exhaust the emotion of love quickly and see the lack of love as a reason for divorce. On the contrary, it's not sufficient if the couple has children," it said.
HDP deputy Garo Paylan has said that natural gas could've been provided to all residences free of charge with the money spent on S-400 missile defense systems that are currently "rotting in warehouses." Paylan asked whether an agreement was signed to purchase the second batch of S-400s and whether the installation is not completed over sanctions threats from Washington.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has described Turkey's 2013 Gezi Park protest movement as "one of the most important struggles of the Turkish history.” "If we are visiting here today [Gezi Park], protecting the green and saying 'let's create human-centered squares,' maybe we are materializing the spirit that wanted to be put forward there [during Gezi Park protests],” İmamoğlu said.
A marriage registrar of the AKP-run Çorum Municipality has been dismissed from duty after he referred to opposition İYİ Party chair Meral Akşener as "my honorable leader" during a marriage ceremony. AKP Mayor Halil İbrahim Aşgın replaced registrar Erdem Sakınmaz with a new marriage registrar, without citing a reason for this dismissal.
Turkish boxer Ünsal Arık received a death threat on the phone in Germany, where he lives, just over a week after he found a single bullet on his windshield. A staunch opponent of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the boxer thinks the threats are from supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Police have detained a woman for "insulting" Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu in the Bodrum district of the southern province of Muğla. Hülya B. was released on condition of judicial control on Aug. 26.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that his party won't criticize Turkey's natural gas find in the Black Sea contrary to the government's wish. "We won't do what they want us to do. They want us to criticize, but we won't. Why would we?" Kılıçdaroğlu reportedly told CHP members.
Young Turkish conservatives and some less ideological right-wing nationalists are unhappy with the state of Turkey and are increasingly considering potential conservative alternatives to Erdoğan's AKP, according to a report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) authored by Max Hoffman. “In every survey CAP has conducted, younger Turks are less supportive of Erdoğan and the AKP than their older counterparts," Hoffman wrote.
DEVA leader Ali Babacan, 53, has announced that he contracted the novel coronavirus. "Fortunately, I am currently in good health. My doctors have said that I need to stay under quarantine with my family for a while. Hopefully I will continue my works from home," Babacan wrote on Twitter.
The 27-year-old Baha Tuna has become the first openly autistic person to be admitted to a political party's executive board. Tuna will be on the executive board of the newly launched DEVA's Yalova provincial office.
A small park with a historic Ottoman past in Beyoğlu's Sütlüce was seized from the Istanbul Municipality and transferred to the Education Ministry. AKP city council member Faruk Gökkuş said that locals in the area urgently needed a school, while CHP city council member Süleyman Solmaz said that the park was not big enough enough to house one.
Murat Yetkin writes: While watching President Tayyip Erdoğan announcing at a ceremony the natural gas discovery in the Black Sea, I also had the impression that we are witnessing the ceremony for the announcement of a successor to him. With a phone call from a source from the business world, I realized that I was not the only one who thought the president might have pointed to Albayrak as his successor.
Pro-Kurdish HDP co-chair Mithat Sancar has called on the opposition to work together on drafting a constitution which will ensure the peace in Turkey. "Peace is the way to end the tyrant rulership in this country. Because despot, tyrant and fascist rulerships feed on wars. They want to secure their position through wars,” Sancar said.
A Turkish Parliament commission on Aug. 24 penned a report suggesting the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of former HDP lawmaker Tuma Çelik, who faces allegations of raping a woman. The general assembly of Parliament will later vote to decide whether to strip Çelik of his immunity, paving the way for his prosecution.
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.
Vural Özdemir writes: A smirk is invariably political and never innocent. Smirk undermines democratic practices and human rights. Let’s bear in mind that oppression is sometimes enacted upon us in the form of a smirk.
Politics
Merkez İlaç CEO Mehmet Şapçı has told Health Minister Fahrettin Koca that most of the sanitizers used in hospitals are fake. According to Şapçı, these fake products have around 3.3 percent povidone-iodine, whereas the standard is at 10 percent. He also named the fake products in the letter he sent to the minister.
In a not-so-veiled message to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Constitutional Court President Zühtü Arslan has said that although the top court is open to criticism of its decisions, remarks which focus on judges and "go beyond criticism will not bring any benefit.” Arslan's comments came after he was targeted by Soylu over the top court's decision to permit inter-city demonstrations and marches.
A report prepared annually by the Hrant Dink Foundation showed that Armenians were the most targeted group in hate speech in Turkish media in 2019. According to the report, there were 5,515 instances of hate speech in local and national media and 803 of them targeted Armenians. Syrian refugees followed Armenians with 760 instances, Greeks ranked third with 754 and Jews were targeted 676 times.
Turkey's premier petrochemical company Petkim has been involved in illegal oil business with Syria, according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Files, which said that Petkim and its associate Petrokim completed over $90 million in "suspicious transactions" between March 2010 and January 2016.
Handan Bul, a 23-year-old woman was shot dead by a coworker she turned down in the western province of Bilecik. The 30-year-old assailant, Yusuf Uğur also shot and killed himself on site.
After the suspicious death of Kurdish soldier Mustafa Araz in the province of Kırklareli in May was ruled a suicide by military officials, Araz's family has stated that they believe their son was murdered. The family also disputes that the suicide note which was added to his file actually belongs to Mustafa Araz.
A young man is offering unique codes provided by the government to visitors of the Diyarbakır Courthouse, as the codes are required to enter public buildings. Initially created as a traveling precaution during the pandemic, HES codes are available online, but not everyone knows g-how to get them, the young man said.
The HDP has conducted an online meeting with representatives from 26 EU member states regarding Turkey-EU relations, human rights, and the Kurdish issue. HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan said that the EU needs to take a more consistent stance against Turkey's "increasingly authoritarian government."
The founders of private Altınbaş University were detained on charges of fraud in Istanbul. The brothers allegedly reported buying boat fuel to benefit from tax exemptions regarding marine transportation.
An Ankara court has ruled for the continuation of imprisonment of former HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ on charges related to 2014 Kobane riots. The Kobane investigation was launched in 2014 and reopened in 2019, and has failed to produce an indictment for Demirtaş and Yüksekdağ since. Lawyer Levent Kanat has said that new charges were brought against the politicians over the same incident to make sure that they remain in prison.
Heavy machinery entered the sacred Alevi grounds of Munzur Springs in eastern Dersim, despite promises from the governor's office that landscaping in the area wouldn't involve construction machinery. The state-run project will reportedly cost eight million liras, and was allegedly approved by a natural resources protection board.
Future Party chairman Ahmet Davutoğlu has said that the party will nominate its own presidential candidate in the upcoming elections, amid rumors that opposition parties are contemplating of coalescing behind a joint candidate. Davutoğlu said that although Future Party is open to cooperation with other parties concerning various issues, it still aims for the rulership on its own.
The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has announced that its 72nd Great Congress will no longer be held at CerModern, but instead at Bilkent Hotel. The change came after CerModern notified the TTB that it could not meet the COVID-19-related safety guidelines designated by the Ankara Governor's Office.
Run by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), the Islamic Research Center (İSAM) has seen a 600-percent increase in its budget over the last 16 years. Known for holding a symposium about Islamic fatwas on medical issues, the foundation is chaired by a founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
A group of health workers in Ankara had to barricade the door of an emergency room when loved ones of a patient wanted to push their way in to see the deceased gunshot victim. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that the workers had been afraid of a violent attack, as health workers in Turkey are often targeted by patients' families.
Turkey's Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK) got into a brawl with an actor over a complaint from an 11-year-old viewer who said the actor's show "affected him a lot." After RTÜK shared the message on social media, the actor protested the council's reporting of his show to the public.
Climate activists who have been living in western Kaz Mountains in protest of destructive mining activities were detained as gendarmerie raided their campsite on Sept. 22. One activist said that the detentions were prompted by the wishes of Cengiz Holding, a company known for their close ties to Ankara who recently signed a tender for mining in the Kaz Mountains.
An initiative launched by lawyers close to the government has announced that it has collected the minimum number of signatures need to establish its own bar association in Istanbul. The founding member of the Istanbul No. 2 Bar Association, Cavit Tatlı has said that they will submit their application to the Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) on Sept. 23.
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 Odunpazarı Modern Museum in western Eskişehir won the award for "international project of the year over £1m" at the London Museums+Heritage Awards. The museum opened its doors just over a year ago in the city's ancient Odunpazarı neighborhood.
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.
Heavy presence of the Asian tiger mosquito was detected in four Istanbul districts, concerning locals as the bug can carry malaria, the Zika virus and encephalitis. The invasive species have been increasing in population around Istanbul in the past decade, an Istanbul University veterinarian said.
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.